Kamis, 20 Oktober 2011

Junk Food Diet May Cause Autism Through Insulin Resistance

By Julia Moravcsik, PhD, author of Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food

Michael Stern, a Rice University biochemist has theorized that the same junk food diet that causes diabetes may also cause autism.

Dr. Stern found that genes that cause autism impact insulin signaling.  When they eat a poor diet, children with these genes may develop autism.

What to Feed Your Autistic Child

Stern suggests that a simple research study could verify his theory.  If autistic children are given a low carb diet, and their symptoms subside, then there would be evidence for his theory.

There is no need to wait for the published study.  A low carb diet is generally a healthy one, as long as it doesn't contain excessive amounts of meat.

Here are some steps to a healthy low carb and low glycemic index diet:

  • Eliminate all the sugar and other sweeteners from your child's diet.
  • Eliminate all refined flour from your child's diet.  Only feed her whole grains, especially whole grains that haven't been ground up (like sprouted wheat breads).
  • Step up the number of vegetables she eats.  Try to aim for 9 per day.
  • Give her lots of protein, but avoid too much meat, especially fried or grilled meats.
  • Give her at least one, and preferably two, servings of beans per day.  Buy a few bean cookbooks.

Insulin sensitivity can also be improved by these diet changes:

  • Eliminate most sources of saturated fat.  Milk is ok, but make it lowfat if your child is two years old or older.
  • Avoid fried foods.
  • If your child is overweight, help her lose weight by giving her real, whole foods.

Eat a Healthy Diet During Pregnancy

Eating a junk food diet during pregnancy may also increase the chances of having an autistic child, possibly through the same mechanism.  Big swings in blood sugar may affect the fetus if it has autism genes.

Avoid sweets, refined flour, and fatty foods during pregnancy.  Eat lots of vegetables, beans, and whole grains.  Feel free to eat fruit, but eat it with meals.

Ignore friends and relatives who encourage you to eat junk food because you're "eating for two."  These nine months are the most important months in your whole life to eat healthfully. 

More Information

For more information on the study, see this news release.

Would you like a simple, easy-to-follow program that will teach your child to love healthy food? See my new book Teach Your Child to Love Healthy Food on amazon.com.

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