GFCF diet for kids with Autism/Aspergers/ADHD
GFCF or Gluten Free Casein Free diet means eliminating dietary intake of the naturally occurring proteins gluten (found most often in wheat, barley, rye, and commercially available oats), and casein (found most often in milk and dairy products).
|photo via: wholesomedietplan.com/|
Uses of Gluten in Food:
1. Gluten provides elasticity when more is added to dough. Two main proteins in Gluten, Glutenin and Gliadin, improve both the strength and stickiness of dough. For this, Gluten is a favored ingredient in the food industry.
2. Baked products use Gluten to help the dough rise and expand. Bakers often add extra amounts of vital wheat Gluten to recipes that require volume and expansion, such as bread loaves and dinner rolls.
3. Gluten helps trap and hold air bubbles during the rising stage. During baking, the Gluten helps to harden the formation of the dough, causing it to retain its shape. Some bread doughs, especially heavy doughs that include whole grains, require additional Gluten to produce volume. Used in hot dog buns, this ingredient helps provide greater strength in its hinges. Other products such as pastries and crackers; use lesser amounts of Gluten, since these products do not need to expand as much as bread.
Is GFCF diet effective for Kids with Autism?
According to research, some parents claim that eliminating Gluten and Casein to their kids diet shows results, while other said that it has no effect at all.
source: ( abcnews.go.com)
Why Parents with Autistic Kids consider the GFCF diet?
Children with Autism usually have gastrointestinal problems (e.g., reflux, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, hiccups, etc.). Proteins found in wheat, rye, oats, barley and dairy products (gluten and casein) aren’t completely broken down in the Autistic child’s digestion process. These undigested proteins can leak into the bloodstream, potentially interfering with neurological processes by having an opiate-like effect upon their systems. These undigested proteins (peptides) can reach toxic levels, with the youngster seeming to “crave” milk and wheat products.
The results produced by the diet vary – but you can expect to see some result. Parents report a variety of outcomes such as:
• improved fine motor skills
• improved focus and attention span
• improved intestinal function
• improved personal hygiene habits
• improved sleep patterns
• improved social skills
• improved speech and communication
• increase in affection shown
• reduction of tantrums and irritability
What foods can kids with Autism eat when they are on GFCF diet?
Here are just some of the foods I got from research.
- Hard boiled egg
- Chicken, Beef and Pork
- cherry tomatoes
- orange wedges
- baby carrots
- celery sticks
- whole apples, pears, etc.
- Soya or Rice Milk
*** Healthy Options have lots of products that are labelled Gluten Free or Casein Free, better check it out.
This diet doesn’t work with every kid with autism as what others have said, but I know there is no harm in trying. Most parents with kids that havea medical condition just want to do the best for their kids that is why they are doing it. If you are considering this diet, it is better to research for yourself some more, commit and ask yourself a million times if you can make it through the years because results will not show overnight.