Feingold Diet: ADD/ADHD Treatment through Careful Food Choices and Preparation

Dr. Ben F. Feingold (1899-1982) is the founder of the Feingold diet. During his career, Dr. Feingold was a pediatrician and allergist who served as Chief of Allergy at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco. Through his studies, Dr. Feingold noticed that some patients were sensitive to aspirin, certain foods, and food additives. Surprisingly, Dr. Feingold concluded that aspirin and food additives caused both physical and behavioral problems in his patients.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Dr. Feingold developed a diet to help patients with food sensitivities. Of those children diagnosed with hyperactivity, Dr. Feingold found his diet helped at least half of them.

The basis of the Feingold diet for ADHD is eliminating artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, aspartame (Nutrasweet), and artificial preservatives (specifically BHA, BHT, and TBHQ). In sensitive people, these food additives seriously affect behavior and learning abilities. Interestingly, the Feingold diet brings eating habits back in time to an era when foods were wholesome and fresh, rather than mass produced and filled with additives.

Following the Feingold diet for ADD/ADHD does not mean you have to give up food at the supermarket or all of the conveniences of premade food and fast food. The Feingold diet for ADHD allows you to eat and drink many name-brand, prepackaged foods; it all depends on the choices you make. Almost all well-known brands offer an “acceptable” version of their products—versions without the artificial colors, flavorings, and preservatives that adversely affect children and adults sensitive to them. To many people’s surprise, the Feingold diet for ADD/ADHD does not eliminate sugar, either. In the past, sugar was labeled as a “bad guy” because sugary foods often contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. While a small percentage of children have sugar difficulties, most kids may enjoy sweets in moderation.

The Feingold diet for ADD/ADHD is said to help behavioral problems (hyperactivity); impulsive actions (disruptive behavior, destructive behavior, poor self-control); compulsive actions (aggressiveness, workaholic habits); and emotional concerns (irritability, overreaction). The Feingold diet also has been shown to positively affect learning and sleep. For more information on the Feingold diet, log on to www.feingold.org.

Did you know Attend is accepted for use by the Feingold Association? It is!