Health & Medical Nutrition

Vegetarianism Risks and Rewards For Kids

If you are a vegetarian or the parent of a vegetarian, then you probably have done some serious thinking when it came to your lifestyle and dietary choices and your kids health.
After all, vegetarians get a bad rap a lot of the time by people waving around pictures of waifish, malnourished children who have eaten nothing but bean sprouts and water since they were born (I'm sure you've heard it all before from some well-meaning parent your kid's friend).
Anyway, as a responsible vegetarian parent, you will occasionally be faced with a pretty serious dilemma, and one of those is bound to show up sooner rather than later in the form of omega 3 fish oil.
Now, many vegetarians do not have a problem with eating fish.
If you are one of those, then your problem is solved.
Fish oil is indisputably the best source of omega 3, and salmon oil is the best type of fish to do the job.
So if your conscience will allow you (and your kids) to choke down a tablespoon of omega-3 rich salmon oil a day, then you are in the clear.
But what if you do not eat any animal products? Then, you may have a problem.
Flax seed oil and krill, both of which have been touted as the "vegetarian solution" to omega 3 deficiencies (which pretty much everyone - vegetarian or not - has in the United States), have turned out not to be as great as we hoped.
In fact, some studies show that the body cannot even process the omega 3 fatty acids in flax seed and krill.
As a result, you may not really be doing yourself any good by taking supplements based on these items.
As an adult, you can make a conscious decision about whether to be absolutely certain that you are getting the right type of omega 3s or whether you are going to hold your ideals over optimum health.
However, with kids the potential sacrifice is much greater.
Kids with omega 3 deficiencies can end up with lifelong ADD/ADHD, serious vision problems, heart issues later in life and a general lack of ability to focus that can hurt grades and social skills.
So if your child is a vegetarian, seriously consider all your omega 3 options before you opt out of salmon oil.

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