‘Here are some messages taken from our Helpline.
Q: I’m overwhelmed with all the information I am reading, every group thinks they have the right answer.
A: True. Basically. there are two ways to help these kids: 1. Strengthen their immune system so that the child is better able to cope with the toxins (including the food additives) that come his way. 2. Identify and remove some of the worst things out there. Actually, there really are three options. The third option would be both 1 and 2.
Q: I am excited about the fact that we can have an alternative way to help us deal with the situation and hope that the entire family can benefit from it.
A: When you stop eating chemicals made from petroleum, good things are bound to happen. We like to start with a change in diet, and then if you find that either 1 ) there is no improvement (unlikely) or, 2) you need to do more, then you can go another step — possibly remove gluten or casein or (much simpler) introduce supplements.
Q: I read a lot about the gluten-free diet. How does this coexist with the Feingold Program? It seems that there are success stories from this diet as well.
A: Yes. some of our members are combining the two. Feingold is the easy part. Many people who are using only a gluten-free/casein-free diet report success. But take a closer look at the gf/cf- regimen. When you use it you do a lot of food preparation from scratch, and most of the basics could be free of synthetic colors, flavors, aspartame & preservatives.
Then take a look at the special gf/cf foods out there. You’ll notice they don’t contain those additives either. So when you go gf/cf, you automatically cut out the additives we eliminate. True, the children will still get the natural salicylates. but getting rid of the additives is a huge step.
Some doctors and nutritionists claim their diets are the only way to go; they cut out processed foods and all sugars. When they do that they are putting the children on Stage Two of the Feingold Diet. but they generally force the family to give up more foods than is necessary. If you put a child on a diet of crackers and water you might see a big improvement, but that’s taking away far more than is necessary.
Q: How long after we start the Diet should I expect to see results?
A: We don’t know how soon you may see results: we can’t even predict if your child will benefit. But for families that use the Diet carefully, most see positive improvements in anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Every child is different, so we can’t say for sure.
Q: What about sugar? I always hear the sugar is a trigger for hyperactivity as well.
A: Give any child a big dose of sugar on an empty stomach and he will probably get hyper.
But people who recommend cutting out “sugar” are missing some important facts.
- Very few processed foods today contain “sugar.” Most are sweetened with high fructose com sweetener and there’s a big difference in the way our bodies handle them.
- When people say they “cut out sugar” they generally mean that they eliminate candy and various sugary foods. They use the words “sugar” and “candy” interchangeably, as though they were the same thing, but they aren’t! So when these folks “cut out sugar” they are getting rid of sugary tbods that are loaded with synthetic additive.
Q: Because there are so many theories out there, I am confused about where to start.
A: We believe in starting with the simplest things first. Actually. taking cod liver oil is simpler than the Feingold diet, but the Feingold diet is simpler than most of the other things out there…including drugs, which can take weeks to get right and usually have troublesome side effects.
Q: Is there a support group that meets on a regular basis?
A: Our materials are very comprehensive so they will answer most of your questions. But we also have helplines and a wonderful online Facebook members’ group, consisting of many life-long volunteers and long-time members.
Q: I’m nervous. but at the same time excited about this Diet.
A: We understand that it sounds hard and for the first two weeks or so it will be, well – different. But before long it’s routine and you will most likely be enjoying the benefits.