Food picks made easy

Often times in college, students tend to put food nutrition and wellness on the bottom of their need-to-do lists. Well, as a FAMU student and a concerned black woman who plans to have a family one day, I’ve decided to help myself to some good information of course. I spoke with 26-year-old Florida Department of Health nutrition educator, Dykibra J. Gaskin, about health risks concernnig chicken, pasta, vegetarianism and my favorite topic, chocolate cake.

On Chicken

Chicken is very lean and versatile so you can do practically anything with it. But, it depends on how you cook it that can determine how good it is for you. Since some people don’t eat beef and pork, so chicken is a great alternative as a protein source. A healthier way to eat fried-chicken or chicken cooked in oil is, instead of using flour use breadcrumbs and bake it. You can still get that crunchiness that often attracts fried-chicken lovers.

On Pasta

While making pasta dishes I recommend tomato-based sauces over cream-based because the tomato has less fat. Tomatoes provide vitamin C and lycopene. Also, you can use a pesto sauce, which is an oil-based sauce. Extra-virgin olive oil has something called “good fats” like monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fat. This is a great alternative because it’s lighter than cream or tomatoes. Vinaigrettes are good for olive oil based pasta dish.

On Vegetarianism

There are several types of vegetarians. For example, a vegan is a strict vegetarian and they do not consume any food that comes from animal sources. Some vegans are spiritual or religious so they don’t believe in consuming animal sources. A lacto-vegetarian is one who only eats plant foods or vegetables and dairy sources. A lacto-ovo-vegetarian eats vegetables, eggs, and some dairy sources. Semi-vegetarians eat all of the above including some fish and chicken, but they do not eat red meat.

On Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is made with flour, sugar, eggs, oil, and some people use frostings. You can reduce the fat of that delicious chocolate cake by replacing the oil with applesauce. It’s great because you can’t taste it and it’s not fattening. You can also replace sugar with splenda, which has zero calories. Instead of using a crème based topping, you can garnish the cake with some fruit like cherries, strawberries, or cranberries.