Remove These 4 Unhealthy Foods (2R Protocol: Part 1)
Article At a Glance:
• The 2R Protocol Refers to 1) Removal (of certain foods and toxins) and 2) Repair (Using supplements and foods to heal the gut)
• The 4 main things to remove from the diet are wheat, sugar, dairy, and pesticides, as they can cause a number of issues in the gut and the brain
We’ve talked a lot about this lifestyle change of healthy living that can help our children’s bodies improve naturally and greatly reduce the symptoms of autism. It all centers around the microbiome, which is sort of the “engine” in the gut that drives the body and brain either to dysfunction or to healing.
There’s a lot to know and learn, and it can be a little overwhelming to take it all in. I understand that completely: it’s a change that doesn’t happen overnight. To make things a little less intimidating, it can be helpful to think of things in what I call the 2R Protocol System. To put it simply, this means that our two part system of healthy eating and living means to 1) remove, and 2) repair. For this article, we’ll start with what we need to remove from our children’s nutrition to help them thrive. Especially for kids (and adults!) with a compromised immune system, these lurking culprits that are unfortunately all too common in the typical American diet can wreak havoc. Here they are:
Is bread really so bad? Unfortunately, it can be. While actual celiac disease is relatively rare, we are learning more and more about gluten sensitivity and how it can cause issues in the gut. For example, some of the proteins in wheat are known to act as gut irritants (meaning that they cause inflammation). Additionally, wheat can disrupt the microbiome of bacteria and even increase vulnerability for certain brain problems. While grains were once considered to be essential and occupied the largest section of the food pyramid (a greatly outdated model of eating), we now know better, and for children with compromised immunity, we can safely eliminate this food group.
Sugar is all around us and hard to avoid completely, but we need to take steps to drastically reduce it from our children’s intake. Foods high in sugar also can disrupt the balance of good bacteria in the gut and cause inflammation. Refined sugars in particular (like high fructose corn syrup found in so many packaged foods) should be avoided like the plague.
This is another type of food that may be impossible to eliminate entirely, but you can still make efforts to cut back on it. Like the other foods on this list, dairy is known to irritate the gut (are you sensing a pattern here?). If your child loves milk, there are lots of great alternatives, and even making better choices like grass-fed organic cheese can help a lot.
Pesticides are used by agricultural manufacturers to sustain the shelf-life of the food, but at a great personal health cost to us. These toxins are foreign invaders to our bodies, and, once again, can irritate the gut, cause a weakened immune system, and even may be a contributing factor to cancer. Think about it this way: the very word “pesticide” tells us this substance is meant to kill pests (bugs, other organisms). Why would you want to put that in your body? Avoiding pesticides isn't easy, but it's worth it.
*This website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by a healthcare professional.
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