Avoiding Salicylates and Additives for Autism Symptoms

It might be helpful to follow a low salicylate diet for anyone, including those with autism. Foods with salicylates might be irritating to the digestive system. Many fruits and vegetables especially are high in salicylates. The symptoms of salicylate intolerance for most people are:

Sinus inflammation and infection
Polyps (small, non-cancerous growths) in the nasal and sinus passages
Tissue swelling
Inflammation of large intestine, which can cause abdominal pain and discomfort

However, the symptoms for those with autism are:

laughing at inappropriate times (at night or when something is not funny)
strange rashes that appear on the body
erratic behaviors and moods
self-stimulatory behaviors
waking up in the middle of the night
having a difficult time with their stools (constipation, diarrhea, and/or undigested foods)

From SCDLifestyle.com:

In a normal body, one with the correct levels of sulfates and liver enzymes, phenols and salicylates are easily metabolized. The body utilizes what it needs from the chemicals and properly disposes of the rest through the bowels. In those whose levels are abnormal, or in the case of leaky gut syndrome, intolerance to this chemical family can occur rather quickly.

Many people with gut issues, such as yeast/bacteria overgrowth or digestive diseases, can develop salicylate intolerance as a result of leaky gut Syndrome.  Leaky gut is a result of various digestive problems and occurs when the small intestine becomes too damaged to properly filter the size and types of food particles or chemicals that enter the bloodstream (for more on leaky gut read this). When these improper particles are allowed to repeatedly enter the bloodstream, the body tries to get rid of them by triggering an immune system response. Because phenols/salicylates are so common in most foods, a person with a leaky gut will have much higher than normal levels of these chemicals in their blood and can very quickly develop intolerances to these specific particles.

The first and easiest step to eliminating most salicylates from the diet is removing any food dyes, artificial flavorings, natural flavors (if you can’t verify that it’s really natural – don’t eat it!) and preservatives. Just doing that is a relief for anyone’s body. Once this step is done, the rest of the lifestyle change is easier.

The following list covers the foods that are safer to eat (with absent or marginal levels of salicylates) if you want to follow this diet plan for a few months and see if there are any changes.

  • meat
  • dairy
  • breads
  • noodles
  • rice
  • butter
  • vegetable oil
  • molasses
  • golden syrup
  • maple syrup
  • brown sugar
  • cocoa powder
  • carob powder
  • chamomile tea
  • garlic
  • vanilla
  • cashews
  • poppy seeds
  • grains
  • pecans
  • peanut butter
  • sesame seeds
  • hazelnuts
  • sunflower seeds
  • plain potato chips
  • bamboo shoots
  • brussel sprouts
  • cabbage
  • celery
  • choke
  • beans
  • peas
  • leek
  • lentils
  • iceberg lettuce
  • potato white
  • beansprouts
  • asparagus
  • beets
  • carrot
  • cauliflower
  • corn
  • french beans
  • mushroom
  • onion
  • pumpkin
  • spinach
  • tomato
  • turnip
  • banana
  • pear, peeled
  • apple, golden delicious
  • custard apple
  • fig
  • cherries, sour canned, morella
  • grapes, green
  • lemon
  • mango
  • pawpaw
  • papaya
  • passionfruit
  • persimmon
  • pineapple juice
  • pomegranate
  • rhubarb
  • tamarillo

Dr. Feingold developed a diet plan in the 1960s based on removing salicylates. The diet plan recommends this example meal plan –

Breakfast can be as easy as scrambled eggs, toast and fruit or you can modify your own recipes so you can serve pancakes or waffles.

For those times when you are in a hurry, try one of these:

Serve a cup of (Feingold accepted brand) yogurt and a piece of fruit for a quick meal.
Melt a slice of cheese on a slice of whole grain bread, along with a glass of juice.
A smoothie made from a cup of milk, a cup of juice and a banana will feed two hungry children

The old stand-bys work great for lunch. Tuna salad sandwiches, egg or peanut butter. Try to keep things simple and as close to what you normally serve as possible. They key is to modify by using accepted brands and items that you will find in our “any” list. These ingredients don’t need to be accepted and listed in our Foodlist. You can purchase “any” type of these items.

The same thing goes for dinner. Modify your families favorite meals. This will ensure a successful result. Whether it is fried chicken, meatloaf, spaghetti or taco’s. All you need are accepted ingredients to make meals that your family loves.