Healthy Living Header with Salad
  • Healthy You
  • Nutrition
  • Portions
  • Trans Fats

You're Healthier Just Eating Here.

As part of our commitment to making our food the healthiest and best choice for you, we partner with local and state farmers to provide fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, and milk. Steroid free, chemical free, and preservative free are our goals in making purchases. Even our fried items are cooked healthier by using trans-fat free oils.

Our menu options are developed by professional chefs who write menus, test recipes, sample seasonings, and recommend serving amounts. Made-to-order and carry out options also include our commitment to fresh and healthy foods using the same ingredients found in our kitchens.

know the facts

Reading nutrition labels and understanding and following the food pyramids are important for achieving a healthy balance.

smart choices

Understanding food labels, portion sizes, and fats can help you to make good choices for everything you eat.


For more information on healthy eating, please visit The Food and Nutrition page at the USDA's website.


por•tion, [pohr-shuhn], noun - the amount of a given item that you eat at a meal. E.g. The runner's portion of pasta at dinner was much bigger than the basket weaver's.

serv•ing, [sur-ving], noun - a reference amount that enables you to determine the nutritional content of an item. E.g. He ate a big bowl of soup which was about two six-ounce servings.

If your portion is 4oz. of whole wheat spaghetti, that's half of the listed serving size, so you're eating half of the listed calories, fiber, etc. If your portion is 12oz., you're eating 1.5 times the calories. Use the serving sizes as a reference, not a guide.

Portions differ from person to person. Studies show that if you serve yourself a smaller portion, you'll eat less. Rather than extending your meal by mindlessly picking at food, be a conscious eater and stop when you feel full. Eating slower will help you gauge when you're sated, because your body takes a little while to realize it's been fed. Plus putting less food on your plate leads to less waste if you don't eat it!

dish ware

Smallest Bowl: holds about ½ cup, or one serving of a grain like rice, or 1½oz. of banana chips.

Soup Cup: holds about 6oz. of liquid like soup, or 1 cup of solids.

Wide-Edged Bowl: holds about 8oz. of pasta or 1½ cups of soup.

Straight-Edged Bowl: holds about 1½ cups of soup or 2 servings of cereal.

Glasses: holds about 12oz. of liquid.

Coffee Cup: holds about 6oz. of liquid.

Information reproduced with permission from Harvard University.

what are trans fats?

Trans fatty acids are a type of fat; the third type aside from unsaturated and saturated fats. They are found naturally in minute amounts in animal products, but most in our diet come from processed foods that contain partially-hydrogenated oils. These are liquid oils that have been subjected to high pressure in the presence of hydrogen, fundamentally altering their structure to make them into a soft solid. Food manufacturers love their long shelf life, ability to stand in for other solid fats (like butter and lard), and their softening properties for many foods. Your body, however, is not so fond of trans fats; they have been found to be more detrimental to your health than even saturated fats.

why are they unhealthy?

While saturated fats raise both types of blood cholesterol - the bad LDL and good HDL - trans fats raise the bad and lower the good - a double whammy to your heart. They also make blood platelets stickier and more likely to form clots. All of this is shown to lead to an increased risk for heart disease, the number two killer in the United States.

what is UK Dining Services doing?

During the Fall of 2007 UK Dining eliminated trans-fats from our frying oil and switched to a trans fat-free French fry. UK Dining Services eliminated all other fried potato products until we could find a trans fat-free source. Other fried foods containing trans fats have been taken off our menus, and we switched many baked goods to companies whose products contain no trans fats.

Some of these products have been reformulated to remove partially-hydrogenated oils completely, and some now have a small enough amount of trans fats per serving to be listed as 0g. The USDA's labeling rule states that if a product has less than 0.5g trans fat per serving, it can be listed as zero. While this is the law, it also makes us aware again of how important portion control is to our health.

what's next?

Food producers are constantly testing new recipes to eliminate or drastically cut back on trans fats, and we will continue to monitor products' ingredients and nutrition information. We will also update nutrition information regarding trans fats as suppliers provide us with that info.

what can you do?

Since most trans fats in our diet come from highly processed foods, start eating more whole foods. While all of our items have 0g trans fats per serving, if you're concerned about any artificial trans fat intake become a label reader! The phrase "partially hydrogenated" is your clue that the food has any trans fats in it.

Information reproduced with permission from Harvard University.

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The Department of Dining Services strives to be a responsible campus partner.
As a partner, we: provide a healthy, fresh and attractive dining service that is responsive to the changing desires of students, staff, faculty, and guests; encourage community development and campus involvement through communication, creative programming, and relevant facilities; operate in a fiscally viable manner while providing affordably priced food; educate the community in regards to nutrition, sustainability, and Kentucky Proud® products; create partnerships between dining services and academic programs; provide a flexible catering program that meets the needs of both student groups and campus groups; and provide services convenient to the campus community.