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Teen Nutrition

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Ding, ding, ding. Kelly hits the snooze button on her alarm, but it is excruciatingly hard to get up. She is so exhausted. As she throws on her makeup, she rubs her eyelids trying to wake up. A few minutes later, she rushes out of the house, not even giving breakfast a thought. At lunch, she pulls out a pop tart and slowly nibbles on it. Despite the growing hunger pains, she does not eat anything else until dinner, where she eats some pizza. Kelly might think it is worth it right now, but will she when she is 30 and suffering from the consequences? Poor nutrition is like driving without a seat belt; the consequences can be detrimental. Teens should improve their overall nutrition to avoid serious or permanent health risks.

Eating too much or too little are the most common problems with a teenager’s nutrition. Obviously, if a teen overeats, that will lead to obesity. Other health risks related to obesity are coronary heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, high blood pressure, cancer, sleep apnea, stroke and type 2 diabetes. You might think obesity becomes more of a problem later in life, but over 60% of American children are obese. Do you want to live your life tired and unable to do the simplest activities? My grandma can barely stand up because of her weight. Do not let yourself live in such unhealthy conditions. Obesity is not the only eating problem present in teens. Under eating is the other extreme. Girls will frequently starve themselves or eat very little to stay thin. The truth is this is actually doing the opposite of what is expected. Eating too little will slow your metabolism down, and so will eating irregular meals. A fast metabolism is the healthy way to stay thin, and you also get to eat, so do not cut back. Eat a healthy diet and exercise properly. Eating the right amount of food will make you feel a thousand times better, physically and mentally. Even though these are the most commonly heard of problems, the amount of food consumed is not the only problem with a teen’s diet.

Just because you eat three meals a day, does not mean you are getting all your nutrients. Eat all your nutrients to live a happy, healthy life. If you ask the average teenagers what they eat in a typical day, they are probably lacking many basic nutrients their body needs. Yes, junk food is delicious, but when eaten all the time, it can have detrimental effects on your health. Most people do not like vegetables, but they, along with fruit, are very high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Natural protein from meat and nuts are very important in building or maintaining muscle. When your body does not get an adequate amount of protein, it will break down your body’s muscles to get the protein it needs. This results in muscle loss. Most teens have too much sugar and “bad fats” in their daily diets. The body stores unneeded sugar as fat and will increase insulin levels in your blood. Raised insulin levels can lead to diabetes and a buildup of fat along your arteries, which causes heart attacks. Do you want to die in you fifties because of irresponsible eating habits? Believe it or not, the human body actually needs fat. Good fats can be found in nuts and fatty fruits like avocados. All you have to do is eat a handful of nuts or other naturally fatty foods for a healthy snack. Eating the right nutrients helps you maintain a healthy weight and body fat levels. Teens have the mentality that you should avoid any fatty foods. If you focus on your health, your weight should manage itself.

A commonly forgotten part of basic nutrition is regular intake of vitamins and minerals. Being deficient in vitamins or minerals will have a different effect on your body depending on which you are lacking. The more common deficiencies are vitamin B and D, iron and calcium. Calcium creates strong bones, so calcium deficiency results in frail bones. Having all your vitamins will also increase your metabolism and energy levels. Athletes would probably love an energy boost, and here it is in the form of fruit. Eating fruits or vegetables will supply a major portion of your daily requirements. Vitamins and minerals are excellent for your body, but are also harmful if taken in excessive quantities. If you know your diet does not include a sufficient amount of vitamins or minerals, taking a daily multi-vitamin never hurt anyone.

Many serious health problems can be avoided by getting the proper nutrition from our food. Taking care of your body is like taking care of a plant, only your body is more important. It is easy to give your body everything it needs, but a healthy life starts with making the right choices. Healthy eating is not depriving yourself of the nutrients you need. Healthy eating is not starving your body to stay “skinny”, healthy eating is giving our bodies the fuel it needs to run properly.





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Lilian_Orihara said...
Nov. 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm
Nicely written! :D
 
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