Hidden Neurotoxins in Your Child’s Food?

Hidden Neurotoxins in Your Child’s Food?
writted by friend and fellow warrior mother, Mary Hernandez

The Top 5 to Avoid
to go from SAD toward GLAD

If your child is eating the SAD (Standard American Diet), the negative impact on his or her performance in school and life can have lifelong consequences. For children with learning disabilities, we have to be particularly careful to screen out the neurotoxins that seem to be all too common in prepared food nowadays.

What is a Neurotoxin?

Neurotoxins are poisonous to our nerve cells or neurons. Since neurons conduct the electricity required to transmit signals within the brain and between the brain and other parts of our body, their proper function is critical to our ability to think, learn and have motor control and coordination. Yet every day, kids consume processed foods loaded with chemical additives that can cause or contribute to a wide variety of neurological and behavioral problems from inability to concentrate to hyperactivity, irritability, seizures, fatigue, anxiety, aggression and depression.

In 1979 New York City public schools’ tests ratings leaped from 11% below the national average to 5% above after the Board of Education ordered a change in school diets to cut down sugar, food dyes, and additives. Improvements were not across the board, but impacted the “learning disabled” children the most – reducing their numbers from 12.4% to 4.9% of one million N.Y. City school children. 1

Could your child benefit from a decrease in neurotoxins? Where do you begin?

Cut these 5 toxins out of your child’s diet as a first step on the road from SAD to GLAD (Good Learning Ability Diet).

The Top 5 SAD Neurotoxins

1. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): In the last 30 years, HFCS has replaced sugar in processed foods from bread to ketchup because it’s cheap to make and acts as a preservative. Its greatest consumption is in soft drinks. Made from genetically modified corn processed with enzymes, caustic soda and hydrochloric acid, HFCS has been shown to contain mercury — a very potent neurotoxin that, even in minute concentrations, can cause neurological damage in children. According to a 2009 study in Environmental Health, 9 of 20 samples of HFCS contained detectable levels of mercury.2

In another study in 2008, 55 products off the grocery shelves were tested by Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.3 Nearly one in three brand-name foods (including Quaker, Hunt’s, Manwich, Hershey’s, Smucker’s, Kraft, Nutri-Grain and Yoplait) were found to contain detectable quantities of mercury. Dairy products, dressings and condiments were most notably affected. HFCS also provokes biochemical reactions that correlate to type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, altered lipid profiles, and obesity and food cravings (by turning off the body’s natural signals that tell us when we’re full).

Alternatives: If your child is a soda addict, substitute seltzer mixed with fruit juice, and gradually cut back on the amount of juice you add. Buy dairy products, condiments, snack foods, bread, and syrups that are organic or made without HFCS and transition to more homemade products made with organic ingredients.

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