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  • Writer's pictureDevyani Jadhav

Gluten Free Casien Free Diet

The cause of autism is still a mystery to us. But many people feel that certain intervention programs may alter an individual with autism behavioral, cognitive, and social skills. One of the many hypothesized treatments that seem to work for some people is a special diet known as the GFCF Diet or Gluten Free, Casein Free Diet. Basically, Gluten and Casein are eliminated from an individuals diet. Many people swear by it and others think it is a complete myth. No matter your position on the matter, when you are trying to solve the mystery of Autism, most people will do whatever it takes to get positive results.

What is Casein?

Casein is a protein found in dairy products; basically anything that comes from a cow. So cheese milk, butter, and yogurt willcontain a high percentage of casein. Casein is a bonding type protein and many times used when mixing foods and chemicals. Because of this “binding agent” some people may have a hard time digesting it, and therefore may develop an allergy to it.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in rye, wheat, and barley; typically found in grains. Bread, rice, cereals, and other carbohydrates will contain this protein. Gluten is useful for certain reasons, it is the substance that makes dough rise when baking, and is also used as imitation meat for vegans and vegetarians. Unfortunately, gluten has also found to be the factor that makes breads go bad.

Gluten, Casein, and Autism: What is the Connection?

Recent theory tells us that there seems to be a link between gastrointestinal problems and autism. Children under the spectrum will experience symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting. All these symptoms are due to the fact that these individuals may have a difficulty with digestion; specifically digesting gluten and casein.

Like mentioned before, some people develop allergies to casein. This is most likely the case here. When these children experience these bellyaches, and bouts of constipation, they do not know how to express their symptoms and therefore have tantrums. If we could alleviate the negative effects of GI problems, children with autism would have better behavior and tolerance towards foods.

How It Works

Unfortunately the body harbors gluten in the body longer than casein, so if you would try out this diet, professionals suggest waiting at least six months for results. This is not a “cheap” or easy diet; these ingredients and foods are both expensive and time consuming.

First of all, you would have to be very careful about the foods you are feeding your child. Reading all the ingredient labels will be your new task. Anything that contains casein, which is sometimes labeled as caseinogens, would need to be eliminated. Gluten products, basically anything containing wheat, rye, or barley, would also need to be eliminated. Fortunately, wild rice, corn, fruits, veggies, and soy can still be on the menu! Some people say that eliminating all starch carbohydrates, including corn and corn products, is a more effective method.

Helpful Books on GFCF Diet

There are many recipe and advice books on the market that you can purchase. These will come in handy for specific questions you may have about this diet. It will also make your grocery shopping a little bit easier! Check the following books out!

The Autism Cookbook: 101 Gluten Free and Dairy Free Recipes, written by Susan K. Delaine. This book has an assortment of delicious recipes for you to cook for your little one.

The Kid-Friendly ADHD @ Autism Cookbook: Ultimate Guide to the Gluten Free Casein Free Diet, written by Pamela Compart and Dana Laake. This book contains both recipes and great tips for administering the GFCF diet.

Special Diets for Special kids, written by Lisa Lewis. Not just a cookbook, but also teach you about the GFCF diet in detail. It will teach you how to shop for this diet as well as explain to you why you are feeding your child these foods.

For more information on the GFCF Diet, please click on the following link:

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