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Introduction Proper diet refers to eating healthy. It is only one part of a healthy lifestyle however and is only effective when combined with exercise, regular visits with health care professionals (doctors and dentists), and the absence of smoking and drug use. 1) Learn the Four Basic Food Groups It is recommended that 20% of your diet come from meat, dairy and egg products, while the other 80% come from fruits, vegetables and grains (all these have fiber). Over half of young people’s calories should come from carbohydrates, followed by fats/lipids and then protein. 2) Eat Three Meals a Day Don’t skip on breakfast! It is important to starting your metabolism and can compromise performance at school if missed. All meals should include fruits/vegetables and grains. At least 2 of the meals should include meat and/or dairy products. Healthy snacking is encouraged, however not close to meal time. 3) Decrease the amount of Fat in your diet Tips on reducing fat: a) One serving of meat per day is enough for proper growth b) c) d) e) f) g) h) and development. Replace red meats with fish or poultry which have lower cholesterol levels. Trim fat off meats. Do not serve fatty meats (bacon, sausages, lunch meats, hot dogs…). Limit the number of eggs per week (1 egg has just as much cholesterol as 0.4 kg of red meat)! Use skim or 1% milk. Drink water instead of milk to satisfy thirst. Use margarine instead of butter. 4) Increase the amount of Fruits, Vegetables and Grains in your diet Since fruits and vegetables are interchangeable, do not force someone to eat fruits/vegetables they don’t like. Try to start each day with a glass of juice and/or cereal. Fruit makes a nice dessert. Use whole grain breads to make sandwiches or toast. 5) Don’t forget the Iron Iron should be included in your diet to avoid anemia. Best sources of iron are red meat, fish and poultry. Alternative sources are beans, peanut butter, raisins, spinach and prune juice. 6) Avoid Excessive Salt Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure. Avoid over indulging in salty foods. Use other spices and herbs to season food. Don’t even bring the salt out to the dinner table. 7) Avoid Empty Calorie Sugars A high amount of sugar in the diet has been correlated to coronary artery disease and cancer. Avoid eating pure sugar snacks to help prevent tooth decay. When having “sweets”, try to have ones with grains or fruit to ensure some nutritional value. 8) Know what to eat before exercising Complex carbohydrates like those found in pasta, potatoes and rice are the best things to consume 3-4 hours before exercise (to ensure they are out of the stomach at game time). Water is important before and every 20-30 minutes during an athletic activity. Things that a proper diet can prevent: 1) Anemia not enough iron in the diet leading to fatigue 2) Obesity/Type II Diabetes many other problems 3) 4) 5) 6) besides diabetes stem from being obese Tooth Decay important to stop, especially in kids Gastrointestinal problems appendicitis, ulcers, colitis, gallstones, colon cancer are all a result of poor diet. Coronary Artery Disease leading cause of heart attacks, main result of high fat/high cholesterol diets. Vegans and vegetarians rarely have this! High Blood Pressure Usually as a result of too much salt in the diet… can lead to worse problems. Using the Canada Food Guide All this info is straight off the Health Canada website: www.hc-sc.gc.ca Food Guide Servings A food guide serving is a reference amount of how much food is required in one serving from a food group. Sometimes it is exactly what you eat and sometimes it is a measured amount. Homework 1) From the website, find out how many calories you 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) need per day. For each food group, state what conditions or illnesses they help prevent and write down one tip the Canada Food Guide suggests. Prepare a healthy meal guide for one school day for yourself. Compare what you created in number 3, with yesterday, how well do they match? Are you over or under your recommended caloric intake? What are three ways you could decrease your fat intake? What are three harmful conditions a healthy diet could prevent?