It turns out you are what you eat. Parents and the college bound can get on this food bandwagon now during college prep to form a life-long dietary habit. According to a five-year study conducted in Spain, those who eat a Mediterranean diet heavy in nuts and virgin olive oil are heart-healthier than those limiting fat. The New England Journal of Medicine reported the findings online yesterday.
Higher education and a successful life are the goals for the college bound and their parents, and a good diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 30%, the study found. The research was based on a group of just more than 7400 people aged 55-80. However, all ages can benefit from good eating habits.
The Mediterranean diet is chock full of fish, grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and olive oil. The diet is low in dairy products, red meat and processed foods -- the opposite of teen favorites like burgers, fries, sugary sodas and shakes.
Any family that tours college campuses during college prep and stops for a snack sees the abundance of coffee bars and fast food courts. For busy college students, it is tempting to grab a sweet latte and biscotti on the way to class. Meeting friends or a study group at the local donut or ice cream hangout is common.
Many institutions of higher education will allow parents and their college bound to dine at the campus Dining Hall, usually for a fee, especially when visiting on an Open House day. This gives families a chance to sample the fare. Maximize this opportunity by chatting with current students about the food, college life and academics. Ask if eating at the cafeteria is convenient or if most students tend to ditch their expensive meal plan for other options.
Survey the choices but ask to see a typical menu just in case families are treated to specialities on Visiting Days. Campus cafeterias may always stock fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and self-serve soft ice cream next to a bowl of apples, or fried chicken beside a grilled cutlet. Will power may be tested at every meal.
College prep diet
College prep is all about making tough choices: forming college lists, taking college admission tests, filling out college applications. Making informed decisions is a skill that can prepare students for a healthy lifestyle on and off a school campus. Balance is the basis of good college prep.
The college prep diet prepares the mind and body for the physical and mental rigors of earning a college degree. Food, sleep, exercise and mixing business with pleasure gets the job done with a dash of fun.
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