by Jillian Torre and Amy Rice

Learning how to eat healthy in Mount Saint Mary College’s dining facilities is only half the battle. It is no secret that most college students also have their dorm rooms piled high with tons of high-calorie late night study snacks. Think about typical college food basics. Most are high-sodium, high-fat and high-sugar easy foods such as Ramen Noodles, Easy Mac, Oreos, Doritos, and even sodas and sports drinks.

However, making the right choices at our local Newburgh Price Chopper, as well as stocking up on snacks from Mount Saint Mary’s Hudson Smart Market, could make all the difference in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Making simple swaps for lower calorie and still tasty snacks will prevent you from doing damage when you have the knack to snack!

Keeping fresh fruit such as bananas, apples, and oranges in your refrigerator is great for when you’re craving something sweet. Eating fruit will keep you satisfied longer due to its high fiber content, apples especially. We realize that produce is not in the typical college student’s budget. However, there are always baskets of fruit laid out around The View, so do not hesitate to grab some on your way out.

Chips are a staple in most college student’s diets. Next time you are at the grocery store, try picking a bag of baked chips such as Baked Lays or Special K Cracker Chips. Multi-Grain crackers such as Wheat-Thins are also a healthy alternative.  Pickles can also satisfy your crunchy and salty needs, and are usually very low in calories. There is no need to deprive your cravings when making healthier choices.

Unless you’re allergic, there’s a good chance you are a fan of peanut butter.  However, there is much skepticism surrounding this delicious spread. Yes, it is high in fat content, but the fat that is in peanut butter is a natural, healthy fat. Opposed to processed trans fat that are seen in many unhealthy snacks, peanut butter provides natural fats that are good for our bodies, not to mention, is a delicious snack when paired with that apple or banana you snagged on your way out of the dining hall.

Popcorn can also be a delicious and healthy snack when you choose the right kind. However, it is easy to turn popcorn into a not-so-friendly snack. Stay away from the packages that advertise “movie theatre butter”. These can hold up to 15 grams of fat. Instead, look at packages that say “light butter” or “94% fat free”. You can also change it up and try plain popcorn with a light sprinkling of sugar.

If you usually keep candy or ice cream in your room, it can compromise your other healthy choices if not eaten in moderation. For those who prefer not to eat in moderation, try this healthy alternative. Buy fat free cool whip and a Jell-O Instant fat-free, sugar-free pudding packet of your preferred flavor (we suggest cheesecake or oreo). Mix the pudding into the cool whip and add fresh fruit of your choice. Voila! A yummy and healthy study snack ready to go.

Next time you are stocking your shelves with snacks keep in mind these healthy tips to keep you on track towards living a healthy lifestyle.