Importance of fats in childhood

Importance of fats in childhood

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Fats and cholesterol, despite the bad reputation that precedes them, are elements of vital importance in the body. The contribution of fat through the diet is absolutely essential, since fat has an essential structural function, providing the fatty acids and cholesterol necessary to form cell membranes in all organs. In fact, there are some organs whose composition is predominantly fat.

Because of this role, your input is essential during childhood and adolescence, since these are the periods in which growth is most evident.

Although the body needs many fatty acids, not all of them are essential, that is to say, not all of them need to be provided through the diet, since some can be synthesized in situ in the body itself. However, cholesterol and storage fats (those that are used to build an energy reserve) can be manufactured by our body from carbohydrates or proteins.

- In newborns: To begin with, breast milk has a very special fat composition that makes it perfect as the first food for the newborn. The amount of fat present in breast milk varies depending on the stage of lactation, the time of day and the time of the feeding. In addition, breast milk contains factors that facilitate the digestion of fats and a percentage of medium-chain fatty acids, which are easier to digest and transport than long-chain ones, thus providing energy quickly. On the other hand, breast milk provides carnitine, required to oxidize fats and form ketone bodies necessary for brain metabolism.

Breast milk also has omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, essential for the formation of long-chain derivatives of essential fatty acids and essential to form vital organs such as the retina and the brain. In addition, the contribution of oleic acid and cholesterol present in milk constitute a potential additional benefit, since it saves the baby the task of synthesizing them, although these compounds are not essential.

- Complementary feeding in babies: Once the complementary feeding has been introduced, the diet must ensure the necessary fat intake, not only from the energy point of view but from the structural point of view. While during exclusive breastfeeding, fats provide approximately 50% of the energy consumed, when introducing solid foods, the energy contribution of fats decreases up to 20-30% depending on the type of diet the child receives. In fact, in diets based mainly on cereals and tubers whose fat content does not exceed 15% of total calories, it is very difficult to achieve sufficient energy intake.

- In children older than two years: In children older than two years, fat continues to be important, since, although growth stabilizes, it is still essential for mental development and to complete the development of the nervous system, requiring in particular stearic and oleic fatty acids.

The contribution of fat through the diet is essential for good growth, vigorous physical activity and optimal intellectual development. From birth, it is essential to ensure that said contribution is balanced and it contains essential fatty acids in adequate amounts, avoiding saturated fats and trans fats, but also skim and light products.

You can read more articles similar to Importance of fats in childhood, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.

Video: Healthy Eating for Kids. Types of Fats. Why Does your Body Need Fats. What is Fat? Healthy Fats (July 2022).


  1. Ahebban

    The same...

  2. Eustatius

    What a phrase ... great, brilliant idea

  3. Zulkile

    I believe that you are wrong.

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