The Feingold Diet Program for ADHD
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Introduction to Feingold

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Feingold at the FDA 2011
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What is the Feingold Diet?
Last update 11/3/2013

What is the Feingold Diet Program?
It's a diagnostic tool to determine if certain foods or food additives are triggering some or all of the problems you are seeing. It is continued as a treatment. It can also be combined with any other necessary medical treatments.

Which foods and additives are likely to cause problems?

  • Dyes such as Red 3, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Green 3, and others -- like Yellow 10 or Red 30 -- in medicines and toiletries.

  • Artificial flavors (vanillin is a common one, but there are thousands of others just called "flavors")

  • Artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Equal) and sucrolose (Splenda).

  • Three preservatives: BHA, BHT and TBHQ

    Several common fruits, some vegetables and a few other foods and medicines contain a kind of chemical (called salicylate) that are a problem for some people. There is a lot of confusion on the internet about which foods are salicylates. More ....

What are the chances this will help me or my child?

There is a large body of research that shows the damaging effects certain food additives can have, and that removing them can help the majority of children. These chemicals can affect behavior, learning and health.

But more important, we have been successfully helping hundreds of thousands of families use this program since our nonprofit organization was formed in 1976.

Most of us are parents whose children have dramatically been helped and we donate our time to share information with other families. As we used the Feingold Program for our children we ourselves have also benefited.

How can one additive -- for example a food dye -- affect so many different things such as behavior, learning and health?

Food coloring Food dyes are synthesized from petroleum and are legally permitted to be contaminated with toxic byproducts that include lead, mercury and arsenic.

Different people have varying reactions to these harmful chemicals, depending on their individual biochemistry and genetics, and some people are more sensitive than others. More . . .

What's the deal with salicylates?

Willow bark, which has long been used to ease pain and fever, contains salicylate which is the basis for aspirin. Some plants make salicylates to protect themselves from insects and disease.

While salicylate-containing medicines such as aspirin can offer benefits, and plants that contain salicylates can be very nourishing, they are not well tolerated by everyone.

Many people believe that by measuring the salicylate content of various foods, we can assume that those with the highest levels are the ones that will cause problems. Unfortunately, it is just not that simple. See more . . .

How about the research?

  • A quick overview
  • Studies on diet and ADHD
  • Studies, divided by symptom involved
  • The private collection of full text research studies
        (passwords available upon request)