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5 Rules for an ADHD Friendly Diet

I'm not a doctor. But I hope my experiences and what I've learned about ADHD can give you some insight!

Does What You Eat Really Matter if You Have ADHD?

Can You Cure ADHD with Diet?

Doctors have concluded that ADHD is not the result of any specific diet.

However, there is evidence to support the idea that your diet can affect your ADHD symptoms. What you do or don't eat can make a difference in your ADHD experience.

Diet is not a cure for ADHD.

The idea that foods can affect your mood and behaviour are not new. Anyone who drinks coffee every morning knows that!

Every individual is different and has a different experience with ADHD and the symptoms of it. While eating a certain diet might work well for one person, it could have the totally opposite affect for someone else.

Research on the effects of food on ADHD symptoms is far from conclusive.

Yet, the studies...suggest that diet can have powerful effects on behavior.


Sugar: It's in Almost Everything We Eat

Rule #1: Cut Back on Sugar if It Make You Feel Bad

Most people know too much sugar is bad for them. But can it make your symptoms of ADHD worse?

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Some people swear on cutting sugar out of their diet to minimize symptoms like hyperactivity, brain fog, and even anxiety. Truthfully, I always thought reducing my sugar intake made me feel better.

The truth is, there's conclusive evidence that sugar itself will make your ADHD worse. Some studies have found that sugar makes people with ADHD more hyper, while other studies do not get the same results.

Instead, it might be the other things in sugary food that is aggravating your symptoms.

Typically, sugar is found in food that has a lot of additives and preservatives. These chemically constructed ingredients are more likely to because causing exacerbation of your symptoms than the sugar.

Ultimately, you know your body best. If eating a lot of sugar makes you feel worse, minimize the amount of sugar in your diet.

Making Better Food Choices is Always a Good Start

Rule #2-4: Miminize These 4 Types of Food

There's a few simple foods you can avoid if you have ADHD. This won't cure you - but it might help you feel calmer and at the very least, you'll be proud of yourself for eating a healthier diet.

Start by minimizing how much of these 4 types of foods you eat:

  1. Candy - besides the fact that it's loaded with sugar that is bad for everyone, it's usually got a pile of artificial coloring in it. If you have a candy habit, it can be hard to break but over time, you won't miss it much at all.
  2. Soda, juices, and energy drinks - these can be pure poison to anyone but for someone that may already suffer from hyperactivity, the sugar and the caffeine, the food colorings and the high fructose corn syrup aren't going to help you at all. You can transition to diet soda if you want but it's usually much easier to just get off soda completely.
  3. Deli meat - most of it is full of salt and preservatives and has a low quality meat. The additives that keep it looking fresh can make your ADHD symptoms worse.
  4. Canned/box food - again, preservatives and additives that are necessary to keep these items on the shelf can make you feel worse

Let's Be Realistic About Our ADHD Diet

© 2022 Danielle McGaw

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