Hyperactive Disorder Diet
Hyperactive Disorder Diet
Dr. Benjamin Feingold, an allergist, noted in 1973 childhood behavior disorders seemed linked to dietary exposure to excessive food colorings, salicylates and additives. This resulted in development of the Feingold diet, a diet restricted in food rich in these substances.
Although the efficacy of this diet is considered controversial by many behavioral scientists, there are numerous reports in the literature which support its value in managing certain forms of hyperkinesis in young children.
The diet-behavior connection is still an active area of research, and the application of the Feingold diet in managing childhood hyperkinesis is but one of several important associations now under extensive investigation.
The Feingold diet eliminates 21 fruits and vegetables which are high in salicylates, as well as foods containing the preservatives BHA and BHT and non-food salicylate items such as aspirin, toothpaste, mouthwash, cough syrup, and some chewing gums. The salicylate containing fruits and vegetables eliminated are:
Cherry Cloves Tangerine Berry Coffee Plum Apricot Cucumber All teas Apple Currant Tomato Peach Orange Almond Pear Nectarine Grape and raisin Bell pepper Pickles Prune
Because most vitamin C containing fruits and vegetables are eliminated, this diet may require supplementation of a single 50mg white tablet of ascorbic acid to promote nutritional adequacy in children. Some allowed good sources of vitamin C are:
Papaya Cantaloupe Mango Pineapple Guava Banana Lemon Cabbage Spinach Mung Bean Sprouts Cooked Broccoli Cooked Cabbage Cooked Turnips Cooked Potatoes Cooked Cauliflower Cooked Peas Cooked Kohlrabi Cooked Collard Greens Cooked Okra Cooked Sorrel Cooked Kale Cooked Rutabagas Cooked Spinach Cooked Mustard Greens Cooked Sweet Potatoes Cooked Lima Beans Cooked Chard Leaves Cooked Lamb's Quarters Cooked Brussels Sprouts
Do not stray from the diet for at least four weeks. After this time period you may add back some of the items containing salicylate one food at a time for about a week. During this time watch for any type of reactions.
The diet is not effective if it is not followed precisely. All Pediatric medications and vitamins contain artificial colorings and/or flavorings. Vitamins used to help fortify or enrich a product usually are preserved with BHT or BHA.
Remember, foods containing artificial colors and/or flavoring, BHT and BHA, must be eliminated. However, if an ingredient in a food contains BHT and BHA, the package may not disclose this information. It is best if you can prepare your own foods such as breads, cakes, sauces, and salads, to ensure the purity of your foods.
Be sure to keep a precise diet diary of all foods, beverages, and medications. Write down any changes or additions. Also, record the childs behavior as well as any other special notes, such as results of a school test or comments, such as "conflict with friends."
Menu for One Day
1 cup whole grain cereal 2 slices whole grain toast 1/2 cup milk - 2% fat 2 teaspoons butter
3 oz. chicken breast 2 teaspoons butter 1 baked potato 1 cup milk - 2% fat 1 dinner roll 1/2 cup pudding
Calories: 2140 Fat: 27% Protein: 16% Cholesterol: 250mg Carbohydrate: 58% Fiber: 15g
Food Exchange List
No specific exchanges are suggested as long as foods containing salicylates, additives and colorings are avoided.
Feingold, B.F. & H.S. Feingold. 1979. The Feingold Cookbook for Hyperactive Children. Random House, New York.
Howe, P.S. 1981. Basic Nutrition in Health and Disease, 7th ed. W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia.
Kreutner, Patricia A. 1980. Nutrition In Perspective. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs. 665 pp.
Lucas, B. 1981. Diet and Hyperactivity. Nutrition in Infancy and Childhood. Pipes, P.L., ed. The C.V. Mosby Co., St. Louis. 303 pp.
Luke, B. 1984. Principles of Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Little, Brown, and Co., Boston. 816 pp.
Robinson, C.H. & M.R.Lawler. 1982. Normal and Therapeutic Nutrition. 16th ed. MacMillan Publishing Company, Inc., N Y. 849 pp.
Silver, L.B. 1992. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A clinical guide to diagnosis and treatment. American Psychiatric Press, Washington.
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