cooking program stirs Up Healthy Eating
By Cara Campbell/ SFASYou.com
April 5, 2017
Students cooked their way towards healthy eating during the second installment of a hands-on cooking program, geared toward preventing chronic disease through food, Tuesday night in the kitchen on the second-floor of the School of Human Sciences north building. Stephen F. Austin State University's Lifestyle Medicine Association held the cooking class as part of a 4-week program for students to learn basic health-based cooking techniques and recipes to incorporate in their daily lives.
The class catered to six SFA students who were curious about the new cooking program and started by briefing participants on what they would accomplish by the end of the session, including how to prepare and cook two healthy recipes.
Alyssa Abreu, the organization’s president, says their goal for the classes is to promote healthy eating to the community and “help students eat healthier and make better food substitutions.”
Before the process of prepping food began, the six participants were split into groups of three and assigned to a designated station, equipped with vegetables, cooking utensils and knives.
Some recipes taught during the class included homemade oatmeal with whole grains and quiche muffins made with eggs and fresh cut vegetables. The organization chose the two recipes to show students examples of snacks they could eat as substitutes for less-healthy options like chips or cereal.
Two chefs guided each student step-by-step through the process of preparing ingredients for each recipe during the hour-long class.
Students chopped, minced, boiled and baked their way through the program, and had the opportunity to indulge in their final product. However, before the event concluded, LMA members also informed students of different labels to look out for and tips on how to read them when shopping for groceries. Some of these tips included:
            · Check servings and calories. Look at the serving size and how many servings you are eating.
            · Eat less sugar. Foods with added sugars may provide calories but few essential nutrients. 
            · Look for foods and beverages low in added sugars. Read the ingredient list and make sure added sugars are not one of the first few ingredients.
            · Know your fats. Look for foods low in saturated and trans fats, and cholesterol, to help reduce the risk of heart disease. 
            · Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as those in fish, nuts and vegetable oils.
According to the Journal of American College Health, “most college students are not meeting dietary and physical activity guidelines, suggesting the need for prevention interventions and increased understanding of overweight college students. “
The Lifestyle Medicine Association, a two-part organization that focuses on exercise and diet to promote a healthier life, hopes to change and improve this statistic on the SFA campus. By providing the series of cooking classes, now through the end of April, LMA intends to teach their participants to utilize new lifestyle changes to prevent chronic disease.
The organization will host their third and fourth installments of the cooking program on April 11 and April 24. For more information on the cooking classes, email Sarah Duarte at saraduarte7@aol.com.
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