Question: I was wondering what exactly makes for a healthy eating plan. I am a teenage girl and I want to know what foods I should eat to ensure that I’m getting the nutrients and vitamins I need.
Also, who can I approach for more advice on such eating plans? It would be great if you can suggest a person who can even draw up such plans for me to follow every day.
Healthy eating is actually not that hard for you to do. Our body needs all the different nutrients, like protein, calcium, carbohydrates, fibre and so on. It is important to make a healthy choice for each of them.
When it comes to protein, stick with chicken or fish as red meat can be unhealthy for you and can contain high amounts of cholesterol that will later lead to heart-related problems. Protein is extremely important for good skin and muscle strength.
Meat also contains iron and this is crucial for teenage girls. Due to menstruation, you will lose a lot of blood and therefore iron. You will need to replenish your body’s level of iron to keep yourself healthy.
Calcium is also essential to ensure that you have healthy bones and strong teeth. Make sure to have good sources of calcium like low-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt. Exercising regularly helps your body absorb calcium even more effectively.
Carbohydrates ensure that you have sufficient energy throughout the day. Do not overdo it as an excess will cause you to instead gain extra unwanted calories.
Fibre is a component in food responsible for proper digestion and efficient removal of waste. Try to have brown fibre as it is healthier than white fibre. This means that you should avoid white bread, white pasta and stick to wholemeal alternatives.
Remember to never neglect fruits and vegetables as they contain a lot of essential vitamins that are important for your body to function well. Rule of thumb? The more colours you have, the better.
Surprisingly, each colour of a fruit indicates a different group of vitamins and minerals. So spice up your plate and your body will thank you!
As for planning your eating regiment, this is not necessary unless you are an athlete undergoing serious training. In such cases, they would have a nutritionist who would plan for them what foods they should consume and so on.
If you follow the eating guidelines that I have highlighted above, it is good enough for a teenager like yourself.
Have a decent portion of food for every meal. If possible, try to have five to six meals per day. Make each meal as small as possible. This is to prevent you from overeating and keeping your metabolism high throughout the day.
I hope this advice has helped you make an informed choice when it comes to your meals.