Carbohydrates are an important nutrient for overall health, yet in recent decades there’s been an increase in carb confusion – especially regarding their role in nutritious diets and in prepared foods like nutrition drinks. Here are five carbohydrate myths debunked.
1. MYTH: All carbs are bad and shouldn’t be included in nutrition drinks.
Carbohydrates play an important role in promoting overall health and growth in children. They are the body’s main supply of energy and the brain’s preferred energy source. Some nutrition drinks are designed to provide complete nutrition for kids or adults who can’t get the nutrients they need through regular food. Carbohydrates – like fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals – are an important component of products designed to provide balanced nutrition for people who need these products.
2. MYTH: There shouldn’t be any sugar in nutrition drinks.
Sugar performs several important roles in nutrition drinks. As a carbohydrate source, it provides important energy. Sugar also helps make nutrient-dense supplements taste good and have the right texture and consistency. Taste is an important factor, especially for products that often provide critical nutrients that are missing in a person’s diet. Some sweetness helps make the products easier to drink.
3. MYTH: Nutrition drinks aren’t supposed to taste good.
For individuals who can’t eat or tolerate regular food, specialized nutrition drinks sometimes provide their only source of nutrition. For others, nutrition drinks help supplement important nutrients that may be lacking in their diet. If nutrition drinks didn’t taste good, then the kids and adults who need them most would be missing critical nutrition that helps them grow, develop and/or maintain strength and energy. As a worldwide leader in nutrition science, research, and development, Abbott strives to offer nutrition products and solutions that individuals enjoy and can trust to support their unique needs.
4. MYTH: Many pediatric nutrition drinks are no different than drinking a can of soda.
Sodas typically have just two main ingredients—sugar and water—and are designed for refreshment, not nutrition. Unlike soda, pediatric nutrition drinks are rich in nutrients and contain important macro- and micronutrients necessary for growth, including carbohydrates. They are specifically developed to help fill the nutrition gaps in a young child’s diet. Children need all three of the macronutrients – carbohydrates, fat and protein – for normal growth and development. Carbohydrates added to nutrition drinks help meet the daily energy needs of the child that the product is designed to help.
5. MYTH: Carbs in nutrition drinks are all the same.
Ingredients in nutrition drinks are specifically chosen to meet the nutritional requirements of the people who need them. Carbohydrates in some nutrition drinks provide important energy in a readily absorbable form for growth and development. In other nutrition drinks, specific carbohydrates provide fiber or help individuals with diabetes manage blood sugar through slow-release carbohydrates.
As you can see, there are many myths about carbs in nutrition drinks. Understanding the facts versus myths surrounding the ingredients of the products—and the reason they’re included—helps you make healthy and educated decisions about the foods you and your family eat. As always, please consult your healthcare professional if you have questions about diet.
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