Nutrition 101 event promotes healthy eating and healthy body choices

Students embark on a journey to better health
Photo: Mackenzie Cardinal
Students at the event discussing their troubles with being healthy.

Algonquin College students learned about the importance of eating healthy at Nutrition 101, an event that happened on March 20 at the AC Hub. Eight students came to the event with a taste for learning.

The event started out with coordinator Elizabeth Peña-Fernández handing out free Algonquin College lunch boxes, along with soup mugs. This was courtesy of the student health and wellness program at Algonquin College.

“This event is for people who are curious about how to be healthier and how to improve their body,” Peña-Fernández said. She is a part of Health Promotion at Algonquin College along with an education coordinator.

The topics at Nutrition 101 included the stigma around fat, the difference between vitamins and minerals and the differences between physiological hunger and psychological hunger.

She explained that there is a general stigma around fat. People interpret fat as entirely unhealthy, when sometimes that is not the case.

She said that if you were to eat McDonald’s, then that is bad for you because it has unhealthy fats like saturated fat or trans fat.

However, something healthy like an avocado has fat as well, but it’s healthier for you because it has healthier fats like unsaturated fat.

Peña-Fernández also explained that calories are simply a unit of energy. Calories aren’t necessarily a good thing or bad thing, they are just a concept. She insisted that anyone who is suffering through an eating disorder should contact a dietitian or a medical professional for help.

Sky Lees, a student in performing arts, explained that listening to your body is important in achieving a healthy body.

“Listen to your body when it tells you to stop. If you don’t listen to your body, then it deteriorates and you’ll feel worse about yourself as a result,” Lees said. Lees did not participate in the event.

The coordinator also stated that everyone goes through calorie loss and calorie gain differently. There are some people who gain calories very quickly due to a low metabolism, and people who don’t gain very many calories due to a high metabolism.

Cameron Dowell, a wall climbing attendant at the ARC, explained that some people try and gain or lose calories in very unsafe ways.

“A lot of people are concerned about calories and tracking them, but sometimes what you eat matters a lot,” Dowell said.

“There are a lot of gym goers that eat doughnuts to help them get bigger, but all of those carbs aren’t necessarily a good thing.”

When the event was over, Peña-Fernández gave everyone who attended a $20 Loblaws gift card.

More information about events like Nutrition 101 can be found at the student services event page: www.algonquincollege.com/studentsupportservices/events/.

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