Spartan Nutrition

Providing the campus community with basic nutrition education

Nutrition aims to provide the campus community with basic nutrition education in order to promote the adoption of healthy eating behaviors, allowing students to develop and maintain a healthy mind and body.  

Topics in this section include:

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  • Recommended Daily Allowance

    Fat: 20-35% of Calories

    • Saturated fat <10% of total calories – poly/monunsaturated fats can be made saturated via hydrogenation (look at ingredients list for this).
    • Cholesterol <300 mg/day

    Protein: 10-15% of Calories

    • Carbohydrates: 50-60% of Calories
    • Sodium: 1500 mg/day


    • Fat = 9 calories/1 gram of Fat
    • Protein = 4 calories/1 gram of Protein
    • Carbohydrates (CHO) = 4 calories/1 gram of CHO
  • My Plate (19-30 years old)

    Grains: 6-9 ounce equivalents/day

    • Grains – Make at least half your grains whole; but strive to make all of your grains whole. Check the first ingredient to make sure it states that it is using 100% whole-wheat flour. Nature’s Own Double Fiber Bread, brown rice, whole wheat flour, bulgur, oatmeal, whole cornmeal

    Protein: 5-7 ounce equivalents/day

    • Protein – Choose lean meats. Limit red meat consumption to 1or 2 times per month. Choose alternative options such as legumes, tofu or nuts.

    Fruits: 2 cups/day

    • Whole fresh fruits are best; however, 8oz of 100% fruit juice and ½ cup dried fruit are both 1 serving of fruit.  Frozen fruit is recommended when fresh fruit is unavailable.
    • Try to avoid canned fruit or fruit cups they are typically high in artificial sugar.

    Vegetables: 3-5 cups/day

    • Whole fresh vegetables are best; each of the following is equivalent to 1 serving of vegetables: 2 cups raw leafy greens, 8oz of 100% vegetable juice, 1 cup cooked or raw vegetables.
    • Try to avoid canned vegetables, as they are typically high in sodium; if you choose canned vegetables opt for the low sodium option.

    *Note: not ALL low sodium options are actually low in sodium.  For beans as well as vegetables aim for those with less than 100 mg of sodium per serving.

    Dairy: 3 cups/day

    • Choose lowfat options such as skim or 1% milk or alternatives such as unsweetened almond milk, soy milk/cheese, hemp milk.
  • Insoluble vs. Soluble

    Soluble: attracts water and turns to gel during digestion, helping slow digestion.

    • Sources: oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, legumes, peas, fruits and vegetables.

    Insoluble: Adds bulk to stool and helps food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines.

    • Sources: wheat bran, whole grains and vegetables


    • 30-35 grams/day


    • 25-30 grams/day

    Health Benefits

    • Regularity of bowel movements, which aids in eliminating bad cholesterol.
  • Men

    • 16, 8 oz glasses of fluid daily – 13, 8 oz glasses of water


    • 11, 8 oz glasses of fluid daily – 9, 8 oz glasses of water

    Carry a water bottle with you daily. This increases the likelihood of you consuming a greater amount of water.

    Add lemon or a splash of cranberry juice for a little extra flavor.

    Drinking with a straw increases the amount of water consumed at one time allowing you to drink more without as much effort.  



    • Only need supplemental fluids after 60 minutes of continuous exercise.
    • 4-6 oz every 15-20 minutes 
  • Veganism: Plant Based Diet Only


    • Possible benefits for people with Auto-Immune Disorders.
    • Decreases natural inflammatory responses due to animal based products (i.e. red meat, dairy, etc.)


    • Pure veganism ultimately leads to Vitamin B-12 deficiency.

    Vegetarianism: Several Types


    • Low in saturated fats and cholesterol decreasing the risk of heart disease.


    • Inadequate calories and nutrients such as vitamin B-12, calcium, zinc and iron.


    • Pescatarian: plants + seafood
    • Lacto-Ovo: plants + dairy + eggs
    • Lacto: plants + dairy
  • Healthy Snack Options


    • Great source of protein and mono/polyunsaturated fats.
    • Almonds are a great source of calcium and provide more calcium than drinking milk or consuming dairy products.

    Apple or carrots with nut butters (almond, peanut, cashew)

    Apple or pear with cheese and wheat crackers

    • Examples:  wasa crackers, melba crackers, whole wheat water crackers, lowfat cheese such as cheddar, havarti, goat cheese, blue cheese, feta cheese or gouda.

    Cereal with skim milk, soy milk, almond milk

    • 100-150 calories per serving, <2 grams of fat, <5 grams of sugar, & >5 grams of fiber.
    • 1 serving = 1/2-3/4 cups.
    • Multigrain Cheerios, Multigrain Peanut Butter Cheerios, Fiber Plus Cinnamon Oat Crunch, Kashi Heart to Heart Oat Cereal Warm Cinnamon.
    • Small project: the next time you pour a bowl of cereal measure it out; most people pour 2-3 servings and believe it is only 1 serving.

    Healthy Recipe Websites

  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. This is where all of the fresh produce is located.

    Limit entering the aisles in the middle of the store. These products typically are the most processed and contain the highest amount of fat, sugar, sodium and preservatives.

    Locate stores that sell local produce or visit the farmers’ market. Produce is grown seasonally because that is what we naturally should be consuming during those times.

    Surrounding Grocery Stores and Recommended Products

    Earth Fare
    3620 Pelham Rd.
    Greenville, SC 29615

    • Earth Fare canned beans
    • Earth Fare whole wheat pasta
    • Earth Fare Bulk Items: curried cashews, nuts, whole wheat flour, whole cornmeal, cane sugar, couscous, lentils and quinoa Animal protein

    Whole Foods
    1140 Woodruff Rd.
    Greenville, SC 29607

    • whole foods bulk items: nuts, whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, lentils, couscous, quinoa, wheat berries,barley and farro

    Trader Joe’s
    59 Woodruff Industrial Lane
    Greenville, SC 29607

    • Trader Joe’s tofu
    • Produce
    • Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough
    • Trader Joe’s coffee

    1905 E. Main St.
    Spartanburg, SC 29307

    • Light & Fit Greek Yogurt (80 calories, 7 grams of sugar)
    • Nature’s Own Double Fiber Bread
    • Bakery sourdough bread
    • Bakery whole wheat pizza dough
    • Multigrain Cheerios
    • Ocean Spray Craisins 50% Less Sugar
    • King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour

    Ingles (Multiple locations)
    2795 E. Main St.
    Spartanburg, SC 29307

    8004 Warren H Abernathy Hwy.
    Spartanburg, SC 29301

    2000 S. Pine St.
    Spartanburg, SC 29302

    2120 Boiling Springs Rd.
    Spartanburg, SC 29316

    Fresh Market
    1200 E. Main St.
    Spartanburg, SC 29302

  • Mindful by Sodexo focuses on balancing nutrition with enticing flavors to create an indulgent way to enjoy a healthier lifestyle while at work and school.

    • Look for the nutrition facts that are displayed at each station.


    • Downloadable application connected to Sodexo’s Mindful program.
    • Scan barcode near the nutrition facts and the information is uploaded and recorded making it easy for you to track your calorie intake.
    • Collects and distributes food and other basic necessities to USC Upstate students who are in emergency need throughout the year.
    • The Pantry is operated on a “no questions asked” honor system.
    • Any student, faculty or staff member can refer a student to the Pantry.

    For more information visit Spartan Pantry.

  • Buying and consuming local produce is the most sustainable and healthy way to eat. This supports local farmers as well as the local economy.

    Local Farmers’ Markets

    • Student organization promoting the health, well-being and education of the campus community through the creation, development and maintenance of an on-campus community garden in order to diversify and enrich USC Upstate.
    • For more information on joining the Community Garden contact Nia Payne.
  • USDA My Plate
    Health Services

    • Flu Vaccinations
    • Immunizations
    • Well Checks
    • Sexual Health