Teenagers are frequently subjected to conflicting nutrition messages. It’s crucial to provide them with information so they can choose nutritious foods as they get older and more independent.
According to Holly Moyer, a registered dietitian nutritionist with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, “a teen’s nutrition habits are not only impacting their day-to-day lives in the present.” They are laying the groundwork for how they will appear, feel, and—more importantly—how they will live adult lives free of chronic illness.
Here, Moyer debunks five common myths about teens and nutrition:
Myth #1: Carbohydrates cause weight gain.
The body need carbohydrates to produce energy. The preferred source of energy for the body is carbohydrate, which should account for 45% to 65% of our daily calorie intake.
Not eating carbohydrates, but consuming too many calories—especially from processed meals heavy in sugar and fat—along with a sedentary lifestyle, are what cause weight gain.
Myth #2: A low-fat diet is beneficial for controlling weight.
Everybody, but particularly teenagers, require a specific quantity of fat each day to produce hormones, enable the body to absorb essential nutrients, keep the body warm and insulated, offer energy, and safeguard internal organs.
The recommended daily fat intake is between 30% and 35% of total calories, with saturated fat making up less than 10% of total calories. Teenagers should concentrate on increasing their consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which are present in salmon, sardines, avocados, and almonds, for maximum health.
Myth #3: Every supplement is healthy.
Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements, any business can advertise supplements with the sole intent of turning a profit. When buying supplements for your teen, pay great attention to the ingredient list and do your own research on the advantages and disadvantages of taking them.
If you have questions about a supplement’s ingredients, consult a nutritionist to guarantee its safety and effectiveness.
Myth #4: All protein powders are the same.
There are various protein powders available that can benefit a teen, particularly an athlete adolescent. To make sure your kid is getting enough protein for their sport, you can add protein powder to their diet. However, the FDA does not also monitor protein powders, therefore it is crucial to pay attention to the components.
To confirm that a product has undergone independent testing for quality and purity, look for the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Certified for Sport label on the package. A teen’s health may be harmed by the heavy metals and occasionally steroids found in many protein powders. As always, if you are uncertain about buying a protein powder for your teen athlete, consult a dietician.
Myth #5: To be healthy, you must exercise daily and consume “clean” food.
It is detrimental to overwork out and consume less calories than necessary to fuel a teen’s daily activities, including sports. Underweight status, chronic stress, poor body image, and eating disorders can result from this.
Finding balance in life is crucial in the long run. Our quality of life is improved by taking up a new interest, going outside more, laughing with friends, and practicing mindfulness.
These can also help:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve stress resilience
- Improve blood-sugar regulation
- Improve digestion
- Improve mood
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce risk of stroke and heart disease
According to Moyer, parents should be alert for any concerning teen eating patterns. Binge eating, calorie-restricting, or having obsessive thoughts about food are all indications that you might want to seek advice from a health expert. You may also avoid social gatherings because of your eating habits. Discuss any worries you may have with your child’s pediatrician so that you can work together to get their teen the support they require.