Simple, Healthy Diet Best for ADHD; Advice Against Inconveniencing Parents

Have you ever wanted to look at all the different research studies about nutrition reviewed by DietsInReview in one place and see what can be deduced from all of the findings together? That is basically what psychologists call a literature review. If you are paying attention, the findings of a literature review probably will not be too surprising. I wasn’t too surprised by the Good Morning America (GMA) headline “Healthy Diet Best for ADHD Kids” based off a recent literature review by J. Gordon MIllichap, MD and Michelle M. Yee, CPNP titled “The Diet Factor in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.” An “ADHD Diet” is something we have talked about before.

The authors, who work at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, seemed most impressed by a diet high in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and low in fats. They also seem somewhat impressed by omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements. The abstract also states that “sugar-restricted, additive/preservative-free, oligoantigenic/elimination, and fatty acid supplements” seem to reduce symptoms of ADHD. Unfortunately, the authors seem to be against recommending additive-free and oligoantigenic/elimination diets, such as the specific carb diet, because they are inconvenient for parents.

Parenting is the most difficult, most important job most people will ever have and much of it is inconvenient. Doing what is best for our kids is often inconvenient. Doing what is best for ourselves (exercising daily, getting regular check ups, cooking at home and preparing healthy meals) is often inconvenient. Although more research is needed for oligoantigenic/elimination diets, I will continue to follow the research and continue to recommend that parents try them.

While no diet or supplement is effective all the time for all children, in the best interest of our children (assuming there are not negative side effects), it is worth a try. I will also certainly be recommending that all parents continue to purify their family meals with more vegetables, more fruits, less fat, and no processed foods.

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