ADHD Diet Tips: 5 Foods That May Worsen Symptoms

By Ellainie Calangian, Parent Herald March 27, 07:20 am
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) includes symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, forgetfulness and inattentiveness. Its symptoms begin as early as childhood. Those who are diagnosed with ADHD may have difficulties in setting goals, having a job, being organized and managing time. For children with ADHD, they may have problems coping with their studies and social life.

Food and ADHD

Some medical professionals said that certain foods may be linked with ADHD. However, it is not yet believed that food causes ADHD -- although some parents have claimed that certain food can worsen the behavior. 

However, some experts say that certain foods can really worsen the ADHD symptoms. "Excessive caffeine and excessive use of fast foods and other foods of poor nutritional value can cause kids to display behavior that might be confused with ADHD," said Frank Barnhill, MD, an expert and the author of "Mistaken for ADHD."

What To Avoid

Everyday Health and Healthline listed the following foods that people with ADHD must avoid eating. Besides having the right ADHD diet, people with ADHD must take proper medication and behavioral therapy.

1.   Candies

Candies promote ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity because it contains artificial flavors and lots of sugar. "With the high content of sugar and artificial coloring, candy is a huge contribution to ADHD," Howard Peiper, author of "The ADHD and ADHD Diet."

2.  Cake Mixes and Frostings

Cake mixes and frostings are loaded with sugar and artificial colors that lead to hyperactivity. "When frosting and cake mix contain artificial sweeteners, they increase the risk of ADHD symptoms more than the natural sweeteners would," an expert said.

3.   Soda

Soda contains high-fructose corn syrup and caffeine that worsen ADHD symptoms. "Excessive sugar and caffeine intake both cause symptoms of hyperactivity and easy distractibility," Dr. Barnhill said.

4.  Foods with Allergens

Some foods contain allergens that affect the brain and trigger inattentiveness and hyperactivity. These include milk, soy, wheat, peanuts, shellfish, tree nut, fish and eggs.

5.   Energy Drinks

Energy drinks contain artificial color, sugar, artificial sweeteners, stimulants and caffeine that aggravate the ADHD symptoms. "Energy drinks are high in the list of things that cause teens to display behaviors mimicking ADHD," Dr. Barnhill said. This must not be included in ADHD diet.

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