Worried about the Freshman 15? Yeah, we’re talking about those 15 (and in some cases 20 or 25) pounds many freshmen pack on and complain about during the first year of college. There are many culprits: First taste of freedom can lead to some compromised nutritional choices, stress can translate into comfort eating, and campus pickings are often slim.
However, one of the biggest villains is sugar. It’s in so much of the processed foods college students typically consume – packaged meats, bread and, of course, those late night desserts. So, while students are trying to be conscious of fatty foods, high sugar consumption sneaks up on them and causes an ever-expanding waistline. Sigh. What’s a freshman to do?
In many parts of the world, the two ingredients are rarely eaten alone. Take doughnuts as an example. When the fresh carb-laden dough is deep-fried in oil, you get a classic combination of sugar and fat with a rich flavor and powerful mouthfeel that’s tough to pass up.
But an increasing body of evidence is beginning to suggest that when eaten in isolation, fat doesn’t contribute to weight gain. On the other hand, dozens of studies indicate that sugar alone is significantly tied to packing on pounds.
That’s not all. A recent analysis found that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages like soda was associated with an increased risk of death, particularly among people who drank at least two a day.
Moderation and discernment are key. Pay attention to the ingredients even when consuming foods you may assume are free of sugar. If you find yourself surrounded by all things sugary sweet, practice moderation.