A GFCF diet is gaining recognition for helping children with autism. Removing gluten and casein from a diet can prove to be challenging as gluten and casein are found in many foods we eat. A GFCF diet for autism is considered an alternative treatment and is based on the belief that many with autism have allergies to gluten and casein.
Many believe autistic children may have an allergy or high sensitivity to both gluten and casein and choose to have allergy testing done. However, there are those that claim, even with no shown allergies to gluten or casein, that their child improved considering with a GFCF diet. The belief is that children with autism process the gluten and casein differently and as a result their symptoms are exacerbated.
Some parents, as well as Doctors, believe that removing gluten from an autistic child's diet can be beneficial. Gluten is a protein found in the seeds of barley, oats, rye and wheat. When on a gf diet most meals and crackers are avoided, unless of course they are gluten free and reading nutrition labels becomes a way of life. Gluten can be found in many foods such as soy sauce, BBQ sauces and many times is a hidden additive so it is important to become familiar with safe gluten free foods.
Removing casein can prove to be just as challenging because casein is in many foods as well. Casein, a milk protein, is contained in dairy products and other foods containing dairy. Casein can also be found in dairy and lactose free foods and is often times a hidden additive, just as gluten is.
Beginning a GFCF diet is becoming easier than in the past because of the wide availability of gluten and casein free foods. Many companies are making it easier to identify GFCF foods with marketing and labeling and health food stores have begun to carry GFCF foods as well. Mainstream stores are jumping on board and making it easier for the consumer to identify and purchase GFCF foods.
The elimination of gluten and casein is gaining recognition and support in the world of autism. If your child suffers from autism this may be an alternative approach worth educating yourself on.