NPR released information on a study March 12, 2011, in the Lancet, indicating 64% of the students that exhibited ADHD symptoms actually had a hypersensitivity to some foods.” What’s interesting is Jim West has been treating kids with ADHD, ODD, Depression, Anxiety and Mood disorder the same way since 2003. Around 85% of students do not need medication for these issues as often changing diet, adding supplements, and increasing exercise or activity levels can do the trick just like it did for one of Jim West’s client, Taylor, seen in the Fox 35 news interview below.
“Hey Dad . . . home for lunch!” It was the middle of the day in Portugal and my nephews came home from school for lunch? My brother David lives in Mafra, Portugal and I was calling him from Orlando. He told me his kids come home from school everyday for lunch around noon and walk back to school around 1:30pm. During our call I recalled this happens in most countries across the globe.
In most countries students have the following routine and eat up to 2-5 lbs of carbohydrates, starch & sugar per month:
- Eat breakfast and burn carbohydrates off walking to school
- Walk back for lunch
- Burn carbohydrates off walking back to school
- Walk home about the time their parents are home from work
- Eat a snack and do homework
- Go outside and play to burn off the carbohydrates again
- Eat dinner and get ready for bed
In the United States the average student eats 21 lbs of sugar per month or 5 lbs per week (4 times the worlds average consumption per person):
- Eat breakfast and sit in a vehicle and carbohydrates turn to sugar
- Eat lunch and sit in class and crash mentally from the sugar rush
- Sit in a vehicle on the way home
- Eat a Snack and and carbohydrates turn to sugar then another sugar crash and sit to do Homework
- Play on the computer or video games until parents get home.
- Eat dinner, sit around watching T.V. and get ready for bed
Jim West, ADHD Expert has been interviewed by local and National TV & Radio including ABC’s Medical Minute, Daily Buzz, Fox 35, WESH2 NBC, & WKMG 6 CBS, & more. See below
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Sugar and carbohydrates are meant to give us a burst of energy for us to burn. However due to our fast pace and how far we live from school and work we eat carbs (cereal, pancakes, waffles, Pop Tarts) and sit, eat and sit, eat and sit, each day! Additionally, carbohydrates are easy and convenient and as Americans we love convenience. We are the #1 “Consumers” in the world and thus “consume” 6 times more carbohydrates than the rest of the world.
So how does what we eat (too many carbohydrates and sugars) effect us?
- 80% of students in America are deficient in Magnesium. If we consume too many carbohydrates our bodies can not absorb Magnesium. Magnesium is calming, helps us manage stress, increases focus, & it’s a natural muscle relaxer.
- If we do not absorb Magnesium it’s difficult to absorb Calcium which has many health benefits including improved sleep patterns, bone growth and density, it calms and helps with focus.
- Too many carbohydrates also effects the absorption of chromium which helps to balance our sugar levels.
- 25% of kids between 6-10 years of age have high blood pressure and at risk for hypertension and heart disease
- 1 out of 6 children are obese and 1 out of 3 are overweight.
- Unused Carbs causes spurts of energy, multiple mental energy crashes (trouble focusing on uninteresting tasks at school or work), the strong desire for more carbs and increased appetite, and weight gain.
- These Carbohydrate crashes happen each time we eat too many carbohydrates and effects our mental energy more and more throughout the day as we expend energy. Making it more difficult to do homework, household chores and tasks and effects our moods and how we handle frustration.
- At risk for Diabetes: Diabetes is 95% preventable but recently moved up to the #5 killer of Americans.
What can we do about this?
- Encourage more exercise and physical activity with sports, recreation, family walks, biking, etc.
- Limit computer and video games to 30-60 minutes per day to encourage social and play interaction with peers.
- Increase the Protein to Carbohydrate ratio
- Eat light meals at night with some carbohydrates to help us crash at night and improve deep sleep.
- Avoid Red Meat and Pork at night as it takes 8-12 hours to metabolize. When we metabolize we create energy and dinner time is the time we should be winding down.
- If kids are picky eaters discuss vitamins and supplements with your doctor.
- Watch out for Yellow, Red and Orange Food Coloring according to Dr. Oz
- Red Dye made of Insects?
- Red Food Coloring from Ground up Bugs since the Aztecs?
- Yellow Food coloring linked to a variety of immunologic responses have been attributed to tartrazine ingestion, including anxiety, migraines, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, general weakness, heatwaves, feeling of suffocation, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance. Certain people who are exposed to the dye experience symptoms of tartrazine sensitivity even at extremely small doses, some for periods up to 72 hours after exposure. In children, asthma attacks and hives have been claimed, as well as supposed links to thyroid tumors, chromosomal damage, and hyperactivity.
- Orange food coloring is a synthetic yellow azo dye, manufactured from aromatic hydrocarbons from petroleum.
- Complimentary Copy of the Diet and Information on the Supplements for ADHD
Changing how we eat directly effects how we think, feel, and act! Start today to modify how we eat at home, work and school and see a huge difference in improved focus, productivity and energy levels. Please consult with your physician about this article as everyone’s nutritional needs vary.
NPR Story – The Lancet Journal did a study: “Diet May Help ADHD Kids More than Drugs.”
Jim West has presented “Food for Thought” for University of Central Florida medical clinics, Lake Highland Preparatory School’s Edison program, Pediatricians and others. For helpful resources to save time by solving other parenting challenges visit our website or read more of our blogs: Total Life Counseling Center