Staying healthy and fit starts with eating right, and at Duke, there are plenty of healthy dining options available. Duke Dining is committed to providing faculty, staff and students with a variety of nutritious food choices on campus.
The Duke community includes people from all over the world with different tastes and eating habits. Our diverse offerings are among the reasons that Duke has been ranked as the best in the nation for healthy campus food, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Click on The Devil's Advocate below for suggestions on nutritious dining options on campus!
Please visit Duke Student Health Nutrition Services for more information.
If you have a qualified medical condition, you may request special dietary modifications by filling out a request form.
Use the guide below to direct your special dietary needs request:
Food Allergies, Intolerances and Special Dietary Needs
Duke Dining identifies foods containing the eight major food allergens (wheat, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts and soy, plus sesame) as well gluten containing foods in all of our dining locations. Our goal is to work with you to achieve a safe and enjoyable dining experience.
We ask that you do your part to help us provide you with the safest dining experience possible:
• Have an in person meeting to discuss your food allergies with Duke Dining staff. You can contact Duke Dining Dietitian Toni Apadula (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange this meeting.
• Communicate with Duke Dining. Let us know what’s working and when you experience challenges.
• Never take chances! Do not eat or drink anything with no ingredient information. Ask questions about what you can and cannot eat. You can ask a chef or manager at any location on campus.
• When ordering food or drinks identify your food allergies and request the server change gloves and use a clean surface (or allergen kit) to prepare your food. You can also request food be served from the back of the house if you are concerned about cross contact.
• Read food labels and allergen grids that are available to you at all locations.
• Carry your epi-pen or other medications with you at all times.
• Let friends you dine with frequently know about your allergies so they can get help if needed.
Duke Dining takes your health seriously and makes every attempt to identify ingredients that may cause allergic reactions or cause other health related issues for those with food allergies or concerns (ie Celiac Disease). Every effort is made to train our food production and service staff on the severity of food allergies, and to label items with possible allergen-containing ingredients. Our staff is trained to serve food safely and minimize the risk of cross contact however as with any large food service establishment there is always a risk of cross contact, and the possibility that manufacturers of the commercial foods we use could change the formulation at any time, without notice. Those with food allergies need to be aware of these risks.
Balance Your Plate is an educational campaign, sponsored by Duke Student Health and Duke Dining. This program was developed to address the how to of healthy eating at a glance. A plate that regularly reflects choices from all food groups, in moderate portions, is a practical and easy way to stay healthy and maintain the right weight for you.
A balanced plate consists of approximately 50-65% carbohydrate (vegetables, fruits, whole grains and starches), some lean protein and healthy fat, as well as some low fat dairy, if you choose. Student Health Center dietitians work closely with Duke Dining to ensure that healthy menu items are a mainstream offering throughout the cafes on campus..
Why is a Balanced Plate so Important?
All food groups contain foods that make unique contributions to our wellness and overall health.
Grains: Whole grains are an excellent source of the B vitamins, fiber and carbohydrates for energy. Try and choose whole grain products and vary your choices for the most benefit.
- Look for whole wheat bread, rolls, or tortillas at deli and bread stations.
- Experiment with different grains when you see them offered.
- Opt for whole wheat pasta or brown rice when available.
Protein: Meats, poultry, fish and eggs are good sources of protein. But you can also get protein from milk, cheese, yogurt, beans, soy and tofu. If you do not eat meat, you should try to consume plant or other protein at each meal (nuts or nut butter, tofu or other soy protein, dairy or eggs).
Fats: Yes! Your body needs fat to function properly. Some fats are better for us than others. Fish and nuts are good sources of essential fats that enable your body to work properly.
Other sources of healthy fats can be found in olives, avocados, and heart healthy oils such as olive and canola oil.
Fruits and Vegetables: Aim to fill about 1/3 of your plate with a variety of vegetables and fruits, which provide vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and carbohydrates for energy.
Choose vegetables and fruits of varied colors to ensure you receive the benefits of different vitamins and phytochemicals (plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties.)
If you have any questions or concerns please contact a Student Health Dietitian at 919-681-9355.
Whether you're new to Duke or curious about what kind of dining options are best for you, there's always a dietitian to help point you in the right direction. In the videos below, Director of Nutrition Services-Student Health Franca Alphin answers some common questions posed to her by members of the Duke community.
Finding the Right Healthy Foods
Creating a Balanced Plate
Different Dining Options at Duke