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Proper Diet

To make the most out of what you eat, choose a diet that:

1. Is low in fat. No more than 30 percent of your daily calories should come from fat - and no more than 10 percent should be from saturated fat.

2. Is moderate in protein. Pick low-fat sources of protein, such as low-fat and nonfat dairy products, skinless chicken breasts, fish and lean cuts of red meat. Beans are excellent sources of both protein and fiber.

3. Is high in complex carbohydrates. Not just those found in breads, but also in whole grains. Read labels and look for products that offer at least a few grams of fiber per serving.

4. Includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh produce is packed with vitamins and nutrients. To ensure you get the full spectrum, choose a variety of produce in a rainbow of colors. Add orange carrots, green broccoli, yellow pineapples, etc.

5. Is light on sugars. Choose your treats - and then enjoy them - in moderation. For example, don't gulp down handfuls of bite-sized candies while picking up the house after dinner or watching TV. You'll polish off the bag without even realizing it.

Suggestions for teen-friendly snacks:
* Non-starchy vegetables such as carrots, celery and broccoli dipped in fat-free salad dressings
* Sugar-free gelatin prepared with canned mixed fruit in its own juice
* Half of a bagel with fat-free or light cream cheese or jelly
* Baked chips with fat-free dip
* Bagel pizza made with reduced-fat shredded cheeses and turkey pepperoni

     You also may need to take a vitamin and mineral supplement, particularly if you don't eat a balanced diet. If you are a teenage woman who has starting menstruating, you may want to talk with your doctor about taking a vitamin supplement with iron. Also, if you take prescription medications, ask your doctor if they interfere with any vitamins or minerals.

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