Virtual Health and Wellness Center at Adelphi University, Long Island, NY

Past Monthly Health Topics

October 2013

National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week

Did you know that October 20-26 is National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week? What will you do to help make Adelphi a safer place during that week?

Here are some facts that you may not know about alcohol abuse:

  • College-aged students are at a much higher risk of an alcohol-related injury caused by a car crash, slipping or falling, getting into a fight, etc.  While there are many negative long-term affects related to alcohol abuse, it only takes one night and a few bad decisions to have a lasting impact on your life.
  • There are significant connections between alcohol use and sexual decision making.  College-aged students are at a greater risk for having sexual health issues.  When alcohol is added to a sexual situation, this risk drastically increases.  Sexual health is an issue that affects all college campuses.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that contracting a sexually transmitted disease or infection won’t happen to you!
  • Not only does alcohol have a significant impact on your mental and physical abilities, but it can also have a negative impact on your waistline!  When we drink, it is easy to forget how many calories we are consuming with each beverage.  Many students do not realize that one evening of drinking can easily be the equivalent to an entire day’s worth of calories!
  • Alcohol use can result in missing class, doing poorly on tests or projects, disciplinary issues, or other problems.  Research has shown that on average, students who consume the most alcoholic drinks on a weekly basis receive the lowest grades:
    • "A" students average 4.21 per week
    • "B" students average 6.03 drinks per week
    • "C" students averages 7.76 drinks per week
    • "D" and "F" students average 9.97 drinks per week

Source: Presley, CA, Leichliter, JS, and Meilman, PW. Alcohol and Drugs on American College Campuses: Finding from 1995, 1996, and 1997. A Report to College Presidents. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University, 1999.

  • Heading out with friends for the night?  Make a plan before you go out to increase the likelihood that you and your friends have a great time and arrive home safely.  Prior to heading out, make sure you do the following things:
    • Decide whether or not you are going to drink (remember it is illegal to possess or consume alcohol!).
    • Set a lower-risk limit for the night (4 or fewer drinks for a male, 3 or fewer drinks for a female, 0 drinks if you are underage, pregnant, driving, or on medication!)
    • Let your friends know of your decision and respect their decision if they choose not to drink.
    • Eat!  Put some food in your stomach.  It will give you energy and help slow the absorption rate of the alcohol you consume.
    • Designate a sober driver!
    • Set some money aside just in case you need a cab.
    • Pre-program your cell phone with at least 2-3 numbers for a safe ride home. 
  • Remember, you can have fun while in college without abusing alcohol!
  • For additional alcohol abuse prevention resources visit
  • For more information on what you can do here at Adelphi to raise the awareness of National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, visit the Student Counseling Center.

By Helene Konsker MS, RD, CDN

May 2013

Eat YOUR Way to Good Health: Making Wise choices while living on campus!

Grains/Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates were once grouped into two main categories.

  • Simple carbohydrates include fruit sugar such as: (fructose), corn or grape sugar (dextrose or glucose), and table sugar (sucrose).

  • Complex carbohydrates were thought to be the healthiest to eat, while simple carbohydrates weren’t so great. Well the digestive system handles all carbohydrates much the same way as an energy source; the essential difference is fiber and sugar content which can be derived by a system called Glycemic Index. The Glycemic index aims to classify carbohydrates based on how quickly and how they boost the blood sugar compared to pure glucose.

Recommended Choices

  • 100 % Whole Wheat Bread
  • Bulgur, Barley
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Buckwheat Groats
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Brown Rice
  • Wheat Berries
  • Flax Seed Breads and Cereals
  • Sweet Potatoes

Poor Choices (Keyword white which means lack of nutrients and fiber)

  • White Flour
  • White Bread
  • Refined Sugars
  • White Rice
  • French Fries

Are necessary for growth and repair of body tissue.

  • Some of the proteins we eat have all 8 essential amino acids needed to build new proteins. These are called complete proteins. Animal proteins are complete proteins.

  • Protein sources that lack one or more “essential” acids are referred to as incomplete. By combining incomplete sources such as beans, soy, nuts and grains our bodies will then convert them into complete sources that can be utilized by the body.

Recommended Choices

  • Skinless Poultry
  • Fish (including fatty fish which are high in Omega 3 Salmon, Mackerel, Arctic Char, Sardines, Snapper, Herring, Halibut)
  • Lean Meats
  • Low Fat Dairy Products
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Tofu
  • Tempe
  • Beans

Poor Choices (Keyword fried)

  • Fast Foods (Big Mac, Whopper, Fried Chicken, Fried Fish)
  • Fatty Meats
  • Hot Dogs
  • Cured cold cuts Bologna, Salami, Pepperoni (high in fat and nitrates)

Dairy Products:
Maintenance of Skeletal (Bones) structure, Teeth

Recommended Choices

  • Skim Milk
  • Skim Milk Plus (Enriched with additional Protein and Calcium)
  • Low fat Yogurt
  • Low Fat Cheese
  • Light Ice Cream

Poor Choices

  • Whole milk
  • Full Fat Cheese
  • Whole fat Ice Cream
  • Cream Sauces (Alfredo and Ala Vodka)

Fruits and Vegetables:
They are loaded with wonderful Vitamins and Minerals. Dark Greens and Brightly Colored fruits and veggies contain Vitamins A, C, E, Folic Acid, B Vitamins, Potassium and lycopene, etc. Studies reveal fruits and vegetables have anti cancer properties, aid in digestion due to the fiber.

Recommended Choices
(Try to“experiment" a new fruit or vegetable on a weekly basis.)

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots, Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Green Beans
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Butternut Squash
  • Acorn Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Berries (Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries)
  • Mangos
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Pineapple
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Honeydew
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon…The LIST goes on and on.

Poor Choices (Not too many poor choices in this category)

  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Fried Vegetables

Eating healthfully and nutritiously does not have to mean sacrifice. A healthy food plan should consist of wonderful flavorful foods found in each food group.    
Do yourself a favor it’s best to avoid White flour, refined sugars, and Saturated fat.  You don’t have to deprive yourself, just consume the “bad” choices in small amounts. Don’t forget exercise is not optional! 

By Helene Konsker MS, RD, CDN

March 2013

Increasing Caloric Burn: Good nutrition and exercise work together to boost caloric burn

Health, fitness and weight management are about balancing the number of calories taken in by eating with those burned from metabolizing. Fit people have higher metabolic rates.

Metabolism is the process by which the body converts food into energy and uses this energy. The body needs energy for activities like jogging and biking, but also to fuel bodily processes such as breathing and circulation.
Four components make up the total daily metabolic burn rate:

  1. Resting metabolic rate: number of calories the body burns at rest
  2. Thermic effect of metabolizing food: digestion
  3. Calories burned by daily activities
  4. Physical activities: exercise

Here are six tips for staying lean and fit by increasing metabolic burn:

  1. Strength training: Adding more muscle mass increases the number of calories the body burns at rest because muscle is more metabolically active than fat; strength-training also helps maintain bone density balance. 

  2. Add daily cardio: Cardio is the greatest calorie burner in the least amount of time.

  3. Increase protein intake: eating small amounts of lean protein at every meal is an effective metabolism booster.

  4. Eat smaller, more frequent meals: Proven metabolism booster, but also provides stable blood sugar level and constant energy source for metabolism.

  5. Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can harm the body’s endocrine function and capacity to metabolize carbohydrates.

  6. Practice stress reduction: Stress triggers the release of cortisol which stim-ulates fate storage, specifically around the middle of the body; cortisol also slow metabolism; try exercising, listening to music, gardening or another stress reducing activity.