Children diagnosed with autism with impairments of speech, social and communication skill, limited interest, repetitive behaviour, etc. depending on severity of the symptoms may exhibit low tolerance or allergies to certain foods or chemicals, such as gluten and casein, impairment of digestion system such as yeast over growth in the intestine tract, weakened immune system such as decreased resistance to infection, respiratory and ear infection. It is important for the parent and the benefits of the child avoided intake of food that promote the brain’s allergic reaction, the immune dysfunction, liver function in detoxification, etc. In this article, we will discuss what to avoid for children with autism.
1. Artificial ingredients
Since most children with autism have poor digestive system and weakened immune system, intake of artificial ingredients will cause toxin accumulated in the body, leading to abnormality of liver function in toxins elimination, resulting in increasing the severity of the symptoms.
a) Artificial colors
Food color is any substance added in to the food to preserve its favors or to simulate a natural state of the foods with an aim to make customers to buy them. Although, they have been tested by the government food body to ensure its safety, but unfortunately, it has interfered the neurological processes, such as the behavior, personality and learning ability of children with or without autism if taken in high dose.
It is said that some artificial ingredient such as FD & C Red No. 2 dye have shown to promote cancerous growth. Researcher found that removing the artificial colors from the autistic children diet, improve in attention deficit and hyperactivity behaviors dramatically.
b) Artificial flavors
Artificial flavors are any synthesized chemical added to manufactured foods to change or make its taste better such as banana – isoamyl acetate; cinnamon – ethyl cinnamate; orange – octyl acetate and pineapple – methyl butyrate; pear. It causes nervous tension including mental concentration, behavior, lost of energy and weakened immune response.
It is said that long-term usage can increase your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other degenerative conditions to children’s central nervous system.
c) Artificial preservatives
Artificial preservatives are a group of chemical substances, such as BHT, nitrates, sulfites, sulfur dioxide, BHA, etc. added to food, sprayed on the outside of food, or added to certain medications with the purpose of preventing food from spoiling or discoloring. It causes allergic reactions in children, resulting in skin rashes or facial swelling and worsening asthma.
d) Artificial Addictive
Artificial addictive is defined as substances, adding to foods from the manufacture with the purpose of preservation, coloring, texture and flavor. Studies found that artificial additive can causes several types of cancer and tumor. Many of them have negative impacts in children with autism.
Olestra is a fat substitute used in crackers and potato chips. It is type of additive can not be absorbed by the digestive system, leading to diarrhea, loose stools, abdominal cramps.
ii) Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
MSG is used as a flavor enhancer in many cooking and preservative foods. It is said that MSG can cause sensitive neurons to die. leading to headache, nausea or vomiting.
e) Artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners is a synthesis sugar substituted substance. It has been used increasingly in replacing natural sugar in a wide range of products traditionally containing sugar. Studies found that artificial sweetener may increase risk of bladder and brain cancers.
It is 600 times as sweet as sugar and has been used in beverages, frozen desserts, chewing gum, baked goods, etc. and belongs to a class of chemicals called organochlorides. Some of them are considered toxic to our health.
ii) Lead acetate
It is an artificial sugar substitute made from lead, it causes lead accumulated in the body, leading to nervous symptoms.
It is 200 times as sweet as sugar and can be used as a tabletop sweetener,frozen desserts, gelatins, etc. Researchers found that aspartame may increase the risk of brain damage and cancer.
2. Yeast extract
It is also known as processed yeast products and has been used as food additives or flavourings under the name of monosodium glutamate (MSG). It contains glutamic acid which is classified as exitotoxins, and can cause brain damage in some studies.
3. Trans fat
As we mentioned in many previous article, trans fat is the hydrogenated oil found in many commercial mayonnaise, margarine, and peanut butter etc. and can cause cholesterol building up in the arteries, leading to less blood circulation to the central nervous system, thus increasing the severity of the symptoms of autism and heart diseases and stroke. Some studies also found that trans fat causes brain, adrenal gland and thyroid tumors and cancers in some animal studies.
4. Gluten and casein
Gluten and gluten-like proteins are found in wheat and other grains, including oats, rye, barley, bulgar, durum, etc. and extracted from flour by washing out the starch. It also has been used as artificial additive as a stabilizing agent in some foods. Intake of gluten may causes autoimmune disorder of the small intestine and symptoms of gastrointestinal disorder including chronic diarrhoea, failure to thrive and fatigue.
Casein is a protein found in milk and foods containing milk, such as cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. Studies found besides promoting cancer, it also increases the risk of bad cholesterol building up in the arteries, leading to heart diseases and stroke. Casein after intake can also be broken down to casomorphins, an chemical agent which is known to interfere with the function of neurotransmitter in transmitting information and decrease the immune response to foreign bacteria and virus invasion.
5. Non organic foods
Non organic foods may contain
i) Pesticides & Herbicides
Pesticides & Herbicides is highly toxic. Because of their value of increasing the production of foods and prevent insect eating aways the profits of the growers, it have been widely uses in non organic farming. Intake of non organic foods may weakened the immune system as well as interfering the liver function in toxic elimination, leading to central nervous tension and exhibiting the symptoms of autism.
ii) Contaminated Sewage Sludge
The increasing uses of contaminated sewage sludge containing human waste, industrial waste and toxic chemicals as a fertilizer, causes crop contamination, leading to major chronic health problem, including increasing the severity of the nervous symptoms for children with autism.
iii) Hormones & Antibiotics
Animal fed with fed antibiotics, hormones, ground up remains of other animals causes hormone imbalance in our body, leading central nervous disorder, increasing the risk of irregular cell growth, and damaging the balance of beneficial bacteria in the intestines.
6. Refine products
Refined products with little fiber release sugar in the blood stream quickly, causing the responses of pancreas to produce high level of insulin to neutralize it in a short period of time, that interferes with the normal function of central nervous system in controlling the concentration, focus and behaviour for children with autism.
7. Foods promote immune allergic reaction
Since most children with autism have a weakened immune system, eating food promote the immune allergic reaction may cause immune system to attacks a normally harmless substance and interfere to the body’s own natural opioid and disable the enzymes that would break down these naturally occurring compounds, leading to inflammation and gastrointestinal disorder.