How nutrition can improve autism

An individualized diet can be a great way to improve the symptoms of autism, especially in children, and there are several studies that prove this effect.

There are several versions of the autism diet, but the best known is the SGSC diet, which implies a diet in which all foods containing gluten, such as wheat flour, barley and rye, as well as foods containing casein, are removed. the protein present in milk and dairy products. 

However, it is important to highlight that the SGSC diet is only efficient and only recommended for use in cases where there is some intolerance to gluten and milk, being necessary to do tests with the doctor to assess the existence or not of this problem.

Table of Contents

How to do the SGSC diet

Children who follow the SGSC diet may have an withdrawal syndrome in the first 2 weeks, where symptoms of hyperactivity, aggression and sleep disorders may be exacerbated. This usually does not show a worsening of the condition of autism and ends at the end of this period.

The first positive results of the SCSG diet appear after 8 to 12 weeks of diet, and it is possible to observe an improvement in the quality of sleep, decreased hyperactivity and increased social interaction.

In order to do this diet correctly, gluten and casein should be removed from the diet, following the following guidelines:

1. Gluten

Gluten is the protein in wheat and, in addition to wheat, it is also present in barley, rye and in some types of oats, due to the mixture of wheat and oat grains that normally occurs in plantations and processing plants. foods.

Therefore, it is necessary to remove foods such as:

  • Breads, cakes, snacks, cookies and pies;
  • Pasta, pizza;
  • Wheat germ, bulgur, wheat semolina;
  • Ketchup, mayonnaise or soy sauce;
  • Sausages and other highly industrialized products;
  • Cereals, cereal bars;
  • Any food that is made from barley, rye and wheat.

It is important to look at the food label to see whether or not gluten is present, because under Brazilian law the label of all foods must contain the indication of whether or not it contains gluten. Find out what gluten-free foods are .

2. Casein

Casein is the protein in milk, and therefore it is present in foods such as cheese, yogurt, curd, sour cream, curd, and all the culinary preparations that use these ingredients, such as pizza, cake, ice cream, biscuits and sauces.

In addition, some ingredients used by the industry may also contain casein, such as caseinate, yeast and whey, it is important to always check the label before buying an industrial product. See the full list of foods and ingredients with casein .

Since this diet limits the intake of dairy products, it is important to increase the consumption of other foods rich in calcium, such as broccoli, almonds, flaxseed, nuts or spinach, for example, and if necessary, a nutritionist may also indicate a calcium supplement.

Or what to eat

In the autism diet, a diet rich in foods such as vegetables and fruits in general, English potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice, corn, couscous, chestnuts, nuts, peanuts, beans, olive oil, coconut and avocado should be eaten. Wheat flour can be substituted for other gluten-free flours such as flaxseed, almonds, chestnuts, coconut and oatmeal, when the oat label indicates that the product is gluten free.

Milk and its derivatives can be replaced by vegetable milks such as coconut and almond milk, and vegan versions for cheeses, such as tofu and almond cheese.

Why the SGSC diet works

The SGSC diet helps to control autism because this disease may be linked to a problem called Non-Celiac Sensitivity to Gluten, which is when the intestine is sensitive to gluten and undergoes changes such as diarrhea and bleeding when gluten is consumed. The same goes for casein, which is poorly digested when the intestine is more fragile and sensitive. These intestinal changes often seem to be linked to autism, leading to worsening symptoms, in addition to causing problems such as allergies, dermatitis and respiratory problems, for example.

However, it is important to note that the SGSC diet will not always work to improve the symptoms of autism, as not all patients have a body that is sensitive to gluten and casein. In such cases, you should follow a general healthy diet routine, remembering that monitoring with the doctor and nutritionist should always be done.

SGSC Diet Menu

The following table shows an example of a 3-day menu for the SGSC diet.

MealsDay 1Day 2Day 3
Breakfast1 cup of chestnut milk + 1 slice of gluten-free bread + 1 eggcoconut milk porridge with gluten-free oats2 scrambled eggs with oregano + 1 glass of orange juice
Morning snack2 kiwis5 strawberries in pieces + 1 col of grated coconut soup1 mashed banana + 4 cashew nuts
Lunch dinnerbaked potatoes and vegetables with olive oil + 1 small piece of fish1 chicken leg + rice + beans + braised cabbage, carrot and tomato saladsweet potato puree + 1 steak fried in oil with kale salad
Afternoon snackbanana smoothie with coconut milk1 tapioca with egg + tangerine juice1 slice of wholemeal bread with 100% fruit jelly + 1 soy yogurt

It is important to remember that this is just an example of a gluten-free and lactose-free menu, and that the child with autism must be accompanied by the doctor and nutritionist so that the diet favors their growth and development, helping to minimize symptoms and consequences disease.

Leave a Comment