Hidden Calories on Campus

Whether it’s a cheeky Costa between lectures or an energy boost during a painful two hour practical, snacking on campus is inevitable. However, many seemingly healthy snacks are not quite as wholesome as the packaging may suggest. Many snacks are high in calories, filled with sugar and not a lot else.  

After you bypass the impressive mound of millionaire shortbread and chocolate chip muffins in Costa you smugly believe you have forgone temptation as you pick up a healthy flapjack bar at the cash register. Think again! Costa’s nutty flapjack contains 414 calories and a whopping 23.3 grams of sugar, which is the equivalent to almost 6 teaspoons of sugar and almost 1/3 of your recommended daily sugar intake.

From my library sources it seems that this year’s snacking craze has been the delicious Greek yoghurt pots topped with crunchy granola containing various different fruit compotes.  

This seemingly healthy snack actually contains around 306 calories and roughly 36grams of sugar. Instead of this highly calorific snack why not choose instead simply a piece of fruit and a tub of low fat natural yoghurt. It will not only favour your waistline but also your purse.

Do you suffer from salty crunchy cravings?

Instead of a packet of crisps, which could cost you 15% of your daily fat intake and 202 calories you could opt for ‘Snack a jacks’ which are almost four times lower in fat than crisps and contain almost half the amount of calories and will most definitely satisfy your salty hankerings.

If your hunger pains haven’t yet reached the embarrassing point where they grumble loudly in your tutorial then perhaps all you fancy is a drink. The new Costa on campus has become a second home to many and offers a vast range of hot and cold drinks. However it may shock you to find out how many calories you are actually consuming on a daily basis. A medium red berry cooler has 327 calories and contains a staggering 77.6 grams of sugar; a medium mocha has 316 calories and 34.2 grams of sugar and a caramel latte has 255 calories and 27.2grams of sugar. However do not be disheartened, there are plenty of healthier alternatives so that you can still enjoy your daily fix. Herbal and berry teas contain no calories and a medium Americano contains only 8 calories and only 0.5 grams of sugar. 

Many of us rely heavily on energy drinks to complete a looming essay deadline or simply to power through a gym session. At 110 calories a can (250ml), added caffeine, vitamins and minerals, Red Bull at first glance may seem to be the perfect rocket fuel.  Beware, it contains 27grams of sugar per can, you may want to think again. A healthy substitute to these insanely sugary drinks is Berocca, which gives you an energy boost without the sugar hit.

At the end of a hard week or perhaps mid way through - forget the coffee, a glass of wine at The Ram is the only thing that will suffice. White wine is light, refreshing and crisp, however many of us don’t realize that two large glasses of wine provides us with almost 20% of our recommended daily calorie intake coming in at around 370 calories in total. For a lower calorie alternative to wine choose vodka or gin. Mixed with a diet tonic and a dash of lime it can be as low as 35 calories a glass.

With the recommended daily intake of calories at 2000 for a woman and 2500 for men many of these calorific snacks advertised falsely as healthy and nourishing alternatives to chocolate and sweets add up and can boost your daily fat and sugar intake hugely. So be street smart, read the labels and don’t let your new year’s resolutions go to waste.


Picture credits: sofeminine-mail.com, hopefullyhelpfultips.wordpress.com, goodtoknow.co.uk

An Irish 2nd year student, studying psychology and Italian at the University of Exeter, with a love of sports, healthy food and anything outdoorsy!

You Might Also Enjoy