What Is The Best Diet For Autistic People?

The modern trend of using a vegan diet to maintain good health is sweeping the nation. People realize the benefits, and it’s become a popular choice for many people across all age groups and demographics. However, there has been a recent increase in individuals adopting a vegan diet with their children, including those on the autistic spectrum.

How does this change affect them? Does it make all the difference they’ve been looking for? Let’s find out!

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What Is A Vegan Diet?

A vegan diet is one that excludes any animal products or byproducts from its ingredients. It usually consists of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds combined in different ways to provide balanced nutrition through fiber and healthy fats while reducing or eliminating meat and animal fat.

Veganism is a common dietary choice for people who want to maintain good health, and it’s been shown to reduce the risk of certain diseases such as obesity. This may provide increased energy levels and increased focus for those on the autistic spectrum, along with other benefits. However, there are some important factors to consider before making this dietary change.

In addition, since this practice is becoming more popular among children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it’s very important they receive proper nutrition in order to avoid malnutrition. Otherwise, their growth could be stunted or delayed due to malnutrition when they are unable to properly digest foods like meat or dairy products. A vegan diet can address both of these concerns in the proper circumstances.

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Can A Vegan Diet Benefit Autistic People?

A vegan diet can provide many benefits for those on the autistic spectrum, including a reduction in symptoms and better quality of life. In addition, children with ASD often have difficulty digesting certain ingredients such as dairy products or meat, which makes it more difficult to absorb vital proteins that aid growth and development. A vegan diet bypasses this problem by eliminating these components from its ingredients.

In fact, a study found that a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) diet is one of the most effective dietary interventions for children with autism. The GFCF approach has been shown to reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity while increasing attention span and concentration levels for those who struggle with behavioral problems. Children with autism often have issues digesting certain ingredients found in many types of food, which can leave them feeling sluggish and unfocused. Incorporating a vegan diet into their lives may help alleviate these feelings.

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In addition to providing increased focus and attention support for those with ASD, a vegan diet has been shown to provide other benefits as well. For example, some individuals on the autistic spectrum are not able to properly break down gluten or casein, which are protein components found in both meat and dairy. Because of this, they absorb it through their digestive system instead of processing it like other foods. As a result, they experience gastrointestinal distress that leads to symptoms associated with autism, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IB), chronic diarrhea, vitamin deficiencies, and malnutrition.

A vegan diet is naturally gluten- and casein-free, which makes it a more appropriate choice for those with autism who struggle to digest these products thoroughly. In fact, according to the Autism Treatment Center of America (ATCA), this type of diet has been shown to improve communication skills and reduce self-destructive behavior in children on the autistic spectrum.

Disclaimer:
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Consult your physician or health care professional before starting any new treatment or making dietary changes.

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As For Me?

I have been diagnosed with high-functioning Autistic Savant syndrome with co-morbid ADHD and OCPD last year, at the age of 42. Prior to that I just thought life was one big adventure. I tweaked my diet throughout my life and found that USN supplements helped me the most. It is palatable and contains all the nutrients my body needs. I am not always keen on eating and these shakes is the most efficient way for me to get my protein, vitamins and minerals for that day.

Autism and my favorite F-words

My Favorite F-words

I always had a hard time figuring out how to put a ‘life’ together. It was difficult to get a model in my head of the prefect life because the only way to get the necessary information would be to ask questions. Apparently I did this the wrong way. I lacked the skill to engage in ‘small-talk’ and would often ask people direct questions about their lives. Some of these questions where too direct or too private.

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I was also told what I can say and what I can’t say: some things were offensive, or hurtful or not tactful. I had to learn what certain words meant and when people used it for a different meaning or in a different context.

I had to get a framework in place, based on my own failure and learning and also by studying others relentlessly. For me to get some kind of life in place, I needed information and I did this by using the correct words, in the correct way, with the right tonality.

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I have realized now that by being autistic, and having been diagnosed with ADHD, that I formed my own unique set of words or concepts which I believe would serve you in order to achieve wholeness in your life.

Life Framework

You need to have at least 80% of the following concepts in place:

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FAITH / SPIRITUALITY

the unshakable belief that things are going to be okay. To live, as far as possible, in harmony with others and with nature.

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FOREVER

be in pursuit of a fulfilling romantic relationship. Love deeply. Someone you can see spending โ€˜foreverโ€™ with.

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FAMILY

to have some sort of balanced relationship with your kin. You will need them in the future or they will need you.

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FRIENDS

you need a soundboard of sorts, to test your ideas, goals and dreams. Choose friends who want the best for you.

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FOOD

follow a balanced diet to feed your body and your mind. Too much of anything is a waste.

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FEE / SALARY

bring your own value to the marketplace. The fee that you earn for your time can be increased if you enhance your skill set which in turn increases your value.

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FINANCE

spend less than what you earn. Sacrifice small present indulgences for greater future reward. Get familiar with the concept of compounded interest.

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FITNESS

move more. A 30-minute walk daily has been proven to be enough. It helps to clear your mind.

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FUN

celebrate good times but in moderation. Know when to be serious and when to have fun.

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FIRST GRADE

the first year most of us learn to read and write. The perfect tools to kick off your journey of discovery and education. Never stop learning.

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Last but not least, and my personal favorite:

FAVOR

I have at least one moment of gratitude per day, just to realize the miracle of how lucky I am to still be alive. When you go to bed at night and fall asleep, you have zero guarantee that you will wake up the next day. I am forever humbled by the favor that mother nature does every morning to allow me to wake up as me: with my mind, my thoughts, my identity, my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my talents, my likes, my dislikes, my memories, my victories, my regrets, my successes, my failures, my vision, my uniqueness, my verve!

Please comment on this post by sharing your favorite F-words…but keep it clean please ๐Ÿ™‚

Autism and Food – why are we labeled ‘picky eaters’?

Fond Food Memories

I only received my diagnosis at age 41, so all my childhood food memories are framed in that light: unknowingly autistic.

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One

One of my favorite items ever was (and still is) yogurt. Plain yogurt, with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. Breakfast, 2nd breakfast, elevenses, lunch, 2nd lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, supper, (I sound like a Hobbit) midnight snack, any time of the day really!

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Two

Second on my list would have to be a slice of bread with peanut butter and golden syrup. I have recently upgraded to peanut butter and chocolate spread, Nutella actually! There is a catch though, I do not like it when the peanut butter or syrup is spread all the way to the sides. This hampers my placement of my fingers when I have to pick up the slice of bread, because when it touches my skin in my mind the stickiness is wrong. It feels like an error and I need to clean my hands, which means I don’t want the slice of bread anymore. Not a picky eater per se, just a kid who knows what he wants and how he wants it.

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Three

Fried eggs would be number 3 on my list of favorite childhood foods. I was fascinated by the white and its texture all rubbery and chewy, and then intrigued by the yellow gold liquid that oozes from the center if it was made just right! A bit of salt and a bit of pepper completes this divine source of protein.

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Four

Number 4 on my list would absolutely be fried chicken! I love the smell, the taste, the texture and the ease with which I can chew it. You see, chewiness was a problem for me and even today I make an effort to eat food that chews easily. Not a picky eater, just someone who wants to enjoy their food and not burn out their jaw muscles…

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Five

Avocado, just wow… We had an avocado tree in our backyard and it was my favorite time of the year when we could pick ripe avocados and eat as much as we wanted to. Very healthy, great texture, perfect taste, easy to chew, not tough on the stomach, gives me enough energy and not too difficult to clean my hands afterwards. Perfect item to round of my list!

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Drinks I loved and still do

Coffee

My constant companion since I can remember, coffee…!!!

I can drink it anytime of the day, for sure. I love the smell, the taste, the color, the feeling of comfort, the calmness it brings and the focus I experience mentally after a cup in the morning.

I will drink coffee everyday of my life and I will not feel bad about it.

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One thing I hate – Apples

Hate hate hate

Like seriously dislike. Raw apples that is, ones you pick off of a tree, ones you buy at the supermarket. Absolutely can not stand it. The look, the smell, the taste, having to bite into it…yuck! That sound drives me nuts and I want to gag!!!

I do enjoy apple pie though ๐Ÿ™‚

I also like apple juice, which is weird…

So, now that I know I am on the spectrum I could figure out why apples freaks me out. It’s all of my senses raising red flags and telling my body: STOP, DO NOT CONSUME!!!

Phew! Not picky eater, just someone who listens to his body…

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I am still figuring out what and where I have decided to eat or not eat certain foods because of my autism. This is an ongoing journey of discovery for me.

For example, I recently started eating ice-cream. I never liked it growing up, too cold on my teeth. Also, do I bite it, do I lick it, do wait for it to melt and drink it? Confusing…

Another thing I always did was to eat my food like Goldilocks, just right. I do not eat cold food and I do not eat warm food, I eat food when it is at room temperature because in my mind it would take less energy to digest it then.

Again, not a ‘picky eater’ just efficient!