The growing number of fortified foods at hand on supermarket shelves leads to their normal consumption, as if they were more necessary or better than their unfortified counterparts. But, is it healthy for children to take these fortified foods? In Guiainfantil.com we clarify it. Should children take
The growing number of fortified foods at hand on supermarket shelves leads to their normal consumption, as if they were more necessary or better than their unfortified counterparts.
But, is it healthy for children to take these fortified foods? In Guiainfantil.com we clarify it.
Should children take fortified foods?
It can be differentiated in two ways:
- fortified foods:those that have added micronutrients that are not found naturally in the food
- enriched foods: to which are added some micronutrient that previously contained, but that they were lost during processing, to restore their original values or increase them slightly.
Fortified is the juice to which calcium is added, while enriched is the milk to which that same mineral is added, because it was already present before pasteurizing or sterilizing it.
There are 3 possible ways to obtain vitamins and minerals:
- The consumption of fortified foods.
- Supplements or vitamin complexes.
We assume that in the matter of vitamins and minerals, the more it is consumed better, but the truth is that, just as the deficiency in certain vitamins and / or minerals has health consequences, the excess in its consumption can also have harmful results . However, the line between what is beneficial and what can be or is potentially toxic, is tremendously thin and difficult to locate, so it should not be exceeded. In fact, under normal conditions, consuming a diet free of fortified foods, the excessive consumption of micronutrients is practically impossible.
On the other hand, the recommended daily amounts established by the WHO are for adults, while, for children, these amounts are undoubtedly lower, especially for children under 8 years, but they are not established exactly.
In general, any micronutrient that accumulates in the body can be potentially dangerous, and in terms of its solubility, the excess fat-soluble can affect the liver while that of water-soluble and heavier minerals, the kidneys. Specifically, zinc, niacin and vitamin A are some of the micronutrients that, if consumed in excess, can cause problems, especially in the liver. In addition, vitamin A in particular is highly toxic to bones and skin. In the case of vitamin D, its danger is that its excess leads to an excessive accumulation of calcium in the blood, overloading the kidneys.
The truth is that, originally, fortified or fortified foods were created to solve a problem, such as the deficiency of some micronutrients in certain population groups, but in the process, another problem has been created. Although there is not enough evidence to ensure exactly how much is responsible for health problems in childhood,it is not advisable to abuse fortified foods that contain more than 20% of the recommended daily amount for an adult . In terms of micronutrients, it is not best to consume in quantity, but the amount is appropriate.