Low-Fat Diet and Children
In what food source is the nutrient found?
Saturated fat is found primarily in animal foods. Most unsaturated fats come from plant sources. Foods that are low in fat or fat-free include:
low-fat and nonfat dairy products
How does the nutrient affect the body?
Fat is needed by the body in small amounts for important functions. Fat in a child's diet supplies essential fatty acids, or EFAs. These EFAs play a key role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system. Fat also provides calories for growth. It carries and stores fat-soluble vitamins.
Some dietary fats are healthier than others. Saturated fat and trans fats also raise total cholesterol and LDL, known as bad cholesterol. Trans fats are found in french fries, donuts, and crackers as a result of adding hydrogen to vegetables oils. Dietary cholesterol does raise LDL cholesterol but not as much as saturated fat and trans fat. High total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels are major risk factors for heart disease. Unsaturated fats can lower blood cholesterol levels when they replace saturated fats.