‘No sugar’ mantra: Diet can alleviate or worsen autism

Organiser Deepak Sharma noted that autism was now on the rise in India, with one out of every 100 children falling prey to the syndrome. Hence, the organisation conducted an awareness event citing the importance of nutrition in kids and pregnant women.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Sunday, September 11, 2022, 10:50 PM IST
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Dietician Dr Preeti Shukla addresses a gathering of parents and students on Sunday |

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Diet for autistic kids must be stable and, quoting this, the Create Stories Social Welfare Society organised a seminar on ‘Autism Diet’ at the Upanishad Child Development Centre on Sunday. Organiser Deepak Sharma noted that autism was now on the rise in India, with one out of every 100 children falling prey to the syndrome. Hence, the organisation conducted an awareness event citing the importance of nutrition in kids and pregnant women.

Dietician Dr Preeti Shukla was the keynote speaker who discussed the topic and answered parents’ queries. Dr Shukla said, “Children with autism don’t like changes in nutrition. Anyone with autism becomes sensitive to the taste, smell, colour and texture of food. Autistic kids may also dislike certain foods—and even entire food groups.

“In such a situation, there’s a deficiency of nutrients in the body. In such a situation, one must try to give those foods hidden in their favourite food so that their physical needs can be fulfilled,” Dr Shukla said, adding that some foods could make autism severe and some alleviate the symptoms.

“Sugar elevates the blood sugar level and leads to hyperactivity. In autistic children, who are usually prone to hyperactivity, eating sugar-rich foods can worsen the problem,” Dr Shukla said. “Therefore, it’s important to restrict their sugar intake.”

“Autistic children are unable to digest gluten and dairy products properly. The micro-biome of children with autism isn’t correct, due to which the digestive system doesn’t function well. So, food items containing gluten, such as wheat, barley and rye, shouldn’t be given to such children,” Dr Shukla said.

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