8 Unhealthy Foods to Ban From Your Dorm Room

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Worried about the freshman 15? Keep these foods out of your college diet

Photo Modified: Flickr / Danielle Elder / CC BY 4.0

It’s true — college students are at risk for gaining weight. Although coming from a health-conscious background can help, college is the first time that many people make their own diet choices. Unfortunately, these choices are not always the healthiest, but instead the most efficient or the most appealing. There is no need to ban all unhealthy foods, but you may want to be more conscious of your food intake as you enter a new environment.

8 Unhealthy Foods to Ban From Your Dorm Room

Photo Modified: Flickr / Danielle Elder / CC BY 4.0

It’s true — college students are at risk for gaining weight. Although coming from a health-conscious background can help, college is the first time that many people make their own diet choices. Unfortunately, these choices are not always the healthiest, but instead the most efficient or the most appealing. There is no need to ban all unhealthy foods, but you may want to be more conscious of your food intake as you enter a new environment.

Energy Bars

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Processed energy and granola bars are some the worst breakfast foods. These bars may seem healthy, but the amount of added sugar they contain cancels out their health benefits. In some cases, you may as well eat a candy bar. Foods that raise your blood sugar and suddenly drop your energy are not worth hoarding in your desk drawer. Your body will thank you if you replace processed, high-sugar items with satisfying, wholesome foods. 

Energy Drinks

Although Red Bull may get you through that all-nighter, your brain will suffer. “While a little caffeine goes a long way, many energy drinks contain much larger doses of caffeine, which can lead to serious problems over time,” says Chuck Shaeffer, psychotherapist and professor at New York University. “The high levels of caffeine in multiple servings of energy drinks give you more than just wings — they can also lead to many difficulties in brain function, including seizures, panic attacks, racing thoughts, reduced attention, and ineffective memory.”

Fast Food

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When you don’t have a regular kitchen, microwavable food can get rather boring, not to mention unhealthy. If dining hall food doesn’t satisfy, the next best option may seem to be fast food. But not only does some fast food measure out to be half your caloric intake for the day for a single meal, it also lacks nutrients that your body needs. Avoid ordering take-out or going to a drive-thru, even if you are in a rush. Your body will thank you. 

Fruit Juices

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Fruit juice may seem like a healthier lunchtime drink than soda, but it can contain more than 48 grams of sugar per serving (soda has about 40 grams per serving). Drinks you thought were healthy actually often have more sugar than you think, so when you have the option, stick to water. 

Fruit Snacks

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Just because something has the word “fruit” in its name does not mean it is healthy. In fact, some fruit snacks are equivalent to candy. Welch’s fruit snacks contain ingredients you cannot even pronounce, not to mention high-fructose corn syrup, which our bodies are unable to digest comfortably.

 

Processed Foods

Photo Modified: Flickr / Danielle Elder / CC BY 4.0

The bad news is that processed foods can be found anywhere — in the dining hall, at a restaurant, and in the vending machine. Processed foods contain chemicals and artificial ingredients that can trick you into thinking you want more. In fact, some people claim to be addicted to processed food, and eating unhealthy food have been shown to lead to digestive problems

Refined Grains

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There’s a reason why people think that bread is bad, and whole grains are not to blame. Similar to processed foods, refined grains are processed with chemicals and stripped of all the nutrients that whole grains provide. Next time you reach for a product that contains refined grains, think about whether or not you approve of bleach being used in your food

Soda

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There is no place for soda in your diet, and if you can avoid it, you will save your body from sugar overload. In addition the harmful ingredients in soda, excess sugar leads to weight gain. “Forget about beer belly — you can also get diet soda belly,” says Deepa Verma, a medical doctor. “Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center studied 475 adults over 10 years. They noted a 70 percent increase in waist circumference compared to non-soda drinkers.”