Parents, teachers or doctors – mostly adults – we advise teens to eat fruits, vegetables, dairy and limit consumption of sweets. Or at least that is the way things were. Now teenagers are concerned about new issues in terms of nutrition. How can you gain muscle weight and not deposit fat? What is the weight that we consider to be optimal? How can you "squeeze" a good fast meal after school and before leaving for your part time job?
All these questions are justified because the enormous changes their bodies go through, how these issues are addressed can have a significant impact not only on how they feel today, but during their approaching maturity as well. That is why teens must have a healthy teen diet which will help them form healthy eating habits.
If you are somewhere between 15 and 18 years old, you are ending the last major growth phase and the body makes its last finishing touches to enter the adult stage. For girls this means adding a layer of fat. For boys, it means adding muscle and increasing the volume of blood. These changes often causes girls to famish themselves with the desire to maintain their figures, while boys could eat too much just to satisfy their exaggerated appetites. Both of these behaviors can bring health problems in the future.
So which would be the best approach for a healthy teen diet? First, a variety of foods that can provide the nutrients the body requires:
• bread, cereals, rice and pasta;
• milk, yogurt and cheese;
• Meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, eggs, nuts.
As little sugar and salt as possible!
Most young people like the taste of sugar. But we must take into consideration that sometimes other sweeteners are "hidden" in various foods? There is sugar in honey, dried fruit, fruit juices, but also in ingredients (such as corn syrup) which are added into soft drinks, cakes, and many processed foods, as we can read on many food labels.
If you are a very active teenager with major energy needs, sweets can be an additional source of calories. But you must not forget that they contain only a limited number of nutrients, and on the other hand, have a negative effect on tooth enamel.
A moderate amount of sodium is necessary in food, for sodium, like potassium helps maintain electrolyte balance in the body. But for some people, too much sodium can lead to a high blood pressure. Because many processed foods contain large amounts of sodium, it is wise not to use too much salt in cooking or at meals, and it is also best to avoid processed foods the best we can.
When there is large physical effort there are significant amounts of sweat, that can lead to a sharp decrease of sodium in the body, and to a biochemical imbalance and dehydration. Teen nutrition is all about balancing everything out keeping in mind their lifestyle.