ADHD Diet Plan
An "ADHD Eating Program", or an "ADHD Diet" is very important if you or your child are struggling with ADHD.
But no matter how effective your medical treatment intervention for ADHD might be, if you or your child are eating a bunch of junk - your symptoms from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder will not improve! No ADHD treatment intervention - no matter how powerful - can overcome eating junk foods. Watch the "ADHD Diet" video below...
"ADHD Eating Program" or "ADHD Diet"
There are several good ways to treat ADHD such as stimulant medications, Attend and other nutraceuticals, and EEG neurofeedback training. But you MUST eat to optimize your brain's performance! Using this ADHD Diet can help any of these treatment interventions work better - but if you eat junk none of them will work!
Here is our "ADHD diet" and eating program for anyone with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is not a very strict program like the Feingold ADHD diet plan. But you will have to stop having most of your meals at your local fast food restaurant. This program is recommended for every member of the family. It's not just an "ADHD diet". It's the same program that we put professional athletes and business executives on for optimized performance, with only minor changes.
We have found that this ADHD Diet makes a huge difference with about 20% to 25% of those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder that try it even without using any other intervention. We strongly believe that whether one is using a medication such as Ritalin, or using a natural alternative such as Attend, that this type of eating program plays a big role in achieving success when used as a part of a treatment plan.
The most common feedback that we get from parents is, "Well, it helped my kid somewhat, but I really feel great!"
Results fall into a "Bell Curve." A few do great, a few are completely unaffected, and most do somewhat better but it is not enough as a stand-alone intervention. Please have realistic expectations with this ADD ADHD Diet, or with any eating program for ADHD. But please try it. It just may be a big help to your family.
Finding Out if it is ADHD or Food Allergies : A Brief Elimination Diet
What NOT to eat for TWO WEEKS: the first step in this "ADHD Diet"
First, let's find out if there are food allergies causing the ADHD symptoms or behaviors. Eliminate these foods for two weeks, then get ready to add them back in to the ADHD diet...
- NO DAIRY PRODUCTS, especially cow's milk. This is the single most important restriction for the first two weeks. The American Pediatric Association estimates that a significant percentage of all children are allergic to milk. Instead try Almond milk, Rice milk, or Better Than Milk. We are looking at "Raw Organic Milk" which has not been pasteurized. Since it still has enzymes it might be digested better than the "ultra-pasteurized" milk. And drink lots of water for two weeks.
- NO YELLOW FOODS. Especially Yellow Corn or Yellow Squash. Bananas are white, but don't eat the yellow peel. About 1/1000 people have problems with the stuff that makes these foods yellow in color.
- NO JUNK FOODS. If it comes in a cellophane wrapper, don't eat it. Stop eating junk food and your brain will work better. Junk foods tend to be very high in sugars and carbohydrates, and our brains get fuzzy and our kids get more hyperactive when sugars and carbohydrates are eaten together.
- NO FRUIT JUICES. They have too much sugar. One small glass of apple juice has the sugar content of eight apples. Later on you can have juice, but for now if you have to have any juice just dilute it with water 50/50.
- CUT SUGAR INTAKE BY 90%. If you can, cut it down to zero. Sugar is in just about everything, but try to really restrict eating it. Do your best to reduce your sugar intake without going crazy.
- CUT CHOCOLATE BY 90%. No more than a single piece, once a week. Chocolate is our favorite food here at http://newideas.net but it has about 220 different chemicals, some of which people can have problems with.
- NO NUTRASWEET. None. Period. Never. It's bad for you. It is bad for your brain. This is not just a two week restriction. It is not very good for your brain. Don't eat or drink nutrasweet.
- NO PROCESSED MEATS and NO MSG. Only get meats with labels that say, “Turkey and Water,” etc. This is not just a two week restriction. If the meat has chemicals listed that you can't pronounce, don't buy it and don't eat it.
- CUT FRIED FOODS BY 90%. The Trans-Fats in fried foods and other less than healthy foods compete in the body with good Fatty Acids, and the Essential Fatty Acids. You can either have unhealthy Trans-Fats, or healthy EFA, but not both in the same space in your brain. This is not just a two week restriction. Good fats with good fatty acids are your friends. Bad fats such as Trans-fats or Poly-Unsaturated fats are bad for us. Good fat sources can include animal fats, coconut oil, olive oil, flax oil and so on.
- AVOID FOOD COLORINGS WHENEVER POSSIBLE. See if your child is sensitive to any particular colors, such as Reds, Yellows, etc. For now, though, avoid all if possible.
- AVOID FISH. We hate to say this, as there used to be so many benefits to eating fish, especially the Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) or Omega Oils. But the problem these days is that the mercury levels in most fish is simply too high to be either safe or healthy. Mercury is the second most toxic metal on earth, and is a terrible neuro-toxin. Until we clean up the oceans and the rivers of mercury, just don't eat it. Sorry.
SUMMARY: Just eat foods that God made for a while. Eat like people did in the 1940's, or the 1840's. Go to a used book store and get some good old cook books for recipe ideas. There really are about 10,000 meals that you CAN eat. Just not much in the way of “fast foods” or “convenience” foods.
After the First Two Weeks of the ADHD Diet : What to Eat
Our ADHD Diet : What we recommend that you eat to feed your brain, from the ADHD Information Library of Newideas.net
AFTER TWO WEEKS begin adding some of the restricted foods back into your diet, one food every other day. The foods that are bad for you all of the time, such as trans-fats, nutrasweet, and other chemical food additives should be out of your diet forever. Junk foods and fast foods should be eliminated too. But of the "test" foods such as dairy products, eat A LOT of that food every day for four days. If you have a problem with one of the foods, you will see some kind of a “reaction” within four days. The reaction can vary from big red splotches on the body to ears turning bright red to explosive temper outbursts. If there's a problem, you'll know. If there's no problem, enjoy the food.
ADHD Diet: OPTIMIZE THE ADHD BRAIN
Just as some foods make the brain "foggy," other foods can enhance and optimize brain performance. Here are some things to eat to feed the ADHD brain...
- FOR BREAKFAST SERVE HIGH PROTEIN, LOW CARBOHYDRATE MEALS. Say, “Good-bye,” to Breakfast cereals and milk. Breakfast cereals are mostly carbohydrate and sugar, which is a bad combination for the ADHD brain. And many children are allergic to milk. So the classic American breakfast of cereal with milk is a bad idea. Instead, serve 60% to 70% Protein and 30% to 40% Carbohydrates for Breakfast. Eggs, breakfast meats, and some toast would be fine. Other meals of the day could be 50% Protein and 50% Carbohydrate.
- PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS might be needed to get the added protein for Breakfast. They are often very helpful in the afternoon as well. Here is our favorite recipe for a Protein Shake:
a) Make a cup of coffee with a flavor that you or your child will like (yes, I know I'm breaking my own rules here, as these flavors will have some sugar, but I'm trying to get your kid to actually drink the thing, and also get some caffeine mixed with the protein.). Pour the hot coffee into a blender with about 6 oz of ice. Turn on the blender for a bit.
b) Add a good quality protein powder. There are many good ones available. If you can't find one that you like, ask at your local health food store. Get protein powders that are mostly protein and very little carbohydrate. Add between 15 and 20 grams of protein to the cold coffee in the blender.
c) Turn on the blender again.
d) Drink it up.
This protein shake is helpful for a lot of people. For many small kids, and many adults, this recipe works about as well as a small dose of Ritalin (100 mg of caffeine is roughly the same as 5 mg of Ritalin). So many who might just take a small dose of Ritalin might get away with just doing this. Don't forget, though, that even caffeine can have some side effects. Every once in a while we find someone that has problems with the caffeine in the coffee. Usually, though, the caffeine in the coffee helps the person to focus better. The protein helps to feed the brain. If you find this helpful, have one with Breakfast, and one around 3 pm. If it is not helpful, then don't bother with it.
- DRINK LOTS OF WATER. The brain is about 80% water, and increasing your water intake to 7 to 10 glasses per day might be very helpful all by itself. Sodas, Gatorade, teas, icees, etc., do not count as water. Only water counts as water.
- MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS may be helpful. Colloidal Minerals or fully chelated minerals are the best. There are several good choices. Don't buy minerals in the grocery store. Get good minerals.
- ATTEND, EXTRESS, or MEMORIN. Attend is an excellent brain food, so we recommend the Attend product for everyone from ADHD kids and teens, to athletes, businessmen and women, students, and more. Extress is recommended for those with problems with hyperactivity and temper, and is also good for improved sleep and anxiety or worry. Memorin is for those with poor concentration or memory. These are highly recommended. See ADD-Products.com for some of the research data on Attend. Here is more information here at http://newideas.net on ATTEND, the amino acid based, homeopathic medicine that is a great alternative to stimulants.
- FLAX SEED OIL or PRIMROSE OIL or WALNUT OIL. These are good sources of Omega oils, and many with ADHD are deficient in Omega oils (or essential fatty acids). Primrose oil is high in Omega-6s, so this is important to take. Flax seed oil is high in Omega-3s, which are also good. Try to get twice as many Omega 6s as Omega 3s in your daily diet. Borage oils and Walnut oils are OK. You can rub many of these oils onto your skin and let it soak in too. Mix about a spoonful a day into cold foods as you prepare them, or add to salad dressings, etc. A company called "YES" makes excellent "parent essential oils" that lets the human body break it down into the needed Omega 3-6-9s as needed. Our nutritionist friend really likes these.
After having read a lot more, we have become convinced that Fish oils, and even Krill oils, should just be avoided. They are just not that great -- not that helpful. Read more about Essential Fatty Acids and ADHD at http://newideas.net/adhd/research/essential-fatty-acids and in the other articles in that section.
- EAT LOTS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.
- AVOID ALUMINUM EXPOSURE
- AVOID HEAVY METAL EXPOSURES. These heavy metal exposures come in the form of amalgam dental fillings, which are 50% mercury (extremely toxic), 20% copper (also toxic), and about 15% nickel (also toxic). Nickel is also common with dental braces and with dental crowns. Cadmium is toxic, and is found in dental fillings, and also in cigarette smoke. And there are other toxic heavy metals found in pesticides and herbicides. And now there's also too much mercury in fish.
- Eat in a healthy manner.
Try these recommendations out and let us know what you think.
Oh, before you email back and ask, “Well, what can we eat?” please look through your Betty Crocker Cook Book and you'll find hundreds of recipes that will work well. It's the convenience foods that are most of the problem. Re-discover the lost art of cooking with this eating program for ADD : "ADHD Diet".