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The Australian Dietary Guidelines promotes a healthy lifestyle by providing clear, easily understandable and accurate researched based dietary advice. Information that can be obtained from the guidelines include the types of food, portions, food groups, and recommended dietary patterns to assist Australians to gain, maintain and promote a healthy lifestyle and eating with the aim to reduce diet related diseases for all Australians.
There are five main food groups:
- Dairy – Main source of calcium, essential for strong bones and teeth
- Grains – Main source of carbohydrate’s, essential for energy and staying active.
- Lean Meats, eggs, beans, chicken, etc. – main source of protein, essential for strong muscles and healthy body cells. It also keeps you fuller for longer.
- Fruit – Contains Vitamins and minerals used for all round health. Can give you better-looking skin, teeth, and give you long lasting energy.
- Vegetables – High source of essential vitamins and minerals, like vitamin D for healthy skin and magnesium of muscle recovery.
The main emphasis of the Guidelines is to eat a variety of food from the 5 food groups. There are two outstanding groups: Sweet and Fats & Oils. Both groups are recommended to be consumed sparingly.
The benefits of the Australian Dietary Guidelines is that it is a widely recognised visual guide that is easily understood by all age groups. The guidelines emphasis the appropriate intake of a variety of food and portions based on the pyramid or plate as a checklist.
Question 2: Outline why it is important for a teenager to have a healthy diet.
Eating a well balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight is essential for a teenagers for growth, bone development, and overall wellness preventing illness and disease. Implemtating a healthy diet as a teenager also promotes a healthy foundation for adulthood. Research indicated that a healthy diet can also improve concentration, self- confidence and self-esteem. Eating a balanced diet can prevent anemia which it most common in young woman.
Question 3: Identify the risks in having an unhealthy diet (short/long term)
Some short term risks of having an unhealthy diet:
• Poor Brain Function and Memory – For your brain to function properly it relies on glucose, which comes from carbohydrates.
• Poor Sleep – An unhealthy diet can detract from sleep. If you eat fatty and high sugar foods before bed you are more prone to wake ups.
• Tooth Decay – Having fatty, sugary and processed food can make your mouth more susceptible to tooth cavities and decay.
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"Guidelines and Benefits of Teenage Nutrition: Questions and Answers." 123HelpMe.com. 27 Jan 2020
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• Weight Gain – An unhealthy diet can give you insulin resistance, a condition in which your body becomes less able to manage your body sugar. And it increases risk of diabetes and weight gain.
• Mood Problems – The chemicals in your brain that promote positive moods rely on nutrients to function.
• High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure can result in hard attacks or strokes.
• Type-2 Diabetes –
• Osteoporosis – Lack of calcium stores in your body causing hollow and weak bones making you more susceptible to breaks and fractures
• Cancer – The disease that everyone dreads. Having an unhealthy diet can higher the risks of cancer.
• Depression – The chemicals in your brain that promotes positive moods rely on nutrients. Over a long period of time these effects can hit the extreme.
Cut back on fizzy sugary drinks. Fizzy Drinks are extremely high in sugar! Added sugar is bad for you teeth, stomach, skin, bones, weight and general health.
Go for sugar-free versions. Even better, drink water instead – try adding a slice of lemon, lime or orange. If you like the fizz … a soda steam is a great alternate. Just don’t add the syrup!
Don’t add extra salt or sugar to your food. High salt and sugar levels increases the risks of heart attack and high blood pressure.
Keep a fruit bowl stocked at home and use the fruit as a snack. Fruit is bursting with vitamins and minerals and an easy no fuss snack option. An even better option is to cut up vegetables such as celery, carrot and cucumber sticks. These are full of nutrients and low in kilojoules and, if already prepared, a quick easy option. Using some hommus or peanut butter for some extra taste.
Reduce the size of your meals. As teenagers we often overeat and overindulge in low-nutrient food. Smaller more regular meals allows you to stay energetic all though the day and maintain a healthy weight.
Next time you make your lunch, swap the packet of tiny teddy’s or Smiths chips with beans, celery sticks or even carrot sticks. This way you will get a serve of vegetables and will be cutting down on the excess salt and sugar.
• Personal Preference (foods we do and don’t like to eat)
• Medical Conditions (allergies, coeliac disease, diabetes, intolerances)
• Moral and Ethical Beliefs (vegan – don’t want to eat animal products)
• Religion (Some religions have rules on things you can’t eat – e.g. Muslims cannot eat pork)
• Personal Goals (Weight Loss or Body Building Goals)
• Upbringing (different families eat different things)
• Weather (If it is cold you would prefer to eat hot food)
• Natural Disasters (Cyclone Yasi wiped out the banana fields)
• Prices (in this age most people will go with the cheaper option)
• Peer Pressure (If all your mates are eating burgers and chips you won’t get a salad)
• How Social Media Portrays healthy eating
• How T.V, magazines, online adds influence you to eat.
Question 6: Suggest several strategies that teenagers can use to stop over indulging in junk food.
• Next time you go shopping, try to avoid walking down the sweets aisle. This way you are not tempted to buy chocolate or lollies.
• Give motivation or punish meant. Find a reason to be eating well. If it is losing 4 kilograms or running 5km in sub 25 minutes. Or punish yourself. If you eat bad food do ten push ups of 30 crunches. Or run a lap around the oval.
• Pre-order a salad wrap for lunch at the tuck-shop. When you line up you can be tempted by all the hot food and sugary snacks. By pre-ordering you can avoid this problem.
• Clear out your fridge and caboard. Remove all the processed, fatty and sugary foods. This way, you aren’t tempted.
• Change your meeting place. Rather than meeting up with your friends at the local MacDonald’s (food extremely low in nutrients and full of fat) suggest a food outlet that serves healthier options such as sumo salad or sushi. An even better option: met your friends at the beach or organize a walk or ride instead of sitting around eating.
• Stand Up to peer pressure. If your friends are eating burgers and chips you stand up and be the healthy one by getting a salad. Don’t be pressured to eat bad.