Fat has been accused of being unhealthy for many years by the majority of people due to the fact that it is often related to overweight problems, obesity, heart disease and stroke. Nevertheless, eating the right amount of fat can offer a wide range of benefits that are crucial to the growth and well-being of your child.
Facts about Fat
Fats are nutrients in food that the body uses to build nerve tissue (including the brain and nerves) and hormones. Fat is also used as fuel by our bodies. If the amount of fat intake is not burnt as energy or used as building blocks, it will stay in the body under the form of fat cells. As a matter of fact, this represents the way the body works: it saves fat inside in case there is a scarcity of food in the future.
Fat is the contributor to every dish’s flavor and texture; however, since it is also very high in calories, eating too much of fatty food can bring about health problems.
When it comes to kids and teens, fat is usually consumed in the form of desserts and snacks (including potato chips, chocolate, cakes, doughnuts, pastries, and cookies). Fat also enters a kid’s body through whole-milk products and high-fat meats, such as bacon, hot dogs, and fatter cuts of red meat. Of course, fast-food and takeout meals tend to have more fat than home cooking. In restaurants, fried dishes are the highest in fat content. Fat also often “hides” in the form of creamy, cheesy, or buttery sauces or dressings. However, fat is still an important part of a healthy diet as long as kids eat healthier types of fat at the recommended daily amounts.
Why do our bodies need fat, especially children?
Consuming an adequate amount of fat is good for the development of young kids since they need enough nutrients and minerals to ensure that their brains and nerve systems function properly.
Besides playing a role as fuel for our bodies to use, fats:
- Allow the body to absorb vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble, meaning they can only be absorbed if there is fat in a person’s diet)
- Serves as the building blocks for different types of hormones
- Insulate all nervous system tissues in the body
- Make sure that people do not overeat since it tricks people into feeling full
Which type of fat should we let in our children menu?
Unsaturated fats are considered to be the healthiest type. There are two kinds of unsaturated fat, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They are vital for the brain, nerve and eye development in infants. They have also been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke because they increase the “good” HDL cholesterol in the blood.
Rich sources of unsaturated fats include:
- Oily fish, including salmon, sardines, blue mackerel and tuna
- Nuts and seeds
- Sunflower, canola, olive, peanut, sesame and soybean oils
- Soft non-hydrogenated margarine
Choosing the right type, quantity and quality of food for your family, especially for young children is indeed a difficult job. Learn about the benefits of fat so that your child can grow up healthily in both physical and mental aspects. But be careful of the amount of fat intake to avoid any complications that can affect you family’s health.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: August 30, 2017 | Last Modified: August 30, 2017