Your Diet & ADHD

Feingold Diet

In the 1970’s, allergist Dr. Benjamin Feingold theorized that food additives and salicylates may play a role in hyperactivity and learning disabilities in children. These food additives included food dyes, artificial flavors such as vanillin, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose, and preservatives such as sodium benzoate. Salicylates are chemicals found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, and used in medicines such as Aspirin. Additives and salicylates are included in many common foods, including apples, grapes, lunch meats, sausage and hot dogs. In his book, Why Your Child is Hyperactive, Dr. Feingold outlined his studies on the effects of a diet that omitted these substances. Dr. Feingold found that half of the children on this diet showed improvement in their symptoms after elimination. When these substances were reintroduced, Dr. Feingold found that their symptoms also returned.

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Review Date: 
June 12, 2015

Last Updated:
June 12, 2015