College Cafeteria Hierarchy

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 17, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Hey guys,

My college's cafeteria is pretty consistent with food, so I was hoping you could help rank my options. Goals are to follow paleo-principles, not really trying to gain mass, if anything I could lose a few lbs. Since they always have a really bountiful salad bar, and I'm not really concerned with that, I'll just list meat-related stuff.

So, considering I have 2 meals there (not breakfast), here are the usual offerings:

  • Deli Meat (Turkey, Roast Beef, Ham, Salami, Pepperoni)
  • Grilled Chicken Breast (no skin. as far as I know, no oils added)
  • Burgers (no bun, obviously. Cooked on one of those diner-type stoves? The flat surfaced one.)-
  • Pork Chops
  • Baked Chicken (with skin)

Anyway, if you have any thoughts on whether any one of these options is likely to be most healthy, I'd appreciate input. I realize my omega 6 ratio is gonna be egregious, but fish is not really offered (except as plain tuna fish, which is pretty unpalatable, so if you have any tips for making it good...). I will be buying some fish oil, but beyond that, can you think of which of these foods I'd be best off going for?

One last thing- They offer like 4 different waters, one with cantaloupe pieces in it, lemon pieces, lime, etc. Would having a piece of fruit sitting in a pitcher of water make the water have fructose, or is this just OCD? Cause I'm not eating any fruit, and don't want to mess it up by drinking lemon-infused water.

As always, thanks.

EDIT: With the cold-cuts (leaning towards roast beef and turkey) would nitrite/nitrate concerns rule them out?

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1 Answers


on September 17, 2011
at 05:54 PM

Roast beef and burgers, because even factory farmed beef has negligible omega-6 and all cattle are pastured for part of their lives, they just get fed junk at feedlots towards their slaughtering date. I'd ask the staff if the burgers contain anything besides beef though. It's scary what some "burgers" have in them. Plain turkey is so lean that it has almost no omega-6 or fat at all, but because chicken factory farming is so much worse and because fat is healthy, I would pick it only if beef it not available. Factory farmed pork is probably the worst-farmed and the highest in omega-6. I wouldn't worry about nitrates, they are way overhyped and you'll only be in college dorms for a max 4 years I'd hope.

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