Autism is a disorder that affects a child's ability to interact socially with other children, affecting speech and behaviour. There is no cure and there is no set treatment. According to leading autism nutritionist Julie Matthews, diet modifications like low oxalate diets are used to treat the disorder. There is a wide range of low oxalate foods to choose from.
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Low Oxalate Diets
The low oxalate diet as a treatment for autism is a newer find, but has been recommended by leading autism researchers like Susan Owens. Low oxalate diets reduce the amount of sharp crystals that contribute to certain kidney stones. The object of the diet is to minimise the inflammatory affects of these crystals and to increase the immune function, detoxification and antioxidant properties of the body.
A large list of vegetables that kids will eat and that will satisfy the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Pyramid is included in this diet. Lima beans, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, lettuce, mushrooms, peas, pickles, runner beans and V8 Splash are all low oxalate foods. Beans like lentils and refried beans are also safe to eat.
Most fruits that are popular with kids are on the list, making this diet possible for picky eaters. Apples and apple juice, banana, cantaloupe, cherries, grapes and grape juice, oranges and orange juice, melons, peaches, pears, pineapples, raisins, strawberries and watermelon are among the fruit that is OK to be eaten.
Grains and Cereal
There is a very wide range of these foods that fit into the diet, far more than there are high and moderate oxalate options. Wheat and white bread, crackers, graham crackers, granola bars without nuts or chocolate, waffles and pancakes, muffins, rice and corn or flour tortillas are all suitable to be eaten. Cereals that are recommended on the diet include Apple Jacks, Cheerios, Frosted Flakes and Rice Crispies.
All dairy except that which contains chocolate, like chocolate milk or ice cream, or full fat cream is permitted.
Fish and Meats
All fish, including tuna, shrimp and breaded fish, is all right. Meats like chicken and chicken nuggets, beef, ham, bacon, pork, hot dogs, lunchmeat, turkey and sausage are all safe on a low oxalate diet.
Snacks and Sweets
Snacks are fine, except for crisps. Most sweets can be eaten with the exception of anything chocolate. Chocolate is a high oxalate food.
Dressings, Fats and Spices
There are no restrictions on dressings or on any fats like butter, margarine, sour cream, mayonnaise or vegetable oils. Most spices are also fine, with the exception of black pepper, cumin, curry and poppy seed. Sugar, honey, jams and salt are acceptable. Peanuts and peanut butter are high oxalate foods and cannot be eaten.
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