Health

Using fat properly helps children grow – VnExpress


Choosing foods that provide good fats and appropriate doses helps children develop, grow, and limit the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Master, Doctor Nguyen Anh Duy Tung – Nutrihome Nutrition Clinic System, said that many parents who bring their children to the doctor think that fat is bad and harmful to health. In fact, fats are harmful and beneficial depending on the type and amount used.

Fats are an integral part of your baby’s diet. They participate in many processes of building body structure: cell membranes, vision, bones, immune system, brain, .. Besides, fat plays an important role in brain development, maximize growth potential. Nutrients as well as fuel for the body to function smoothly, and also a solvent to help the baby absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as: A, D, E, K.

There are many different types of fats in foods. Photo: Shutterstock

However, nutrients are closely related to overweight, obesity, heart disease, stroke. Therefore, parents need to understand the correct types and nutritional values, identify foods containing good and bad fats, and use science. Doctor Tung recommends, 3 types of fat that children can absorb from food and food, including:

Unsaturated Fats: Found in salmon, nuts, avocados, seeds, canola oil, olive oil, unprocessed soft margarine, etc. This is the healthiest type of fat consisting of unsaturated fats. polyunsaturated, monounsaturated. They are important for the development of the brain, nerves, and eyes in infants. These substances also have the ability to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke because they increase the “good” HDL cholesterol in the blood.

Saturated fat: In products of animal origin such as meat, fat, dairy products: cream, cheese, whole milk, coconut, oil products, cocoa,… A diet rich in nutrients Saturated fat increases the bad cholesterol in the blood (also known as LDL). Over a long period of time, this can put children at risk of dangerous chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, blood fat, visceral, blood vessel blockage…

Trans fat: Also known as trans fatty acids, a form of unsaturated fat. They come in two forms: natural, man-made. Natural trans fats are often found in processed foods from animals such as meat and dairy. However, the amount of this natural trans fat is located at a low level, which may not be harmful to health if tolerated properly.

In contrast, artificial trans fats are the biggest health concern. They are often created during the refining process from oils and fats, specifically found in fast food, snacks, etc. Nutrients have the ability to increase bad cholesterol levels, reduce good cholesterol levels in the body. children, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Trans fats contain very little beneficial fat (HDL), making excess fat unable to excrete itself from the body. Long-term excess of harmful fats in the body causes problems related to cardiovascular disease, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, causes allergies in children …

How much fat do children need each day?

According to Dr. Tung, the amount of fat needed for the body is based on the daily calorie needs of each child. The percentage of calories from fat that a child needs depends on age. Specifically, children 1-3 years old need to get 30-40% of their daily calories from fat. Children from 4-18 years old need to load 25-35%.

For processed foods, parents need to know how to read the nutritional value table written on the product packaging, calculate the amount of fat children can absorb. However, the nutritional value table is often confusing. To be able to make good choices, parents should pay attention: read the serving size at the top of the nutritional value table. For children over 2 years old, parents should choose foods with less fat (containing less than 5% of the daily value of fat). High-fat foods contain more than 15% of the daily value of fat.

Parents choose foods with less than 2g total saturated fat and trans fat, giving preference to choosing foods that are trans fat free.

Dr. Tung further suggested, ways to increase beneficial fats in children’s meals such as: adding foods containing unsaturated fats to the menu such as avocados, nuts; use unsaturated cooking oil in cooking; Prioritize simple processing such as steaming, boiling, baking with foil, ..; Increase your baby’s intake of low-fat foods, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, fish, beans.

The doctor is examining and advising on nutrition for children at Nutrihome.  Photo: Nutrihome

The doctor is examining and advising on nutrition for children at Nutrihome. Photo: Nutrihome

For children under two years old, foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese are recommended. Fats from these sources provide a rich source of energy and essential nutrients. Parents should not give children low-fat milk, nut milk until the baby turns 2 years old. If the child is allergic to cow’s milk, lactose intolerant, adults should breastfeed or get used to using formula as prescribed, consult a doctor.

For older children, weaning, parents supplement, alternate foods rich in good fats, combine with the baby’s favorite vegetables and fruits in the menu. “Nutritional and fat needs depend on the individual condition of each child. Many children are overweight but have hidden other micronutrient deficiencies. Parents can take their children to Nutrihome for a nutrition check-up to check and confirm. determine the right amount of fat and micronutrients children need every day. From there, parents build the correct nutrition to help children develop and grow optimally,” said Dr. Tung.

Sinh Diep

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