Healing diets helps by removing offending foods and substances while increasing healthy foods. Offending foods vary depending on the individual while healing foods are typically whole foods, organic, and grass-fed meats. Your child’s symptoms will help determine which nutrition plan is best suited for their needs. Symptoms such as red ears & cheeks, aggression, and skin conditions tell us what is going on inside the body. It is our job as parents to identify these symptoms and begin investigating what food(s) may be contributing to the symptoms.
We will highlight 12 special diets for BioIndividual Nutrition below, comparing the benefits & negatives of the diet along with possible reasons for choosing a particular diet.
GFCF (Gluten-free, Casein-free): removal of gluten (protein in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, triticale, conventional oats) and casein (the protein in animal milk).
GFCF is a good place to start with dietary intervention and a good foundation for other special diets. It is fairly easy to do for most adults & children. Negatives include the diet is not inherently healthy and may include a lot of sugar, artificial ingredients, etc.
SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet): removes di- and polysaccharides
SCD is good for SIBO, pathogenic bacteria and yeast. It is helpful with chronic diarrhea and gut inflammation. This diet is more flexible than GAPS, although similar. SCD does contain dairy which can be difficult for some. This may be difficult for children that are picky eaters.
GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome): removes di- and polysaccharides
GAPS focuses on nourishing foods and is very helpful for gut inflammation, diarrhea, SIBO, yeast, and bacteria. GAPS is high in vegetables & fruit, fermented foods, and bone broths. Intro stages may be difficult as it is low in carbs (for children with mitochondrial dysfunction) and can be hard for picky eaters.
Paleo: removes grains and all beans, and no added sugar.
Paleo is a good diet for blood sugar balance and digestive issues. It is the most flexible of the grain-free diets. It may be difficult due to the confusion between different approaches and may be too low in carbs for some children. (* a modified Paleo diet is my FAVORITE for Autism and just getting started)
Low oxalate: reduces oxalates coming in from the diet to reduce burden on the body as oxalates can cause pain and inflammation, impair mitochondrial function, disrupt minerals, and create oxidative stress.
A low oxalate diet is very helpful to support people with mitochondrial function and can address yeast overgrowth that low carb sometimes can not. It may be difficult, because it adds another level of restriction to a diet, plus it needs to be lowered very slowly or you can have an adverse reaction.
Body Ecology Diet (BED): removes sugars that feed yeast and pathogens while working on building the gut flora by building beneficial flora and balancing pH.
Body Ecology Diet is very helpful for yeast overgrowth. It includes healthy principles of low sugar and fermented foods. It may be difficult for children due to several “rules” such as food combining and restricting items.
Low FODMAPs diet: FODMAPs stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.
Low FODMAPs removes foods to avoid feeding bacteria – helping to relieve gas and bloating and digestive issues. It can be very effective for IBS, gas/bloating, and diarrhea. It may not be enough for someone with SIBO or IBS, and adds another level of restriction on other diets.
Ketogenic diet: very low in carbohydrates, causes body to use fats for energy instead of glucose. The body converts fats into ketones that are used by the brain as energy.
Ketogenic diets can be helpful for seizures, and can reduce oxidative stress and be neuroprotective. It is being researched for brain/neurological conditions and metabolic conditions. It may be difficult because it is very restrictive and there may be long term negative effects on the body.
To learn more about what you can do TODAY to get your family started on a healthy lifestyle, read our recent blog HERE.