5 ADHD Nutrition Myths To Stop Believing

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The web is stuffed with methods to “hack your well being” with meals, most of that are rooted in wellness culture (cough, eating regimen tradition). Examples embrace the “need” to detox (faux), the benefits of chlorophyll water (not as clear-cut because it’s portrayed on TikTok), skipping out on dairy for your gut health (fable!), and extra. These “developments,” so to talk, get us additional and additional away from figuring out what our physique is definitely telling us it wants and desires…however I’ll get on my soapbox about that one other day.

For now, let’s speak in regards to the intersection of eating regimen and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and the  ADHD diet myths to cease believing. Trace: In case you’ve heard the old misconception that sugar makes kids hyper, you have already got an concept of what we’re speaking about right here.

The most typical ADHD diet myths to cease believing

Fable 1: Processed meals makes ADHD signs worse

In brief, research simply doesn’t back this up1. “The analysis we do have out there is a case examine, which solely checked out kids and their consumption of processed meals, and whether or not or not these kids displayed ADHD signs,” says Madelyn Larouche, RD, a non-diet, ADHD dietitian. “The examine didn’t have a look at trigger and impact.”

A part of busting this fable requires busting one other: Food being processed isn’t always a “bad” thing.  (Yep, processed foods can be nutrient-dense and good on your physique.)

Fable 2: Refined sugars make ADHD signs worse

Equally, the (little) analysis on sugar and ADHD1 didn’t discover any hyperlinks. What’s extra, sugars (and the carbs that break down into them) are essential for our our bodies. “Carbohydrates are a vital macronutrient that people must perform, and are additionally the physique’s most well-liked gas supply,” Larouche says.

A fast enjoyable reality: The mind of an average-sized grownup wants 130 grams of carbs per day for healthy brain function, which is the equal of about nine slices of multigrain bread. In different phrases, you need more carbs than you probably realize. With out sufficient carbs in your system, you could expertise low power, problem focusing, and extra.

Larouche makes one other useful, validating, level about this in a pinned Instagram post, by which she writes: “There’s nothing improper with utilizing meals as a supply of stimulation! Pair the carb with a protein or a fats for a extra satisfying snack that may make it easier to really feel satiated and to advertise secure blood sugars.” This doesn’t imply you are “hooked on sugar,” both, as she varieties within the reel.

Alongside these strains, it’s vital to keep away from demonizing any meals. “There isn’t any ‘good’ or ‘unhealthy’ carbohydrate,” Larouche provides.

Fable 3: Gluten makes ADHD signs worse

Larouche says there are presently no research that have a look at the correlation between ADHD and a gluten-free eating regimen. “The one motive anybody ought to be limiting or utterly excluding gluten is that if they’ve celiac disease or are delicate to gluten,” she says.

In truth, reducing out meals teams like these once you don’t must may cause issues. Specifically, Larouche factors to nutrient deficiencies and a leaky gut.

Fable 4: Dairy makes ADHD signs worse

Similar to gluten, Larouche says no analysis has appeared on the hyperlink between dairy and ADHD, so there’s no must restrict your consumption except you’ve an allergy or intolerance.

Plus, by reducing out dairy if you do not have to, you are lacking out on its main advantages: “Dairy is a superb supply of calcium and vitamin D, which help bone well being,” Larouche provides. “Excluding dairy for no recognized motive—particularly once you’re not supplementing with calcium and vitamin D—can result in rickets in kids and/or osteoporosis in adults.”

Fable 5: Intermittent fasting reduces ADHD signs

In line with Larouche: “Of us with ADHD who’re consuming each three to 4 hours will expertise extra targeted power than those that are fasting and going lengthy durations of time with out consuming.” She recommends that you simply as a substitute eat a balanced breakfast inside one to 2 hours of waking up, and eat each three to 4 hours after.

And that is sensible, as not eating enough can result in persistent ideas about meals, low power, temper adjustments, and different undesirable unwanted side effects.

Additional, Larouche recommends consuming quite a lot of meals. Doing so can help power ranges, consideration span, focus, and total wellness, she says.

Don’t have a lot time or power for cooking? That’s okay—don’t let it’s a roadblock, if in any respect doable. “Select fast, simple choices to assist scale back the time, steps, and overwhelm you could expertise in terms of meal prep,” Larouche recommends. ADHD-friendly dinners are a factor that may make satisfactory meals extra accessible and possibly even…thrilling.

When your aim is to turn out to be higher knowledgeable about your meals selections and the way they have an effect on your total well being, it is vital to teach your self in regards to the info about your dietary selections, which might appear to be busting some ADHD diet myths or different lies diet culture would have you ever imagine are true.


Effectively+Good articles reference scientific, dependable, latest, strong research to again up the knowledge we share. You’ll be able to belief us alongside your wellness journey.

  1. Lange, Klaus W., et al. “Weight-reduction plan and Meals in Consideration-deficit Hyperactivity Dysfunction.” Journal of Future Meals, vol. 2, no. 2, 2020, pp. 112-118, https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1016/j.jfutfo.2022.03.008.
  2. Lange, Klaus W., et al. “Weight-reduction plan and Meals in Consideration-deficit Hyperactivity Dysfunction.” Journal of Future Meals, vol. 2, no. 2, 2020, pp. 112-118, https://doi.org/doi.org/10.1016/j.jfutfo.2022.03.008.




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