Tyrell Comeaux talks nutrition with youth
Do you know what foods make your hair grow faster or what’s good to eat for breakfast? Teens at De La Salle North Catholic High School peppered a recent talk on nutrition with such questions for MIKE Program Board Member Tyrell Comeaux. His answers were a balanced serving of straightforward talk and information.
For Comeaux, a nutrition services supervisor with Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, Ore., any question about nutrition is a good way to engage teens about their health. Having recently completed his Master’s degree in Nutrition from Northeastern University, Comeaux looks to a future where teens are well-equipped to understand the benefits of good nutrition and to take charge of their own health.
MIKE invites content experts like Comeaux to expose the teens to the latest guidelines in nutrition and career opportunities in health care. During MIKE’s unit on nutrition, teens learn how to analyze food labels, discover how nutrients affect their body and determine what foods are best for them. The more the teens know, the more likely they will be able to distinguish the facts from marketing ploys.
Comeaux offers a snapshot of the questions and answers from his recent talk with the teens:
What foods make your hair grow faster?
Foods with biotin, an important B vitamin, is key. Biotin works in the metabolic process to break down protein, fat and carbohydrates; and it is essential for growing nails and hair. Most foods high in protein offer higher levels of biotin, such as eggs, almonds, legumes, milk, meat, and some whole grains.
What’s good to eat for breakfast?
A healthy breakfast should contain a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low or nonfat dairy. What foods does Comeaux recommend? A vegie omelet; smoothie with fruit, yogurt and greens; hard-boiled egg with a banana; or a whole grain cereal with fresh fruit.
Are all vegetables good for you?
All vegetables are good for you, though some, like potatoes, contain higher levels of starch. Vegetables contain a variety of vitamins and minerals essential for good health. When selecting vegetables, the more variety of color, the better the overall nutrition.
Why are French fries unhealthy if they’re made from potatoes?
French fries are unhealthy because of the fat and salt used during the cooking process.
Why is eating in fast food restaurants unhealthy?
Most meals offered in a fast food restaurant pack in the fat, salt and sugar. Order a burger, fries and soft drink from most menus in fast food restaurants, and you could easily consume your daily amounts of calories, fat, salt and sugar. While there are some items that are more nutritious, most people don’t just consume that one item.
How much salt should you have a day?
While the average adult should consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, the average American consumes about 3,436 mg per day. While athletes need to replenish their salt levels, most Individuals get enough salt in basic foods. Processed foods contain the greatest amount of sodium. Individuals who have diabetes, high blood pressure or are in populations of color are more susceptible to chronic diseases and should only consume sodium levels below 1,500 mg per day.
What are the most important factors for your health?
While health is affected by a variety of factors, the most important are nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress, and avoiding tobacco and drugs.
Youth learn to analyze food labels
Good nutrition is paramount for Comeaux