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Tag: autism

Coconut Oil: Good or Bad for Your Health?

Lately there has been some noise in the press about coconut oil being unhealthy and even poisonous due to it being a saturated fat. I am here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth as coconut oil is good for you in so many ways.

I thought we had begun to accept that fats are necessary for health and not the demons that we had been taught from the flawed studies released in the 1980s regarding heart health and saturated fats.

Not only have traditional tropical communities have eaten coconut oil without toxic effects for millenium, but recent studies have looked at coconut oil’s benefits for diseased like Alzheimer’s, autism, and even gingevitis. Unless you are sensitive to coconut in general, it’s a safe and effective moisturizer for hair and skin, and can even help heal from a sunburn.

Coconut oil is super beneficial due to its unique make up of medium chain triglcerides (MCTs). Unlike other fats, MCTs are metabolized quickly by the liver and turned into ketones that are utilized by the body in many ways to support health.

The type of coconut oil we want to avoid is “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” coconut oil. Stay away from this stuff for sure.

But coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature and is the only plant-based saturated fat, is definitely healthy and good for you. So eat up.

Of course, some people are sensitive to coconut, and they should stay way from it to avoid sparking inflammation in their bodies. If you’re curious and want to find out if you could be sensitive to coconut, shoot me an email and I’d be happy to talk to you about it!


Can Autism Be Affected By Diet?

According to the spring, 2013, issue of the Dieticians in Functional Medicine (DIFM) newsletter, autism and other developmental disorders can be influenced by inflammation from what we’re eating.

“In this land of plenty, the standard American diet (SAD) may be causally related to a child’s developmental disability. There is much in the literature that supports healing the body and using food as medicine. Literature has established the presence of gastrointestinal (GI) inflammation in many children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This evidence persuasively suggests that GI inflammation may exacerbate ASD symptoms and, conversely, that dietary interventions can ameliorate GI inflammation in at least some children, improving overall outcomes.”

A 2006 study found that 70% of children on the autism spectrum (ASD) had GI issues including acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, and malordorous stools. Another study, this one in 2002, found that autistic children put on gluten-free/casein-free diets for one year experienced increased social connectedness, improvement in transitions, and improved willingness to learn.

The Feingold Association has long studied the link between behavior and ADHD and additives like food dyes and colors (FD&D).

Food sensitivity testing can fine-tune an autistic child’s diet and take out the guesswork. You might discount the impact of what your kid is eating on how they are acting, but you won’t know until you radically change their diet just how much they are affected. Because food sensitivity reactions may manifest up to four days after exposure, it can be impossible to determine for yourself if foods are having any impact. When a person is in chronic inflammation, there is no way to make any meaningful connections between foods and behavior or thought processes. It’s only by reducing the overall inflammatory load very scientifically –with the help of a qualified nutrition professional– that these connections will become glaringly apparent.

Prenatal Vitamin D levels linked to Autism?

Research has shown that many autistic children are born in the month of March. Going backward, this would mean that their mothers were pregnant during the winter months when they might not have gotten enough sunshine on their skin, perhaps meaning that they were vitamin D deficient during the time in their pregnancy for the baby’s brain development.

I heard this at a recent natural health seminar and it made me stop to think. I don’t know if there has been any research on this, but it might be a reason to seek out regular sunshine during pregnancy. I was always looking for an excuse to go for a walk during my pregnancies anyway — maybe practicing for all that stroller-pushing that came later?

Has anyone else heard about this link?