Many students make resolutions to eat healthy and avoid the dreaded freshman 15.
The Indiana Daily Student recently interviewed Krisha Thiagarajah, a senior lecturer of nutrition in the Department of Applied Science in the School of Public Health, about the importance of healthy eating and tips to do so in college.
Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Indiana Daily Student: What makes a healthy diet?
Krisha Thiagarajah: A healthy diet is one where the food is less processed. If a packaged food item has sugar as the first ingredient, you know it's more processed.
IDS: Why is it important to eat healthy?
Thiagarajah: You can prevent or delay chronic disease and avoid getting sick. If you eat fresh produce like fruits and vegetables, you will get more vitamins from the food, which are really good for your health.
IDS: Do you think it is true that students struggle with eating healthy? Why do they struggle?
Thiagarajah: It is true because they don’t have the knowledge in nutrition, and also they have an issue because they have to eat in a dining hall. They have limited choice, but at the same time, I know the dining halls are trying to provide more nutritious options. I think with proper knowledge and skill they can eat better.
IDS: What could students do to eat healthier?
Thiagarajah: They can snack more on fruits and vegetables rather than chips. Instead of eating white bread, they can have whole wheat bread. If possible, don’t eat soon before going to bed because recent studies suggest that is unhealthy.
IDS: Anything else?
Thiagarajah: People don’t focus on nutrition because it is expensive, but if we spend some money on food, that might in the long run reduce what we actually spend.