Registering for classes at UCSB can be very stressful, especially if you are a  freshman. The scramble to get a seat in a good class is like a modern-day version of the Hunger Games, and figuring out which classes you want to take is a whole challenge in itself. But to make this last part at least a little bit easier, below you’ll see a topic outline of one of the most popular GE courses at UCSB, Health and Nutrition (ESS 3).

1. Healthy Diets

This is the intro topic to the course that you will learn on Week One. It’s actually kind of fun, because on top of the preliminary information about what it means to eat healthy, you have a personalized assignment called the Super-tracker; where you track your food and receive feedback and tips on how to change your diet!

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2. Digestion, Absorbtion, and Transportation

Remember that bread bowl you got for dinner at Buddha bowls? Well how exactly do you get nutrients from it anyways? During this section, you will learn about the process of breaking down foods and exactly how your body gets the “good stuff” from it. The information is completely relevant to your life because you eat food all of the time, so why not be informed about what’s actually going on?

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3. Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Lipids

Ok, so you’ve probably heard all of these terms before in high school health, when you learned about the food groups. But what even are they anyways? That’s the question that this topic will answer. You’ll come out of ESS 3 knowing what makes up a carbohydrate, protein, and lipid – and what exactly each does to your health. You’ll know to think twice before the next time you “Carbo-load”.

Image result for gif carbo load

4. Plant Based Diets/Energy Balance

Lately, a variety of no-meat diets have been trending – the words “vegan” and “vegetarian” are thrown around more frequently than ever. This topic introduces all different types of diets, from vegetarian to pescatarian. It also explains the benefits and challenges of each type of diet. It’s a great unit if you are thinking about switching up your diet, or even just want to understand the whole vegan hype.

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5. Eating Disorders and Body Confidence

Since college can be an overwhelming time of change for many people, the topics in this section have particular significance. They will go over things like Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia, and Body Dysmorphia and how all of these things can affect our nutrient intake and health. And because of that, this could be one of the most important topics in the entire course!

Image result for gif eating bad

ESS 3 at UCSB is one of the easiest and most applicable General Education courses that you could take during your college career. And while deciding which classes to take can be difficult, hopefully after reading this article you will have one less class to worry about for next quarter!



Jenae Vancura

Freshman pre-biology major at the University of California, Santa Barbara

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