Low-Fat Diets Decrease Children's Nutrient Intake
Well-intentioned parents who
limit their child's dietary fat in the name of good health may be depriving
their growing son or daughter of essential nutrients.
The study of children with and
without high cholesterol found that unsupervised, parent-imposed low-fat diets
were also lower in zinc and vitamin E compared with diets that did not restrict
fat. Zinc is a mineral that is essential for growth and development and
helps the immune system fight infectious diseases. Vitamin E, an important
antioxidant vitamin, may also protect against certain diseases.
There are clinical reports of
children who have grown poorly while following unsupervised low-fat, low-calorie
diets. Many foods that contain zinc and vitamin E are also rich in fat and
saturated fat, including oils, milk, meat and eggs.
Children with high cholesterol
consumed significantly more sugar as a result of higher intakes of
carbohydrate-rich foods, which tend to be lower in fat.
The researchers concluded that
parents should not impose dietary restrictions on children, including those with