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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What Foods to Avoid if Your Child is Diagnosed ADHD?

Eliminating or avoiding some foods from the diet may improve ADHD symptoms. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, this diet guideline may help you minimize the ADHD and related symptoms.As diet and nutrition are related to mood and behavior, and that they can affect brain development, so particular changes in diet can diminish the symptoms related to this neurological disorder called 'ADHD'.

Avoiding or eliminating some foods means a particular food or ingredient you think might be causing ADHD symptoms. Then you stop eating anything containing that substance. If the symptoms subside, then you continue avoiding the substance. The assumption is that you are eating something unhealthy that causes ADHD symptoms or makes them worse. Proper nutrition, including an array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids (EFAs), is particularly necessary in the first few years of life to support brain development and prevent certain neurological disorders. 

Even among older children, a lack of certain dietary components such as protein, or an insufficient number of calories, can negatively affect a child’s learning and behavioral abilities, and vitamin or mineral deficiencies can certainly interfere with learning over the course of a school year.
What foods to avoid if your child is diagnosed ADHD?
  • NO DAIRY PRODUCTS, especially cow's milk. The American Pediatric Association estimates that a significant percentage of all children are allergic to milk. Instead try Almond milk, Rice milk, or Better Than Milk. We are looking at "Raw Organic Milk" which has not been pasteurized. Since it still has enzymes it might be digested better than the "ultra-pasteurized" milk. And drink lots of water for two weeks.
  • NO YELLOW FOODS. Especially Yellow Corn or Yellow Squash. Bananas are white, but don't eat the yellow peel. About 1/1000 people have problems with the stuff that makes these foods yellow in color.
  • NO JUNK FOODS. If it comes in a cellophane wrapper, don't eat it. Stop eating junk food and your brain will work better. Junk foods tend to be very high in sugars and carbohydrates, and our brains get fuzzy and our kids get more hyperactive when sugars and carbohydrates are eaten together.
  • NO FRUIT JUICES. They have too much sugar. One small glass of apple juice has the sugar content of eight apples. Later on you can have juice, but for now if you have to have any juice just dilute it with water 50/50.
  • CUT SUGAR INTAKE BY 90%. If you can, cut it down to zero. Sugar is in just about everything, but try to really restrict eating it. Do your best to reduce your sugar intake without going crazy.
  • CUT CHOCOLATE BY 90%. No more than a single piece, once a week. Chocolate is our favorite food here at but it has about 220 different chemicals, some of which people can have problems with.
  • NO NUTRASWEET. None. Period. Never. It's bad for you. It is bad for your brain. This is not just a two week restriction. It is not very good for your brain.
  • NO PROCESSED MEATS and NO MSG. Only get meats with labels that say, “Turkey and Water,” etc. This is not just a two week restriction. If the meat has chemicals listed that you can't pronounce, don't buy it and don't eat it.
  • CUT FRIED FOODS BY 90%. The Trans-Fats in fried foods and other less than healthy foods compete in the body with good Fatty Acids, and the Essential Fatty Acids. You can either have unhealthy Trans-Fats, or healthy EFA, but not both in the same space in your brain. Good fats with good fatty acids are your friends. Bad fats such as Trans-fats or Poly-Unsaturated fats are bad for us. Good fat sources can include animal fats, coconut oil, olive oil, flax oil and so on.
  • AVOID FOOD COLORINGS WHENEVER POSSIBLE. See if your child is sensitive to any particular colors, such as Reds, Yellows, etc. For now, though, avoid all if possible.
  • AVOID FISH. Mercury levels in most fish is simply too high to be either safe or healthy.
Useful links:
ADHD and Diet: Parsing the Recent Research
Diet & ADHD: Are There Links Between ADHD & Diet?

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