Dietician offers tips on healthy campus eating

Hannah Bushon

Amy Meador, a registered dietician with the WKU Restaurant and Catering Group, spoke at Tuesday evening’s session of Fireside Chats, a nutrition series that will run through February.

Meador offered the following tips on making conscious and healthy decisions when dining on campus:

–Breakfast jump starts one’s metabolism, which burns calories and fat and produces energy for a person throughout the day, she said.

Whole grain cereal with skim milk is effective, Meador said. Other suggested options included oatmeal, fruits, nonfat yogurt, or whole grain toast.

–A salad is not always the healthiest option.

Avoiding bacon bits, creamy dressings, excessive amounts of cheese and croutons could help, Meador said.

“Substitute carrots for cheese, and add peppers, and maybe chicken breast to add lean protein,” she said.

–Choose a broth-based soup, and refrain from adding excessive cheese, sour creams, salt or croutons.

“And switch to whole grain crackers” Meador said.

–Sandwiches can be a great choice, but Meador advised attendees to be wary of add-ons.

“Use lean meat, pile on veggies, and avoid mayo,” she said.

Meador suggested choosing mustard instead, as it is low in fat.

–Avoid fattening toppings on pizza and sauces on Mexican foods, and choose dishes that are not heavily laden with rice or pasta, when dining on Chinese, Meador said.

“Also, try switching to whole wheat pasta,” she said. “Its harder for your body to digest, so it will stay with you longer.”

–Avoid fried meats; always choose grilled or baked, and eat more important vegetables, and less starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn or peas, Meador said.

–Try going vegetarian one or two days a week, Meador said.

She encouraged attendees to replace their servings of meat with servings of beans, and other proteins-for example, replacing the meat in a sandwich with hummus.

Meador said that future session topics would include talks about portion control and dorm room diets on a college budget.

“I enjoy working with students, and I hope they learn something they didn’t already know,” Meador said.

The presentation ended with an optional walking tour to various campus dining centers to discuss healthy eating choices at various locations.