One of the biggest mistakes we see parents make when it comes to incorporating nutrition therapy into their children’s treatment program is jumping into advanced interventions instead of starting with the basics.
In nutrition therapy, each step builds upon the previous one, becoming more advanced as you work your way through the program. The ﬁrst thing you need to do is identify and resolve any basic nutrition issues your child may have. He won’t be able to properly respond to or beneﬁt from advanced nutrition interventions if basic nutrition is still a problem. Basic nutrition has become a serious issue for our children over the last twenty years because it has changed so dramatically.
The food children eat today is nothing like the food children ate in previous generations. Today, children subsist mainly on foods that are highly processed, lacking in nutrients, and loaded with artiﬁcial chemicals, preservatives, trans fats, excess sugar, and pesticide residues.
Today we will take a closer look and find out which additives present in our daily meals are causing gut disruptions in autism.
Food Additives That Destroy The Autistic Gut
Take a look at the ingredients list on some of the packaged foods you have in your refrigerator or pantry and make sure to avoid anything that contains the following chemicals:
SYNTHETIC FOOD ADDITIVES
There are twenty-four different types of synthetic food additives found in the foods we eat. Before a food additive is added to our foods, it must be deemed “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that it’s been proven safe for the general public and poses no signiﬁcanhealth hazard, such as promoting cancer. But the reality is that we are consuming human-made chemicals with virtually every bite of food, and no one really knows what effect they may be having on our immune, respiratory, endocrine, and nervous systems.
There’s a lot of controversy in the medical community about what the short- and long-term impact of these chemicals may be on a growing child’s brain and nervous system. The autism community is particularly concerned about four of the synthetic food additives: artiﬁcial colors, artiﬁcial ﬂavors, preservatives, and artiﬁcial sweeteners. Here is a list of the twenty-four types of food additives found in the foods we eat:
- acidity regulators
- anti-caking agents
- anti-foaming agents
- food coloring
- color ﬁxatives
- color retention
- ﬁrming agents
- ﬂavor enhancers
- ﬂour treatment
- food acids
- gelling agents
- glazing agents
- improving agents
- mineral salts
- artiﬁcial sweeteners
- vegetable gums
There are seven artiﬁcial colors currently permitted in our foods in the United States: Blue No. 1, Blue No. 2, Green No. 3, Red No. 40, Red No. 3, Yellow No. 5, and Yel-low No. 6. There’s a growing body of research that indicates some children are sensitive to these artiﬁcial colors and that they aggravate their ADD and ADHD symptoms. Most recently, a study published in the November 2007 issue of The Lancet concluded that artiﬁcial colors in the diets of children resulted in increased hyperactivity.
Artiﬁcial ﬂavors are chemically synthesized compounds added to foods to either imitate or enhance a natural ﬂavor. There are approximately seventeen hundred artiﬁcial ﬂavors approved by the FDA. An artiﬁcial ﬂavor of particular concern in the autism community is monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is the sodium salt of an amino acid called glutamic acid and the ionized form of glutamate. It’s used commercially as a ﬂavor enhancer and found in many common food products such as canned soups, beef, and chicken stocks, ﬂavored potato chips, snack foods, frozen dinners, instant meals with seasoning mixtures, and foods from fast-food restaurants.
A preservative is a natural or human-made chemical that is added to food products to inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi, inhibit oxidation, and prevent changes in the food’s color, odor, and taste. Natural preservatives include salt, sugar, and vinegar, and the processes of freezing, pickling, smoking, and salting are also used to preserve foods naturally. Artiﬁcial preservatives are controversial because research has shown that some of them cause various health problems, respiratory problems, and cancer. Research also shows that artiﬁcial preservatives aggravate ADD and ADHD symptoms in some children. Artiﬁcial preservatives do affect your child. A research study conducted in New York City Public Schools showed that when artiﬁcial additives, including preservatives, were eliminated from the school food program, the student’s academic performance increased and disciplinary problems decreased.
Artiﬁcial sweeteners are human-made compounds that are many times sweeter than sucrose, or table sugar. Their safety and potential for health risks, including cancer, has been a longstanding controversy in the medical community. The three most commonly used artiﬁcial sweeteners in the United States are saccharin (Sweet’N Low), sucralose (Splenda), and aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal). Saccharin, the ﬁrst artiﬁcial sweetener created, is three hundred to ﬁve hundred times sweeter than table sugar. Saccharin is FDA-approved in the United States, but some countries allow only a restricted level of use, and other countries have banned it completely.
Though all of these artiﬁcial sweeteners are approved for use by the FDA, there’s still much debate surrounding their long-term safety, especially for children who could potentially have decades of continued exposure. It’s important to understand that just because a food additive has been approved by the FDA as GRAS, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for our children. Aspartame is a perfect example of this fact. We urge you to be cautious and eliminate all artiﬁcial sweeteners from your child’s diet.
LIMIT FOODS THAT CONTAIN TRANS FAT
Trans fat is the product of hydrogenation, which is the process by which hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oil. The fatty acids in the oil then acquire some of the hydrogen, which makes it denser.
Typically, the hydrogenation process is only partially completed in order to produce a more malleable fat that is solid at room temperature but will melt upon baking. Partially hydrogenated fats have replaced natural solid fats and natural liquid oils in our foods because they’re cheaper to use than the real thing, and they prolong the shelf life and ﬂavor stability of foods.
When you start reading food labels, you may be astonished by the number of products that contain partially hydrogenated oils and therefore trans fat. Trans fat can be found in vegetable shortenings, some kinds of margarine, crackers, cookies, chips, cakes, pies, bread, snack foods, and foods fried in partially hydrogenated oils. It’s also used in some dietary supplements, energy bars, and nutrition bars.
Tips For Reducing Food Additive Consumption
Most families live a pretty fast-paced lifestyle these days, and ﬁnding time to prepare home-cooked meals made with fresh whole foods can be difﬁcult. Instead, more and more families depend on the convenience of pre-packaged foods and fast foods. The following tips will help you reduce your family’s food additive consumption:
-Buy one or two cookbooks with recipes to prepare healthy meals in thirty minutes or less so making meals from scratch is easier to ﬁt into your schedule.
-Every weekend, plan your meals for the upcoming week and check to make sure you have the ingredients you need on hand.
-When you cook a meal, make the most of your time by preparing enough food for leftovers. You can freeze them and reheat them for dinner another day.
-Keep it simple—children prefer simple meals.
Remember, A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, heart health, brain health, improved mood, healthy sleep, and effective digestion, and it may help prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases, so taking good care of it will bring benefits to your child’s physical, emotional, and mental health.
At WSCC, we offer support for autistic families and their children with stem cell therapy treatments that can transform autistic conditions by healing the gut, decreasing inflammation, and improving brain function. We also created an on Facebook that is destined to offer support and companionship for ASD parents and their families on their journey.
Autistic people face challenges, that most people will never experience, in unsuitable education styles, inadequate facilities, and even lack of support from society. Let’s build a better world where inclusion, awareness, empathy, and opportunities are given to all individuals equally. Our Autistic children have many things to say, let’s make their voices louder for all of the world to hear!
At WSCC, we honor Autism Awareness Month with an incredible special!
Schedule your appointment to receive our signature Stem Cell Therapy treatment and receive a 15% off + $1000 USD bonus for hotel accommodation!
Spots are flying! Claim yours now: