By Niaomi McGarrell
The first National Eating Healthy Day celebration in the Student Recreation Center Hall of Fame on Nov. 4 was hosted by Rider’s Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) chapter to encourage students to form healthy eating habits.
PBL, also known as the Future Business Leaders of America, teamed up with the American Heart Association to provide students with information on how to make healthy choices. Megan Collins, registered dietitian, spoke to a group of Rider students about the benefits of a healthy diet and how to successfully navigate through dining halls.
“Heart attack and stroke are the number one cause of death in the United States, which is a big deal,” said Collins. “You can reduce your risk factors just by what you eat.”
Her presentation focused on the consumption of fruits and vegetables. She stressed the idea that eating four to five servings of these food groups is very important. From serving size guidelines to nutrition facts to preparation methods, Collins gave students a well-rounded idea of how they can stay healthy and avoid gaining the “freshman 15.”
Collins provided students with simple tips that they can use in order to make a healthier snack or meal. These tips included adding fruits and vegetables to other dishes, such as rice, soup, sandwiches and omelets, eating vegetarian options, and keeping frozen and canned fruits and vegetables on hand for a quick meal or snack. Along with that, eating fiber-rich whole grains can help those who wish to drop a few pounds.
“It’s really hard to lose weight,” said Collins. “Do what you can now to have a healthier lifestyle.”
Choosing foods wisely, while also aiming to fill half a plate with fruits and vegetables, were among the tips Collins provided. Most importantly she urged students to stay away from sugary fruits that don’t have a lot of fiber, and if they do decide to eat late at night, make sure they eat no later than three hours before bed.
After learning that consuming 100 extra calories a day is equal to gaining about 10 pounds per year, students who attended the event were definitely convinced and said they will work on changing their eating habits to avoid gaining the extra pounds.
PBL President Frank Kellogg was pleased with how the presentation turned out. He feels it is very important for students to learn how they can eat well.
“We feel it’s good to educate students on eating healthy because, like they say in the presentation, health is wealth, and we really can’t do well in our classes if we’re not healthy on the inside,” said Kellogg. “It helps us concentrate better.”