You are here

Autism Diet

Autism diet comprises a combination of food items that are beneficial for children suffering from Autism which is a complex developmental disorder. In patients suffering from the disease it afflicts in the initial 3 years of age and affects the brain by restricting its normal development. Impaired communication and lack of interactive skills are the main symptoms of autism. This disorder is often associated by birth and the agents that are responsible for birth defects are the main cause for autism.

However, like other disorders, this genetic disorder can also be treated with effective lifestyle changes and medications. Although, there is no connection of diet with the treatment of autism, some foods are not recommended for autistic child , hence an eating plan should be followed to stabilize the condition.

Autism Diet: Characteristics

A gluten-free diet accompanied with casein-free diet is the best autism therapy so far, as proved by researchers. Gluten or a protein present in some grains is not suitable for the autistic child and it may also hamper the ongoing treatment for the disorder. Milk protein or casein is also not recommended for the autism patient.

Both these gluten-free and casein-free diets are known as ‘elimination diets’ as a typical kind of foo, or more specifically a ‘protein’, is eliminated from child’s diet.

The main idea behind conceptualizing these ‘elimination diets’ is to reduce the level of gluteomorphines that is the by-product of protein present in milk and few grains like wheat, barley and rye. Autistic children have gastrointestinal disorder that do not allow them to digest the gluten and casein, hence increasing the level of gluteomorphines. The increased level of this protein by-product may cause the similar effects in the brain as caused by a drug. As a result, the desire to interact socially among the autistic child further reduces and confusion in the brain arises. Even the pain messages going to brain are blocked. By keeping all this in mind, a gluten-free and casein-free diet is recommended for autistic child so that gluteomorphines can be reduced which helps in improvement of the behavior of the child.

Autism: Dietary Restrictions

The effectiveness of ‘elimination diets’ has been researched and on the basis of that few food items are said to be unsuitable for the autistic children. Here are the food items:

  • Food item comprising wheat, barley and rye should not be included in autism diet.
  • Starchy foods also contain gluten, hence avoided. Wheat pasta, white rice and wheat breads should not be consumed.
  • Processed foods may also trigger autistic symptoms, therefore they need to be eliminated from the diet.
  • Milk and other dairy products including casein should be avoided.

Benefits of Autism Diet Plan

Gluten-free Casein-free diet (GCFC diet) is recommended by the Autism Research Institute without any scientific evidence, but in 1991, Kalle Reichelt had first articulated the possibility of the connection between ‘elimination diets’ and treatment of autism.

The autism diet however, is surrounded by many controversies, but few case studies have shown positive results in the autistic children.


For further information, following websites can be visited: