Eat-better secrets that work!
Spring is here and it’s time to score a fresh outlook on what ya eat. We’ve got the deets on the best foods to pick so you can be your most awesome self. Follow our tips and your energy will soar—and best of all, you’ll look and feel ah-mazing. Brilliant!
1. Skip packaged snacks.
If a snack seems too good to be true (think: Reduced Fat Oreos), it probably is. “Try not to eat out of a bag—processed foods are generally high in salt,” says Katie Clark, registered dieti-tian and assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Hungry between meals? Snack on sensible portions of good-for-you bites, like nuts or a turkey sandwich.
2. Sip smart.
“Diet soda is filled with chemicals that spike insulin and cause sugar cravings,” says certified nutritionist Shellee Dyne. Plus, a recent study found folks who gulped low-cal sodas were more likely to experience heart attacks and strokes. Need a refreshing sugar fix? Grab a chilled orange or grapefruit.
3. Eat better, feel better.
Sure, ya might feel a tiny lift in energy when you nosh on a brownie, but it’ll bring ya down fast. Push junk aside to make way for three square meals of fresh veggies, whole grains and lean protein. “Girls who eat healthier notice they’re more energetic in athletics, more alert in class, they sleep better and their mood is better,” Katie tells us. Meaning you’ll be healthy and happy.
4. Carbs are OK.
Carbohydrates may get a bad rap, but they keep ya energized. Says Beth Wallace, registered dietitian at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, your brain uses carbs at school and your muscles use them all day. She suggests filling up on healthier carbs found in fruits and whole grains (hint: Check the label to ensure your pick has 3 grams of fiber or more per serving).
5. Girls need more calcium.
Don’t push away that glass of milk. “Dairy products are majorly important to teen girls,” Katie weighs in. They’re crucial for making sure your bod gets enough calcium and bone-building vitamin D. Don’t love sucking down moo juice? Sip soy or almond milk instead. And choose calcium-rich foods, like salmon, tofu and dark greens (we like salads with spinach and Swiss chard).
6. Go for good fats.
Newsflash: “Fat” is not a bad word! In fact, eating good fats is essential to being healthy and looking fab, too. “Good fats are important for healthy hair and skin,” says Beth. She says to use full-fat, olive-oil-based salad dressings (bonus: they help you absorb more nutrients from your veggies) or add avocado slices to your sandwiches.
7. Think about it.
The most important thing to consider before you pile food on your plate? “Ask yourself, ‘Does my body need this?’” advises Beth. This is an easy way to put the kibosh on mindless noshing. Whether you’ve found yourself peering into the fridge or are in the lunch line, this Q helps ya make smart decisions.