Diet and ADHD

ah ha

For a long time a link has been suspected and studied between diet and certain behaviors. One of the early researchers was Dr. Ben Feingold, a pediatric allergist, and his diet has been a break through for many families struggling with ADHD, ADD, and children on the austistic spectrum as well as adults with behavioral challenges. Even people living with OCD, bipolar disorder, asthma, eczema and chronic ear infections can benefit.

The Feingold Program or Feingold Diet is basically a look back to diet before preservatives, additives and artificial colorings. For those who often wonder where ADD was when they were growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, this could be your answer. It wasn’t there because the chemicals that trigger it weren’t being widely used.

The Feingold diet will mostly affect behavior. The one characteristic that chemically sensitive people share is that they get upset easily and that manifests itself in behavior. An effective treatment for these disorders might be to start with the Feingold diet, see how behavior is altered, if at all, and then add on other treatments as necessary to combat other symptoms.

To start, the program eliminates food and nonfood items (think about your toothpaste) containing artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, aspartame and artificial preservatives (BHA, BHT, TBHQ). Salicylate will also be eliminated. This is a group of chemicals related to aspirin. Plants make salicylate naturally to repel insects (it’s a natural pesticide).

If improvement occurs after four to six weeks, you can try introducing some of these to see if you can find a primary offender. However, during this initial phase it is very important to follow the restrictions without exception. A reaction can last up to 72 hours and will make it difficult to discover where your child’s sensitivities are.

Dr. Feingold’s books remain popular. “Why Can’t My Child Behave?” and “Why Your Child is Hyperactive” are classics in the ADHD community.



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What does your weekly dinner look like?
The whole family dines together at home
The whole family dines together at a restaurant
Parents and children eat separately
Whoever is around eats together
Every family member for themselves!
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