We have always stressed the importance of a healthy and balanced diet for a Jacksonville cheerleading athlete. But what exactly does that mean? Plenty of commercials and ads throw that around as a buzzword, but they never explain exactly what a balanced diet looks like.
Some people mistakenly believe that a good diet means eating only vegetables, and no fat and carbohydrates. A lot of people have been led to believe that the only kind of food you should be eating on a balanced diet is raw vegetables, and not much else.
It’s important that you maintain a healthy diet of carbohydrates, proteins, and yes, even fats. We’ll be breaking down these different types of nutrients and what it means to incorporate these into your diet.
A lot of people think that carbohydrates are bad, and that you shouldn’t be eating too much of these. Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy, which it why athletes are very diligent in incorporating complex carbohydrates into their diets.
Good sources of complex carbohydrates include: whole grains, potatoes, breads, and beans. Plenty of fruits and vegetables have complex carbohydrates in them as well, which is why it’s a good idea to eat plenty of these regularly.
Simple carbohydrates are commonly found in processed food. Cookies, cakes, soda, and other types of junk food are common sources of simple carbohydrates and sugar. These are bad for you because of the high amount of sugar found in these, which don’t add anything, nutrient-wise to your diet. All they do is give you a sugar high, and are quickly digested by the body.
Protein helps your body repair its muscles. As much as possible eat lean forms of protein to get the most out of it. Proteins like chicken, fish, and tofu are all excellent sources of lean protein that you can incorporate into your diet.
Avoid eating too much fatty proteins like beef and pork, as these are usually very heavy, and you usually end up feeling too heavy afterwards.
Despite what years of advertising has been telling you, the right kind and amount of protein is a very healthy incorporation into a good diet. These healthy fast are called polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. They’re great for helping with heart health, and good sources for these can be found in salmon, nuts, olive oil, and avocados.
Saturated and trans fats are the kinds of fats that you should minimize when incorporating this into you diet. Too much of these can raise your cholesterol levels and are bad for your heart. These are commonly found in eggs, dairy products, and fried foods, so minimize your intake of these when practicing for your Jacksonville cheerleading.