Students learn to choose healthy, tasty alternatives

College students typically love to eat, but many students might be surprised how easy it is to eat delicious foods that are healthy.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, Tim Harvey’s Nutrition for Health Professionals class held its sixth annual Taste or Waist event, which was run by sports medicine students.

Before the event, the students were required to pick a dish, typically one that was unhealthy, and alter the ingredients in order to decrease the calories and make the dish healthier.

Each student prepared a recipe twice. The first dish was made using the regular unhealthy recipe, and the second dish was prepared in a healthier way by substituting one or more ingredients.

The objective was for both dishes to appear visually the same.

“The cooking part always seems to be fun for the students,” Harvey said. “The students seem to really enjoy the interaction at the actual event, though.”

The sports medicine students prepared 20 dishes for students at the event to taste.

“I made fudge and substituted ingredients like skim milk and light butter instead of regular butter,” junior Katie Scherer said.

Senior Briana Witt made a dessert and substituted several similar items as well.

“I made chocolate velvet cake and used a healthier butter that was 20 calories less, as well as fat-free items,” she said.

In order to taste the dishes, students were asked to make a 50-cent canned good donation. The proceeds were given to The Mercy Center for Women.

After trying both versions of the dish, students voted which item they thought was the healthiest.

Sometimes it was difficult for the students to determine which one was healthier.

“I could taste a little difference, but I think the unhealthy cookie recipe was moister,” senior Kaitlyn Beckel said.

Students typically prefer the healthier choice recipe rather than the original recipe.

“The past five years has shown about 60 percent of people choose the healthier version as the tastier, demonstrating our point that you can in fact substitute healthier ingredients without losing taste,” Harvey said.

The event indicated that students do not have to sacrifice taste when eating healthy.