Americans are often consumed with finding new ways to lose weight, but rarely do you hear about the opposite, serious issue of being underweight.
Being underweight can lead to malnourishment, making the body prone to infection, fatigue, heart problems, hair loss, hormone imbalance and low muscle mass.
There are many potential causes for a person to be underweight, including genetics, digestive issues and certain medications.
We recently got this question from a viewer:
Dear Dr. Manny
I’m 22 and underweight to the point that it’s embarrassing. Can you give me any times for gaining weight in a healthy way?
When it comes to putting on weight in a healthy way, it is important to consider the quality of foods being consumed.
“You really want to pay attention to the quality because that means you’re going to put on the weight and you stay healthy at the same time,” Ashley Koff, a registered dietitian told FoxNews.com.
“So when I say quality— I call it being a qualitarian— I want you to choose the better-quality fats, the better-quality carbohydrates, proteins and also remember those non-starchy vegetables,” she said.
“So quality fats, [are] things like hemp seed or coconut oil or olive oil or any of your nuts and seeds and those interestingly are also a source of quality proteins,” Koff added.
Koff advised patients stay away from white flour products and instead consume starch-rich vegetables like sweet potatoes, while incorporating whole grains like barley or quinoa.
A patient should also seek help from a doctor or registered dietician for guidance.
Do you have a health question for Dr. Manny? Please send it to DrManny@FoxNews.com.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.