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Published:April 6th, 2007 10:48 EST
Get Healthy with Meghan Van Camp

Get Healthy with Meghan Van Camp

By Kelda Senior

Dietitian Meghan Van Camp said Tuesday that eating breakfast can help student lose weight.

Eating a good breakfast speeds up your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day, " Van Camp said.  She said that anything for breakfast is better than nothing, just as long as there is one item from three different food groups.  Making sure you`re eating more on the front end of the day, will help you curb your appetite toward the end of the end, " Van Camp said.  Eating breakfast also improves concentration. 

Van Camp advised student to have three different colored foods on their plate for a balanced meal.  Red vegetables like beets are high in anti-oxidants.  Orange vegetables like carrots are high in beta carotene and vitamin C.  Green vegetables like broccoli and spinach have every nutrient you need.   

People should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but most Americans eat only two or three servings a day, " Van Camp said.  One-half cup cooked vegetables or one cup raw vegetables equal one serving size.  Van Camp said: You can never eat too many vegetables. " 

On the other hand, a person can eat too many fruits.  Van Camp recommended eating between two and four servings of fruits a day.  One tennis ball-sized piece of fruit or one-half cup canned fruit equals one serving size.

Van Camp said that student usually eat too many meats and carbohydrate.  She recommends a maximum of 3 ounces of meat, fish or poultry a day.  Meats broiled, grilled or sautéed in olive or canola oil are better than fried.  She also said that taking off the skin will eliminate 130 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat.   

For vegetarians, Van Camp recommends one-half cup cooked beans, three eggs or six tablespoons of peanut butter to replace the protein from three ounces of meat.  She said that tofu and soy products serve as good substitutes for traditional protein products as well. 

Van Camp warned that too much protein can cause weight gain.  She said: Unlike vitamin C, you don`t excrete protein.  It goes into storage. "

Along with nutritional advice, Van Camp gave tips on how busy college students can save money during grocery shopping.  Don`t shop when you`re hungry, " Van Camp warned.  You`re grocery bill can go up by 17 percent. " 

Van Camp`s tips for cutting grocery cost include:

·         Compare costs.

·         Prepare as many foods from scratch as possible.
·         Buy in bulk when cheaper.
·         Buy fresh fruits in season only.
·         Choose store brands over national brands.
·         Beware of coupons. They may not save much money.
·         Purchase canned beans for protein instead of meats.
·         Buy ingredients to make your own snacks instead of buying expensive snack foods.


Van Camp works as a registered and licensed dietitian and nutritionist at the University of Central Florida`s Recreation and Wellness Center.  Students can call 407-823-5841 or e-mail Van Camp at to make an appointment.