|Posted by Samuel Gultom on April 24, 2009 at 12:22 AM|
3 Hidden Ingredients to Avoid
Worried about your child's nutrition? Avoid trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup and food dyes By Shaun Dreisbach, Parenting
Weall want our kids to eat as healthfully as possible. But given their,um, picky parameters, you probably worry about them getting too muchsugar and fat and not enough actual nutrition. Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D., aspokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, weighs in on theingredients worth avoiding.
Trans fats: This is one bad fatthat deserves to be on the zero-tolerance list. "Just be careful not toget so hung up on choosing foods that are trans-fat -- free that youforget to pay attention to how much saturated fat and calories theycontain," says Taub-Dix. Both types of fat contribute to heart diseaseand other health problems, and there are many foods with no trans fatsthat are loaded with cals.
High-fructose corn syrup:Treat it as you would any other added sweetener. "There's really nodifference between high-fructose corn syrup and regular sugar in termsof how it can affect your child's weight and health," says Taub-Dix.Just do your best to keep overall intake low because kids are generallyoversugared anyway.
Food dyes: Yourinstincts are right on. "A growing body of research has found anassociation between artificial colorings -- ones with numbers, such asYellow 5, Red 40, Blue 1, and Green 3 -- and behavior problems likehyperactivity," says Michael Jacobson, Ph.D., executive director of theCenter for Science in the Public Interest. The dyes, found ineverything from cake mixes and yogurts to breakfast cereals, are beingphased out in Europe, but consumption in the U.S. is on the upswing --it's increased fivefold over the past 30 years. "We don't know exactlywhy they have this effect, but they can have a big impact on some kids'behavior," adds Jacobson. "It's smart to choose foods without them whenyou can."