Thursday, April 29, 2010

Diet of the Average Teen

By Ryan Adachi & Jared T.

Welcome to the blog of the "average teen diet". Your teenage years are some of the most essential years of your life. So, we will be showing you ways to stay fit and healthy as a teen. We will explain to you the importance of macro nutrients and micro nutrients, foods that you should eat and foods that you should stay away from, the importance of being active and getting exercise, and we will have a 3-day meal plan.

When eating foods, you are taking in many different macronutrients and micronutrients. A macronutrient is a nutrient that the human body needs in large quantities. So, it is important to the recommended intake of the different macronutrients, what different kinds of macronutrients there are and the role of each one, the composition of macronutrients, and healthy food sources for each macronutrient. You also need a sufficient amount of micronutrients daily, too. All of the micronutrients have different roles and serve different purposes for your body.

What kinds of macronutrients are there, and what role does each play? There are many different kinds of macronutrients that exist in food, and they all have different roles. There are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, dietary fiber, and water.
The role and importance of carbohydrates are… your body primarily uses it for energy, help protect you muscles, regulate your blood sugar, and helps to lower your cholesterol. Carbohydrates are energy-rich compounds made from carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (with units of sugar). The scientific formula for carbohydrates is Cm(H2O)n. In a balanced diet for teenagers, 60% of your daily calorie requirement should come from carbohydrates. However the amount can vary from 50%-70%. There are many healthy food sources of carbohydrates such as whole-grains such as bread, fruits such as apples, vegetables such as beans, and much more.
The role and importance of proteins are… that they some of them make up part of the structure of our bodies. Others are enzymes. An enzyme is a protein that works like a tool. It helps a particular chemical reaction take place. It also helps in synthesis of antibodies, enzymes, & hormones. Proteins are made of 'amino acids' These acids naturally occur in every creature. These proteins are part of a chain called 'polypeptide's'. Polypeptide's consist of a hounded or fewer amino acids. Proteins create and build the abilities to stay healthy and fit. With out proteins life as we know it would not be possible. Proteins build our body as well as its features. Daily requirement of protein is 1g/kg body weight. There are many healthy food sources of protein such as milk & milk products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, liver & an exception is soybean, which is a plant source. Plant sources include cereals, pulses, dry fruits, nuts, beans etc.
The role and importance of fats are…that they are a source of energy (a more concentrated source of energy), it is used for the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, & K, it provides a cushioning support to our internal vital organs, and it provides essential fatty acids (EFA) which helps in reducing blood cholesterol, promotes growth, & maintains skin integrity. The fat in a daily balanced diet should provide 20-25% of total energy. A fat molecule is made of two components -- glycerol and three fatty acid molecules linked together. Monounsaturated fats and Polyunsaturated fats are considered 'good' fats. So, try to stay away from foods with saturated and trans fats. Some food sources that contain healthier fats are nuts, avocados, and milk (also contains calcium).
The role and importance of vitamins and minerals are…they are important for our growth & development, they make enzymes, which help to progress our body's chemical reactions. They should be regularly consumed as their deficiency, or lack of intake of them, can lead to diseases such as night blindness, scurvy, pellagra, etc. There is no specific amount of vitamins or minerals you should be getting daily, but, you should be eating sources of food that contain them (doesn't have to be everyday) often. Vitamins are made of minerals that are needed in the body. Vitamins keep the body healthy and give you the energy that you need to keep moving throughout the day. There are many healthy food sources that contain vitamins such as fruits like oranges, vegetables like spinach, and much more.
The role and importance of dietary fiber are… It is a type of carbohydrate that is found in vegetables, fruits, & whole grains. It absorbs water & increases bulk of intestinal contents & helps in intestinal movements. Its deficiency leads to constipation. It also lowers cholesterol & helps you loose weight. Dietary fibers are composed of plant materials that are indigestible to humans and are a complex carbohydrate. Healthy food sources of dietary fiber are vegetables such as tomatoes, fruit such as apples, grains such as cereal, and legumes such as peas. The recommended daily dietary intake for teenage boys (14-18) is 38 grams. The recommended daily dietary intake for teenage girls (14-18) is 26 grams.
The role and importance of water are… It is required for our basic metabolism as serves as a medium for all chemical reactions, maintains our body's temperature, helps in nutrition processes etc. A 10% loss of water can lead to dehydration & a 20% loss may even lead to death. You should drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen; H2O. You can find water in bottles, out of a faucet, etc.

What foods should I eat, and which foods should I avoid? It is important for teenagers to eat healthy foods and to limit and avoid eating other foods. It is important for teenagers to eat healthy foods so that they can obtain the macronutrients they need to have a healthy body. There is that saying "you are what you eat", which is true in the way that if you eat unhealthy foods everyday, like French fries and a burger, you will be taking in so much fat, that it becomes unhealthy. Also, you aren't getting any healthy nutrients from it like vitamins, etc. But, you do need to eat some fats for energy and other necessities, but in smaller amounts. You should avoid foods that are served at fast food restaurants that contain no vegetables or fruits in the dish. It is ok to eat it once in a while though. It is unhealthy because they contain trans fat. Trans fat should be avoided because if raises bad cholesterol, which leads to heart disease. It is important, at the same time, to eat certain foods. You should eat a lot of fruits and vegetables for their healthy benefits, like vitamins, proteins, and much more. You need to eat dairy products such as milk, cheese, and other dairy products for the calcium and fats and other benefits.

It is important for teens to be active because it helps you to stay fit and healthy. Just because someone eats healthy foods, it doesn't assure them that they have a healthy body. You need to exercise because it burns off things such as fats, carbohydrates, etc. If you don't exercise, you will have a build-up of excessive amounts of fats, carbohydrates, etc. When you burn these sources of energy off when you exercise, you replenish them by eating healthy food sources that contain those macronutrients.
Here is one way to get exercise...

It is hard to decide to what foods you should eat. There are so many different choices, so we made a three-day meal plan that can help you get started to have the "diet of an average teen".

Day 1
Breakfast: Oatmeal, milk, banana
Lunch: Whole wheat tuna and lettuce sandwich, fruit parfait
Dinner: Spaghetti and meatballs, carrot sticks

Day 2
Breakfast: Whole grain cereal, OJ, apple
Lunch: Chinese chicken salad, granola bar
Dinner: Rice, chicken noodle soup, broccoli

Day 3
Breakfast: Oat bran muffin, Fruit Smoothie, toast
Lunch: Grilled tuna, fruit salad
Dinner: Macaroni and cheese, salad

How to determine the recommended daily caloric requirement for a teen: teens aging from 11-14 require 2200-2500 calories per day on average, and teens from 15-18 require 2200-3000 calories per day on average.

(what is a macronutrient) (teenagers jumping)
(carbohydrate composition)
(dietary fiber)
(plate of food)
(vitamins and minerals)
(dietary fiber)
(Ab workout)