Low-carbohydrate eating plans continue to be popular. And while there is no official definition of a low-carb diet, most advise curbing or eliminating some or all grains, fruits, legumes and vegetables. Preteens and adolescents may be particularly interested in trying carbohydrate-restricting diets due to the promised weight loss. Or, maybe an older relative is following a new diet and you’re wondering if it’s healthy for kids to do the same. Get the lowdown on low-carb eating for kids.
Kids Need Carbohydrates
Experts recommend about half of the calories children and adults consume come from carbohydrates. Many nutritious foods including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, milk and yogurt contain carbohydrates, which are the body’s preferred energy source.
Low-Carb Eating for Kids: The Upside
Carbohydrates also are found in foods such as sugary beverages, candy and baked goods. According to Marina Chaparro, MPH, RDN, LD, CDE, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, limiting these kinds of carbohydrate-containing foods is fine. “Children don’t need carbohydrates from cakes, cookies, sodas or candy,” says Chaparro. “But children do need carbohydrates from whole grains, fresh fruits and dairy. In fact, their intake of these food groups is vital to their growth and development.”
– Elizabeth M. Ward
Read More: Is a Low-Carb Diet Safe for Kids?
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