The importance of eating earnest

Healthy eating habits can lengthen life, lower depression and improve studies

We’ve all heard about the freshman 15. You leave home and pack off to college, hoping to grow your brain with new knowledge. Unfortunately, many of us also grow out a big gut from unhealthy eating habits.

Luckily, here at ASU, there are so many options for good food available that every Sun Devil can avoid eating poorly. It’s never too late to change your eating habits, which have a huge effect on your academics. Eating well can even improve academic performance and reduce depression. 

Not only that, but food is much more than a necessity: It is an experience that can bring people together, reinforce cultural identity and even bring out your inner Picasso (or Gordon Ramsay, if you so prefer). 

The role of food in bridging cultural gaps was explored last week in Tempe during the "More Than a Meal" event. Mark Padoongpatt, Ph.D, spoke about how food history enables us to understand American culture and society in the past and present.

"As foodie culture becomes more popular, it's important to not forget the real people preparing our food," Padoongpatt said. 

For those of us that love food, it's important to appreciate where it came from. Food is an experience that ties people together, whether you're sharing a table or if you're eating the food someone else prepared. Food transcends our backgrounds and allows us to meet on common ground.

Since food is so important on so many levels, it can be tempting to eat poorly as a way of expressing your veneration. However, unhealthy eating can be harmful and detrimental to the development of healthy eating habits.

I know some people might read this and wonder how they can possibly change their way of eating. Hey, if it makes you happy, why should it matter what you eat?

Via gifrific

Eating the right foods can lead to a longer, healthier life. While it's okay to have treats once in a while, one really must practice moderation. It may sound unrealistic, but it's easy to maintain once you get the ball rolling.

Moderation means that you still treat yourself every once in a while, but you also make sure to eat clean, whole foods and set down some basic guidelines to ensure healthiness.

The good news is that you don't have to give up all the foods you enjoy in order to lose weight. In fact, you shouldn't diet. Healthy eating habits are changed step-by-step. If you keep up your changes, you'll notice yourself becoming healthier in no time.

There are also a few unhealthy eating habits to watch out for. If you catch yourself snacking while studying, taking too big of portions or eating unbalanced meals, nip that behavior in the bud. Munching chips while studying calculus is a surefire way to add a couple of pounds. It's important to be aware of what you're eating, how you're eating and last but not least, how much you're eating.

Our school campuses have lots of healthy food options in the cafeteria. If you don't have a meal plan, you can use Yelp to find healthy restaurants or even take to home cooking. Cooking at home is a cheap and effective way to make sure you eat right.

One of my favorite websites is Budget Bytes, a virtual cookbook filled with recipes that are both hearty and affordable. I am especially partial to the Black Bean Quesadillas — it takes less than an hour to chop up all the ingredients, all you have to do is cook them, and you've got a healthy meal to last you a week.

Via Know Your Meme

It may take a while to get the hang of cooking, but practice makes perfect. It's also important to note that while the food you make at home may not be the equivalent of a four star restaurant's cuisine, ultimately, the satisfaction of saving money is much more delicious than caviar.

At ASU, students have a variety of options from which to pick their next meal. Restaurants like Bowl of Greens and ChopShophealthy ASU dining hall options and even home cooking all provide opportunities for healthy eating. Hopefully by the end of the article you've been empowered to make healthier choices for eating in the long run. If not that, hopefully you'll be able to stay strong when faced with the temptation of greasy, unhealthy food. 

Via tenor

Reach the reporter at or follow @serenaeosully on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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