Eat Well, Eat Healthy!

The Teenager TodayJuly 2020

Eat Well, Eat Healthy!
Healthy food choices and eating habits are important at all stages but vital for teens.
Gratian Vas

Because of the changes taking place in your body, your total nutrient needs are higher during teenage than any other time in your life cycle. nutrition and physical growth are closely related. adequate nutrition is a must for achieving your full growth potential.

Naturally, most teens have increased appetites so their bodies can get the extra nutrition they need for the growth spurts. This is the stage when you may be changing your food and eating habits too. You’re also likely to choose food for reasons not related to nutrition, like peer pressure and changing social activities and your choices may not be the best ones.

Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats

Your level of physical activity and stage of development, rather than age, determines how much you need to eat. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats, all play an important role in your diet. Teens generally consume approximately 53% of their calories as carbohydrates. Foods that contribute the most carbohydrate to their diets include bread, soft drinks, milk, cereals, cakes, cookies, donuts and sugar. While being rich in carbohydrates, all of them are not healthy foods.

Regular healthy meals and snacks should include carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, rice, pasta, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes and nuts. These ensure keeping sugar levels adequate, preventing sudden energy crashes.

Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. Your body produces most of these naturally. however, there are nine essential amino acids which your body cannot make. These must come from the food you eat.

Teens need protein for building and repairing muscles, ensuring hair and skin health, fighting off infections and carrying oxygen in the blood. Proteins also help with building enzymes, hormones and vitamins. Meat, chicken, eggs, fish, milk, cheese and yogurt are all good sources of protein and they provide the nine essential amino acids.

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July 2020