The infamous ‘freshman fifteen’ sits in the back of every new college student’s mind as they walk through the dining halls the first few weeks of school. I too have caught myself thinking about it while wandering around trying to find something to eat; I often find myself wondering, “what can I order that tastes good and won’t make me huge? Which of these sandwiches is less fattening? Two slices of pizza or one?” I’ve learned that eating “healthy” is a tricky task in college, but not necessarily because of a student’s lack of willpower. No—often it is because students simply don’t know whether what they’re eating is good or bad for them. But with the help of a magical website called www.dining.vt.edu any freshman can make smarter decisions when it comes to healthier eating!
Tech’s Five Fake “Good-For-You” Foods: Calorie Counters
1. Strawberry Smoothie: You walk up to the counter, proud of yourself for having successfully avoided that double chocolate chip milkshake, but are still in desperate need of a frosty drink to quench your thirst. Mmm…that strawberry smoothie sounds good (and really, when does it not?) But this is the moment of truth… and like realtors always say, “location, location, location is key.” If you find yourself at Owens looking at #11, “Strawberry Oasis,” CONGRATULATIONS! At a measly 70 calories, you are consuming 247 calories less than if you were ordering a Strawberry Banana Smoothie from West End (at a whopping 317 calories).
2. Chicken Caesar Salad: I mean it has the word “salad” in the title, so it has to be healthy—right? So you stand there ordering your salad, silently judging all the people ordering spaghetti with marinara sauce. BUT what you don’t know is that by eating your dainty little salad, you are consuming 305 calories MORE than those fatties with the pasta. To compare, the Chicken Caesar Salad tops the scale at a ridiculous 642 calories, whereas the Spaghetti with Marinara sits at a reasonable 337 calories. Eat on pasta eaters, eat on.
3. Grilled Ham & Cheese: Well at least this has a recognizable name…grilled ham and cheese? I eat that all the time back home…yeah, I’ll get that, it’s probably a safe bet. In most cases, ham and cheese is a safe bet. But this sandwich is grilled! Which means on top of all the calories in the ham, cheese and bread itself, you get to add in the calories from all the butter it took to grill the sandwich! So your safe, home-style sandwich is going to cost you 672 calories for the day. Not so safe now, is it?
4. Personal Pan Pizza: When you’re walking through the DX line late at night, Personal Pan Pizza sounds like a brilliant idea to satisfy you’re endless hunger. The pizzas are tiny! They can’t be that bad for you. Oh, but they can. That little pizza is 752 calories! Compare that to Pizza Hut’s Supreme Pizza, at 855 calories (only 100 calories more for that huge thing?!), and that personal pan pizza is going to start looking a lot smaller…
5. Blueberry Muffin: To top the day off, you of course need a dessert. A Deets Blueberry Muffin always looks good late at night and the sweet blueberry smell is eventually what wins you over. Truly try and enjoy your sweet smelling 613 calories when you could have a LARGE Ice Cream Sundae for 200 calories… That, my friends, is what I like to call one Epic Food Fail.