good foods for good grades

Good Fats for Good Grades

In a country where nearly 30% of kids are either overweight or obese...

By Dr. Debra Rouse

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As parents we do the best we can to help our children succeed.

Eating the right kinds of fats may help them to thrive in school and in life. In a country where nearly 30% of kids are either overweight or obese, it can be easy to turn dietary fat in to a boogeyman-but striving to remove all fats from the diet can be a huge mistake! A Purdue University study (Am J Clin Nutr January 2000 vol. 71) showed that kids low in Omega-3 essential fatty acids are significantly more likely to be hyperactive, have learning disorders, and to display behavioral problems.

Good fats play a major role in supporting the health of our minds and emotions, our immune system, our hearts, metabolism and many other important bodily systems. The fats your kids eat may affect their academic performance. In a 6-year study of more than 3,500 children (ages 6 to 16) researchers discovered that those who consumed polyunsaturated fatty acids performed better with memory tests. With each 5% increase in these good fats there was a corresponding improvement in test performance.

Great sources of polyunsaturated fats include: salmon and other fish, green leafy vegetables like kale, collards and spinach, nuts and seeds like walnuts and flaxseeds. Omega-3 fatty acids are also now being incorporated into other foods like milk, eggs, and yogurt.  Dietary supplements are also available. Chewable DHA gels make it easy to get into the diet if you or your child has a hard time incorporating healthy fats into your diet.

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