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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Diet and ADD

04/16/2001

Question:

i am reading a book on natural treatment for ADD and hyperactivity. the author said to cut out red meat and replace it with turkey, fish an eggs. Three questions... 1) what about chicken? my child loves it, in fact that is mostly what she eats! 2) i thought that children under five were not suppose to be exposed to things like fish, certain nuts and chocolate, because they will or can develope an allergy to these foods. is this true? what kinds of fish is ok for a three year old to eat? 3) What about snacks with sugar in them? I take care of a child with ADD and her parents think that sugar causes it? sincerely

Answer:

1) I know of no reliable evidence that turkey or chicken is more helpful than red meat for ADD. Both turkey and chicken are a better protein source than red meat, for most people, because of their lower fat content. 2) I am unfamiliar with any good nutrition information sources that state that all children under five should not be given fish, nuts and chocolate because they will or can develop an allergy to these foods. 3) Studies done in the 1980`S do not support the observation many parents insist they see, that refined sugar makes their child more hyperactive. However, I tend to think that we still need good studies done with hyperactive ADD children in a variety of settings before we can discount sugar`s effects. Since refined sugar should only be eaten in small amounts anyway, it won`t hurt to keep it to a minimum. I suggest you also go to our Diet and Nutrition Expert at the link below.

Related Resources:

NetWellness Diet & Nutrition Expert

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Response by:

Susan Louisa Montauk, MD
Formerly Professor of Family Medicine
University of Cincinnati