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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.