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Following a healthy diet

big image for Direct action: Carbs

Direct action: Carbs

Direct action: Carbs

Maria Skoura


Healthy eating during adolescence is a very important habit for the maintenance of good health. Research shows that girls that consume beverages/refreshment containing sugar (high quantity of glucose) have their first period earlier than the rest.

The carbohydrates are the most important source of energy for your body. Your digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar) that your body uses. The brain and the red blood cells are nourished exclusively with glucose. This is why its blood levels should remain continuously in the optimal level. The body needs approximately 130 gr. of glucose daily.

Carbohydrates are divided into two categories : simple and complex

• Simple, such as glucose, fructose and galactose are a direct energy source for the body.

• Complex, such as the dietary fibres, are divided into simple molecules by digestive enzymes in order to be used by the body. They are the main source of vitamins of cluster B (B1, B2, B5, B6).

The carbohydrates give 4 calories per gram (4 Kcal/gr). Remember that a balanced diet has to include at least 55% – 60% carbohydrates, mainly complex, for good intestinal health but also to control sugar blood levels.

Main sources of simple carbohydrates


– Refreshments

– White bread

– White pasta

– White rice

– Sweets

– Biscuits

– Honey

Main sources of complex carbohydrates


Wholegrain bread

– Rye bread

– Legumes

– Oats

– Fruit

– Vegetable

For those who love to work out

If you love to work out, carbohydrates must be the largest part of your main meals, since they are the most important fuel for your muscles.  The best way to increase your energy store is to eat a diet snack or small meal rich in carbs 1-2 hours pre-workout. Post workout muscle recovery is essential, depending on the workout. Choose snacks rich in carbohydrates, consuming 1gr of carbohydrates/ kilo 1-2 hours post workout. In case of a light workout, 30grams of carbs are just enough.

Foods containing 50 grams of carbohydrates

-1 large banana

-2 slices of bread (60 grams)

-½ baguette

-1,5 fruit juice (300 ml)

-1 energy bar

-6 large spoonfuls of cooked pasta (300 grams)

-½ cup of boiled rice

Always remember: Food is the main energy source of your body and having a healthy diet means living a healthy life

Maria Skoura

Nutritionist, Scientific Associate of the Greek Society of Adolescent Medicine

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