Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Difficult dining decisions

According to United Press International, the average American eats out four to five times per week.

As the semester draws to a close, students will be frantically scrambling to complete their assignments and study for exams. Staying awake through it all will be the biggest challenge, but man cannot live on caffeine alone.

People have abandoned their hunter-gatherer skills they relied long ago. Why catch food when it can be passed through a drive-through window?

The main constraint besides time is money. College students are notoriously broke so that means it’s important to be a smart consumer and be aware of the options.

Cheap and healthy do not always go hand-in-hand.


Time, Money vs. Healthy Choices

When trying to get the greatest amount of food per dollar spent, it’s tough to beat a place that offers all-you-can-eat, such as Beijing Buffet or Esker Dining Hall.

Fixed meal plans through the university come in four options and range from $1,095 for 10 meals per week to $1,165 for 24 meals. In a 16-week semester, the price per meal breaks down to about $7 and $3 respectively.

Several restaurants have determined the value of their food by offering meals at set price points. For example, Subway, KFC and Taco Bell, all have meals for $5 and Pizza Hut’s are set at $10 and $20.

When pulling an all-nighter, the restaurants that will accommodate someone after midnight are a select few. McDonald’s never closes so it’s a convenient choice for eating at odd hours, but for some the tradeoff can be a high calorie intake.


Counting Calories

According to its website, a single McDonald’s double cheeseburger contains 440 calories and 23 grams of fat, and a small order of fries contains 230 calories and 11 grams of fat.

While not open as late and costing a bit more, from Culver’s a double ButterBurger with cheese has 600 calories and 35 grams of fat. Culver’s fries have 391 calories and 19 grams of fat.

To put it in perspective, an average apple or banana is less than 100 calories.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advise consumers to monitor both serving sizes and calories in their diets. Their website said to judge calorie intake against the expected level of physical activity.


Caffeine Cravings

Students sometimes want a boost during cram sessions and can turn to energy drinks. An article that appeared in “Pediatrics & Child Health” last February, found that the most common reason for energy drink consumption was to increase alertness.

While providing energy for several hours, energy drinks can be unhealthy choices as well.

In a Monster Energy Drink, there are 100 calories and 27 grams of sugar per eight ounce serving. An Amp Energy Drink has 110 calories and 29 grams of sugar per serving.

An article in the New York Times reviewing the piece, cited several studies that linked to health concerns related to over consumption of energy drinks. In the most severe cases, people experienced high blood pressure and cardiac arrest.

The amount of sugar contained in an energy drink might also pose potential risks to people with certain diseases, like diabetes, who must monitor their blood sugar more closely than the average person.

During finals week, it’s tough to find time for a decent meal, and it’s appealing to turn to instant Ramen and Red Bull. However, eating a balanced meal can be the difference between feeling drained and being alert and focused.

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Founded 1901
Difficult dining decisions