SLCC has an uncanny ability to keep things cheap for students. Food is an area in which they surely succeed at this.
“I think there are wonderful options for people looking for nutritional foods in our Food Court. The problem is that most of us buy what our taste buds want not what our bodies need,” said Kevin H. Doney, manager of Auxiliary Services at SLCC.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the number one cause of death in America and diabetes is the seventh largest. Either the disease itself or death by one of these diseases can most likely be prevented by a healthy diet.
“We try to have a balanced mix in the Food Court offering what the students want to eat at reasonable prices,” said Doney. The Food Service department is expected to be self-supporting and that is difficult for them being a part of a commuter college.
“One of the biggest challenges I think today is that cheap food on the front end of our lives is causing severe health problems on the back end,” said Dr. Michael J. Cerami of Utah Sports and Wellness, who focuses on nutrition at his practice. “What we are saving in cheap food, we are putting toward medical cost later in life.”
Cerami also explained that cheaper food has less nutritional value. It often has been altered biologically or chemically, or has been induced with preservatives, either to make it grow faster, grow bigger, taste better or stay on the shelf longer. Humans are finding that our bodies are not able to process these unnatural modifications, and over time, they are causing serious health issues.
A common misconception is that cholesterol and fat are all that we need to look out for when trying to stay heart healthy. Although they do play a role, the key factors are sodium and saturated fat. Sodium, or salt, is used as a preservative and that is another reason cheap foods that are frozen, bagged and shelved or kept in a tray under a heat lamp all day have high levels of it.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 75 percent of sodium consumption comes from packaged or preheated foods and that sodium levels are high in restaurant foods. It was also stated by Clyde Yancy, M.D., former AMA president, in a recent article by the AMA, that because roughly 90 percent of adults will develop high blood pressure with age, the target for everyone should be less than 1500 mg of sodium a day.
“Excessive amounts of sugar intake can definitely push the limits of our abilities to adapt and cause diabetes and a whole variety of other things,” said Dr. Cerami. “Like most eating problems, it’s very insidious and slow growing, so we don’t see the results of it right away. And it does create an addiction in the system.”