*Sigh* These days there is sooo much hype around what to eat that it can get super confusing super fast. No fear though! Fortunately we can look toward our traditional ways of eating. To make it really simple – our ancestors ate a variety of whole foods that were close to the earth.
So, for example, eating an apple is “eating closer to the earth” than eating apple pie – which has a lot of extra sugar, fat and white flour. Also eating a plain chicken breast is “eating closer to the earth” than eating chicken McNuggets – which have sugar, fat, white flour, and other weird stuff added in.
Healthy eating also includes a balance of fruits and vegetables, leaner meats (like chicken, fish, and turkey), beans, eggs, nuts, whole grains (like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal), healthy fats, and low- or non-fat dairy products. And healthy eating involves eating versions of these types of foods that our ancestors would recognize… for example, would your great great great grandma recognize a berry fruit roll-up (booo) or a handful of berries (yea!)???… It’s a way better idea to eat the berries if you are trying to give your body the nutrients it needs. You get the idea.
Finally, something super important to mention is that healthy eating includes eating sweets and foods with more fat without guilt, but choosing not to eat them daily. Enjoying an ice cream on a hot and sunny day or cake at a friend’s birthday is an awesome treat. Just try to be conscious of how many treats you have and if you notice you’ve been eating a lot of sweets lately, grab a piece of fruit instead of a cookie.
I know this info is pretty general, but for more details on healthy eating, check out TeensHealth’s section on Food and Fitness.
Finally, if you are really struggling, consider seeing a nutritionist or dietician. These professionals can help you think more about your individual choices and develop an eating plan that will work for you. Talk to your healthcare provider for more info.
Hope that helps!