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A few years ago, gelatin desserts, widely used in other countries such as the United Kingdom, began to be introduced and become fashionable, and they began to be used as a healthy alternative to sweets, especially for children, being recommended for being rich in protein and micronutrients. But is this true?
The true part of this statement is that gelatin is basically protein. This protein, depending on its origin, varies in terms of its biological value, that is, how useful it is to the body. This means that, if it is obtained from bones and other tissues rich in collagen, being more similar to the protein of the human body, it could be of greater biological value, while that of vegetable origin, obtained directly from plants, would have a lower biological value.
However, and here comes the nuance to the previous statement, despite being almost entirely protein, gelatin has hardly any nutritional value, mainly due to the fact that it lacks the amino acids that we call essential. Essential amino acids are those that the body needs, for example, to make tissues or as substrates for muscles, but which it cannot obtain on its own.
Therefore, although gelatin is an important source of protein, that protein, whose amino acid composition mainly contains amino acids that the body is capable of synthesizing in situ, it will only serve to provide energy, and not for physiological functions. The energy it provides is identical to that provided by carbohydrates, that is, about 4 kcal for each gram of protein, and let's remember that practically 100% of the weight of gelatin is protein, so it is a non-caloric amount. negligible.
In terms of vitamins or minerals, micronutrients in general, these desserts are normally artificially enriched with a long list of micronutrients, because otherwise they would not have any, since they are lost in the gelatin extraction process from their tissue of origin. Given the absence of fat in their composition, it is very difficult to find vitamins A, D, E or K in them, since they are fat-soluble, and if they have been added artificially, they will hardly be assimilated in the body, since they need to be carried in fat.
In addition, they usually carry considerable amounts of added sugars, something to avoid not only because of the risk of obesity and tooth decay, but also because the amount of simple sugars in the diet should be kept as low as possible, even preferably avoided in early childhood. They also contain artificial colors and flavors, some of them little or not recommended, especially in childhood.
In this way, using gelatin as a healthy dessert for our children is not the most successful If what we are thinking is that we are offering them a food with extraordinary nutritional value, because the reality is that its nutritional value is scarce. Its caloric value, in contrast, is much higher.
You can read more articles similar to Gelatin, a poorly nutritious food for children, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.