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Watch what you eat if you want to compete

Sara Schroeder likes to make healthy food choices.

Sara Schroeder likes to make healthy food choices. Credit: Michele Schroeder

As a dancer, I find eating healthy is a very important aspect in my everyday life. When I eat healthy, I feel refreshed and upbeat. When I eat junk food, I feel sluggish and tired.

How doe eating healthy affect us in the long run? I asked my school dietitian at Kellenberg Latin School for some facts. Here's what I learned:

For a healthy diet, eat a variety of foods, focus on fruits and vegetables (a few servings per day) and whole grains and keep sugar intake low.

It is important not to skip meals. Your body needs nutrients, and skipping meals will not give your body the energy it needs. Energy is needed to fuel your body’s internal functions, to repair tissue and to build and maintains cells. Eat three meals a day with healthy snacks in between, and be aware of portion size. 

Finally, exercise! Stay active and let your body burn off extra fat. Unsaturated fats are considered the good fats. These fats come from oils, nuts, seeds and some grain products. Saturated fats should be limited. These fats come from animal products, meat and dairy. Trans fat should be completely avoided in your diet. Trans fat is an artificially processed fat that has unhealthy effects on the body. 

When I go to dance I always have a water bottle with me. It is important for a dancer to stay hydrated. Proper hydration on a daily basis is essential for maintaining the body’s water balance. 

Sam Carrell and Joan MacNaughton’s dancers, Leggz Ltd. Dance, Rockville Centre

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