Q&A with a registered nutritionist: Marilyn Burch

GABRIELLA RAMOS, Evergreen life editor

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What advice do you have for students who want to stay healthy at college?

Try to eat from all of the food groups on a daily basis. Try to eat three meals per day. Be careful of snacks and the calories that are in the snacks. Use MyPlate as guidance for the types of food and portion sizes, including milk. MyPlate is a website, and they have all kinds of good information on there for the general public. I would recommend doing occasional sweets, but not on a daily basis. Don’t forget fluids. For fluids, what I would recommend is still drink milk for vitamin D and calcium, and the average student needs approximately three cups of milk per day. Other than that, I suggest non-caloric beverages. We tend to gain weight if we drink a lot of regular pop or regular juices. A lot of the other coffee drinks also have a ton of calories in them, so be careful with those.

Where do you shop for groceries?

I try shop at all the stores to see what they have. I shop at Safeway, and I shop at Dissmore’s. I shop at all of them because I just like to see what they have so I can tell people because they don’t all have the same things.

What is your favorite restaurant for healthy eating?

I eat at a wide variety of places, because I think that in most any place that you eat, you can find something on the menu that’s still healthy, you just have to look. So I wouldn’t exclude any restaurant necessarily. If there’s a lot of calories or a lot of fat, I may not choose it. Once in a while, that’s okay to do.

Is nutrition or physical fitness more important in preventing weight gain?

I think they go hand in hand. You have to have physical activity, it’s really important in staying healthy. Physical activity on the prevention of diseases is really important. When you gain too much weight, your chances of getting certain diseases go way up. So you want to try to maintain a healthy weight. Physical activity also helps in your mental health, it helps you sleep better, it has all kinds of health benefits.

What is your favorite quick and easy meal?

A wrap. Go buy the tortillas. You could put a light salad dressing on them if you wanted. Put spinach in it, slice some cherry tomatoes, put lunch meat on top of that with maybe a piece of cheese and wrap it up. Its good, it has protein and vegetables and some extras. I always tell people to think of fruit as their dessert and to have a glass of milk to drink. Also, some canned vegetables have more nutrition in them than the fresh stuff. However you like them, just eat them, whether they’re fresh, frozen or canned.

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