The Autism Diet is the result of many studies linking specific dietary choices to varied success in treating autism. Autism is a neural disorder that affects your ability to engage in social interaction, communication and overall normal emotional development.
Many experts believe that by adhering to specific dietary protocols autism can be managed at a better level. Some go as far as claiming it could cure the disorder. There is another belief that people afflicted with autism have a biological inability to rid the body of certain toxins that in turn impede brain development and function. Controversial reports have been aimed at the pharmaceutical industry for its use of certain preservatives in vaccines that may be linked to causing autism. Although these reports have yet to be proven, many parents and doctors choose the Autism Diet to rid the body of toxins. If you decide to follow the Autism Diet notify your doctor before any change takes place. In addition, when removing or adding foods it is recommended to do it slowly and one at a time.
Gluten is derived from the Latin word for glue. It is a special type of protein that is usually found in wheat, rye and barley. During digestion, gluten turns to an actual glue-like substance along the intestinal wall. Because of this it can sometimes limit the ability for the body to absorb vitamins, minerals and nutrients into the bloodstream. Most people can digest gluten and it is not a problem. However, because of the abundance of it in everything from bread to chips to even candy, some people can have difficulty digesting it. Mild to dramatic results have been seen in people with autism when gluten is removed from the diet. Fewer bouts with intestinal difficulties have been reported as well.
Along with gluten, casein is another protein that people with autism have difficulty breaking down. Casein is found in a majority of foods, but it is also used as a binder in plastics such as paints, cosmetics and adhesives. Due to its chemical strength, any problem digesting it will also cause vitamin, mineral and other nutritional deficiencies. There are some theories that suggest that when the body is unable to break down certain proteins like casein or gluten, peptides are formed which in turn transform into opiates. An opiate acts like a narcotic drug, which can slow you down.
Red, blue, green and yellow food dye may be inundating your food chain in astounding ways. Food coloring is added to almost every food that is processed and packaged. There has been much controversy surrounding food dyes and their impact on human health. Food dyes may cause hyperactivity in certain people, especially those with autism. Look for natural dyes in products that you consume, such as betanin from beets, tumeric, saffron and elderberry to name a few.