Treating ADHD, OCD and ODD by Removing Food Additives
Food additives. What are they and how do they affect us? Food additives are substances added to food to preserve or add flavor, color or texture to processed foods. They can affect us in many ways. As a holistic health coach, I believe there are no positive effects of eating food with additives. Headaches, tiredness, hyperactivity, lessened ability to concentrate, irritability, anxiety and the list goes on.
So, what are we to do? Here's a list of food additives that I recommend you remove from your diet and the diet of your child:
- Artificial Food Dyes: The #1 food dye used in the U.S. is Red #40. It's petroleum based and has been linked to upset stomach, jitteriness, migraines, nervousness, and hyperactivity.
- Artificial Flavors: Designed to trick our taste buds into believing it's the real thing and manufacturers create them in a lab. They can cause allergic or behavioral changes. Flavorings which are made from chemicals instead of natural sources (NOT derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof).
- Preservatives - BHT, BHA and TBHQ and Sodium Benzoate - added to processed food to extend the shelf life. Increased hyperactivity, possible cancer causing
- Artificial Sweeteners - Aspartame, Sucralose, Acesulfame K, Saccharin, Xylitol - Behavioral problems, hyperactivity, allergies
- MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)- can cause headaches, dizziness, behavioral changes, mood swings, hyperactivity.
How do you know if these additives are responsible for reducing your child's focus, thoughts, or behaviors? Well, the best way to try it out is to do an elimination diet? What's an elimination diet? It's where you eliminate certain foods to see if it affects your child's mood, improves focus, lessens meltdowns, decreases hyperactivity? This should be done for a full week or two to see the results. It's also imperative to keep a list of behaviors you are trying to track. I firmly believe that these additives do not belong in anyone's diet. You can also try an elimination diet for foods such as dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish.
An elimination diet is not easy, but it's doable. It entails meal planning, careful grocery shopping, and of course label reading which is a must. Removing food additives doesn't have to be hard. You can take it one step at a time. Start with your pantry. Then, head to the grocery store and take your time to read those labels.
Call to Action: If you would like help with this and work with me 1:1, then please sign up for a 60 minute consultation here.
Until next time,