Healthy Eating: Back to the Basics

 A healthy diet isn’t as confusing or restrictive as you might think. It’s about choosing foods that provide your body with the calories and nutrients it needs to perform — not more or less. The best way to start is to learn the recommended daily calorie intake for your age, weight, height, activity level, and gender. In other words, skip the fads and focus on proper nutrition.

 Fiber: The Diet Workhorse
Many weight-loss programs emphasize the benefits of high-fiber foods, including legumes, whole grains, whole fruits, and veggies. Why the focus on fiber? Also known as “roughage,” fiber enables your body to function properly and fight disease — and it may even help keep you from overeating. High-fiber foods generally take longer to chew and digest, so you feel satisfied longer.

 The Skinny on Fat
After years of telling us to stay away from fat, experts now say it’s healthy to eat some. The caveat: It has to be the right kind. While it’s still wise to reduce saturated fats and avoid trans fats altogether, incorporating good sources of fat (think olive oil, nuts, and avocados) into your diet has many health benefits. Still confused? Some simple tips can help distinguish the good from the bad.

 Carbohydrates: Your Diet’s Fuel
Low-carb or no-carb diets have been all the rage over the last decade. Yet according to experts, between 50 and 60 percent of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and beans are great sources of fiber and essential for your health. It’s the simple carbs — refined starches and sugars — that can lead to weight gain.

The Power of Protein

Thinking of going the vegetarian route or trying a high-protein diet? Before you make a dietary switch, it’s essential to understand the health effects of eating too little or too much protein. Too much protein — more than 35 percent of your total daily caloric intake — could promote osteoporosis; too little can reduce muscle mass, lower immunity, and weaken the heart.The Lowdown on Glycemic Load
Building meals and snacks around foods with a low glycemic load can make it easier to maintain your weight, keep blood sugar levels stable, and lower your risk of conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. So how can you tell which foods have a low glycemic load? In general, the more fiber a food has, the lower the glycemic load. Think beans, fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole-grains.Are You Overdosing on Salt?
Many Americans consume triple the recommended daily amount of sodium, which is less than 1 teaspoon per day.
Taken from

For more information contact Sodexo nutritionist, Sara Patterson at (603) 535-3186 or

Gluten Free?

Thinking about going Gluten Free? Well your not the only one! A recent study just came out saying that 30% of Americans are now looking to avoid gluten. If you take that statistic 1 in 100 have Celiac Disease. If we apply these numbers to Plymouth State we have a total attendance of 6,738 students both postgrad and undergrad. 67 students have Celiac Disease and over 2,000 would be looking to avoid gluten.

What is gluten? Gluten is a generic name for certain types of protiens contained in cereal grains, wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives.

So what is Celiac Disease? Celiac is when the body cannot break down the protien that is within gluten. There are some people that have a gluten intolerance and this is different because the gluten just not be processed by the stomach whereas Celiac Disease is where the body physically cannot break down the proteins.

 There are some common symptoms of having Celiac or an intolerance to gluten and these may include: Abdominal cramping, intestinal gas, distention and bloating of the stomach, chronic diarrhea or constipation, anemia, and unexplained weight loss with large appetite or weight gain.

 A gluten free organization has just been established here at Plymouth State! If you are looking to learn more about being gluten free come to one of our meetings they are held in the HUB twice a month in room 119. We also have a Facebook page: Gluten Free Living at Plymouth State or follow us on twitter: @GlutenFreePSU

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