Health fair educates Elans on body wellness

By Johanna Calderon & Dorany Pineda

The East Los Angeles College Health Center held their first ever health fair on Thursday promoting healthy living.

One of the booths was dedicated to nutrition, which had useful information that addressed student eating habits.

The information included how to read the nutritional labels on packaged foods, how to keep track of their caloric intake and the foods they consume, and how to get the most nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Some vegetables, for example, lose important vitamins when they are cooked.

Nutritionist Laura Perez was at a booth surveying students about how much attention they give to food labels.

“How often do you read the warning or caution labels on products you buy or use? How often do you read the ingredient list of food you buy or eat?” Perez asked the students.

She said there are three main things to look for in food labels: saturated fats, dietary fibers and the amount of vitamins per serving. A person on a 2,000 calorie diet should not consume more than five percent of saturated fats, Perez said.

“When you look at your ingredients list, it’s actually in order. The first ingredient you read is the most it has,” said Perez.

The Department of Public Health was also at the fair. They presented a demonstration called “Rethink Your Drink” that highlighted the high sugar-content in popular drinks.

“Women are only supposed to have about five to six teaspoons of sugar per day. So if you’re having one of these, Gatorade has about nine teaspoons of sugar,” according to a DPH representative.

The representative said that too much sugar can clog your arteries and spike your insulin, which often leads to diabetes.

“You can put a little water into a Gatorade to reduce the sugar,” Jon Alan from the DPH said.

Besides nutrition, the fair had information about safe-sex practices and habits.

Project Choice, an HIV/AIDS and Substance Abuse program, demonstrated to students how to use male and female condoms.

They offered students resources for more information about sexually transmitted infections and other sex and health related concerns.

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