fast food linked to lower academic performance

Do you find that friends and family just don’t “get it?”

You’ve made positive changes in the food your children are eating, but you may be running into interference from others.

fast food/lower academic performanceIt isn’t surprising so many people believe that Happy Meals and their cousins are perfectly okay for their kids since so many families live this way.  But if you try to explain that real nourishment isn’t likely to come from a drive-thru window, do you find that they don’t understand?

Here’s some information that might help.

A study published in Clinical Pediatrics found that children who eat more fast food in fifth grade tend to show lower improvements in test scores in reading, math and science years later. Kelly Purtell, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University stated, “There’s a lot of evidence that fast-food consumption is linked to childhood obesity, but the problems don’t end there. Relying too much on fast food could hurt how well children do in the classroom.”

The study included more than 11,700 students and used questionnaires to determine how much fast food they ate.  They were tested in reading/literacy, mathematics and science in both fifth and eighth grades. The researchers found that kids who ate the most fast food in fifth grade had significantly slower academic growth than their classmates by eighth grade. Children who reported eating fast food at least four to six times a week had 20 percent lower gains in test scores in all three subjects than kids who did not eat fast food on a regular basis. Children who reported eating fast food 1 to 3 times a week performed about as well as their peers in reading and science but had slower academic growth in math.

A happy compromise

The good news is that fast food is not necessarily junk food, and it is not off limits for Feingold families!  No doubt the children in the Clinical Pediatrics study were eating the usual burgers, fries and a Coke, but there are many other choices, and it’s possible to have what one chain calls “Real Food, Real Fast!”

The Feingold Association publishes a Fast Food Guide to help you find the best choices in major restaurant chains.  You can order a burrito at Chipotle instead of Taco Bell.  The fries at Five Guys and In ‘N Out Burger are delicious and free of petroleum preservatives.  And it’s as easy to find a Panera as it is to find a McDonald’s.  See www.feingold.org to learn how to enjoy the food you love – fast food, slow food, and all that’s in between – without paying the high price of behavior and learning problems.

crockpot mac & cheese recipe

If you love cheese, then this crockpot mac & cheese dish will be just right for you.  Very cheesy and simple to make.

 

8 ounces dry macaroni, cooked
2 cans (13 oz. each) evaporated milk
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (Sargento is a great choice for cheese)
3 tablespoons  butter (at room temperature)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

 

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and mix throughly. Cover and cook on Low for 3-4 hours.

homemade sausage recipe

homemade sausage is a great addition to breakfast.  these patties go great with some scrambled eggs and toast.

 

 

2 pounds  raw ground pork, hamburger or turkey

4 teaspoons dried sage

1 teaspoon  black pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

 

 

Combine all ingredients and let set in the refrigerator so the flavor develop.  Form little sausage patties.  Place patties in a medium skillet and fry until golden brown on both sides.

Variations:  Instead of forming into patties, place all the ground meat into a skillet and fry up.  The crumbled sausage is great in recipes like sausage gravy. You can also triple this recipe and freeze meat patties for later meals.

anxiety and depression: helpful non-drug therapies

anxiety and depression: helpful non-drug therapies

Anxiety and depression. It seems these unwelcome visitors intrude on the daily lives of so many people. “More Americans than ever before are stressed, depressed and anxiety-ridden, and many are unable to get the help they need, a new study suggests.” (CBS News, Dennis Thompson,  April 17, 2017) 

Anxiety and depressionWith anxiety and depression on the rise, it’s important to know the treatment options available. While medicine helps some people, others have found it makes their symptoms worse.

We know our members are smart, resourceful, and dogged in their pursuit for the best remedies, so we asked readers of Pure Facts to share non-drug therapies that have worked for them. We learned some readers overcame their symptoms of anxiety and depression by following the Feingold Program. Others need to add some additional techniques. Here are some of the responses we received:

  • I’ve battled both anxiety and depression through the years. I also had the “SAD” disorder that occurs when there are fewer hours of daylight during the fall and winter months. The lack of good quality light has always affected my mood and worsened any depression or anxiety that I was going through. I find it nearly impossible to stay in a hotel room that has low wattage lights; I usually end up replacing them with higher wattage ones. Through the years I bought somewhat expensive light bulbs through specialty catalogs or health food stores for my bedroom and workroom lamps – the kinds that have the “full spectrum” of light. But recently I made a very happy discovery with the new GE brand “Reveal” light bulbs that I’m able to buy at my local stores and they are only slightly more expensive than regular ones. I could not believe the difference in my mood when we replaced the bulbs in one room of our house (I felt euphoric!) and the way that I felt worse when I had to be in our other rooms with regular “yellowy” light bulbs. The Reveal light bulbs give off more of a bluish light, and the light seems clearer and cleaner. I replaced all the bulbs in our home with the Reveal bulbs, and will not go back to anything else. Even late at night or on gray rainy days, my moods are more stable, and I can definitely attribute this to our indoor lighting. I would not have believed that indoor light quality could affect me so much, and I am so happy to have found a simple solution.
  • I took the antidepressant Zoloft for 9-years to treat mild depression and anxiety. Every time I tried to go off this medication, I felt I just couldn’t do it! No one ever told me that there would be withdrawal effects. A few weeks after I discontinued it, the withdrawal effects were gone. I still had some minor symptoms so when I saw a program about treating menopausal mood swings I tried the supplements they suggested (flaxseed and evening primrose oil supplement,  zinc and magnesium).  I noticed considerable improvement in my symptoms and when I don’t take them I find that I am moodier.
  • I have suffered with both anxiety and depression for about 2 1/2 years and have finally overcome them with the help of homeopathy and light therapy for what I now know is Season Affective Disorder (SAD). I have used SSRI drugs and have tried numerous supplements but homeopathy (and, secondarily, light therapy) have affected a cure for me that none of the other options could.
  • I’ve battled both anxiety and depression through the years. I also had the “SAD” disorder that occurs when there are fewer hours of daylight during the fall and winter months. The lack of good quality light has always affected my mood and worsened any depression or anxiety that I was going through. I find it nearly impossible to stay in a hotel room that has low wattage lights; I usually end up replacing them with higher wattage ones. Through the years I bought somewhat expensive light bulbs through specialty catalogs or health food stores for my bedroom and workroom lamps – the kinds that have the “full spectrum” of light. But recently I made a very happy discovery with the new GE brand “Reveal” light bulbs that I’m able to buy at my local stores and they are only slightly more expensive than regular ones. I could not believe the difference in my mood when we replaced the bulbs in one room of our house (I felt euphoric!) and the way that I felt worse when I had to be in our other rooms with regular “yellowy” light bulbs. The Reveal light bulbs give off more of a bluish light, and the light seems clearer and cleaner. I replaced all the bulbs in our home with the Reveal bulbs, and will not go back to anything else. Even late at night or on gray rainy days, my moods are more stable, and I can definitely attribute this to our indoor lighting. I would not have believed that indoor light quality could affect me so much, and I am so happy to have found a simple solution.
  • Our nine year-old son lived with anxiety and depression for many years but it is minimal now, and we believe the symptoms will continue to disappear. (He was also severely aggressive in the early years, but Feingold took care of that.)

When he was 1 year-old a neighbor watched him part time, and he would want to spend the entire morning in his car seat. I didn’t realize until several years later that this was due to his high fear/anxiety level.

A year later at a larger home day-care, our son refused to eat anything there for the first 2 weeks. I would go to pick him up after work and would find him lying on the living room floor crying because his tummy hurt so bad. The day-care lady said he was “stubborn” and I still did not see the real cause.

By the following year I finally understood that fear drove much of his behavior. I could not walk out to hang the clothes on the line (only a few feet from the house through a large patio door)

without him crying and clinging desperately to my leg. As he got older the fear continued. If I went into the bathroom and shut the door he would stand outside the door and cry (normal for a toddler, but not for a 6 and 7 year-old). Eventually as he got older he would talk to me until I came out, just to make sure I was still alive in there and did not leave him. We took him to the Pfeiffer Center where they found he was very low in zinc. According to Pfeiffer, low zinc is highly linked with anxiety and at extremely low levels can even lead to hallucinations and paranoia. After giving the prescribed dose of zinc for a few months we could see some improvements in his anxiety level, but not nearly enough. A year later we added homeopathy. At first the fear got worse – to the point where our son could not sleep unless his hand was resting on my back to make sure I was still breathing. After a change in homeopathic medicine and about 3 months, we were living in freedom! I could finally walk out to get the mail all by myself. At first my son would watch from the front window and in another month or two he would say, “Go ahead, I’m not afraid anymore.” Sweet music to my ears and something I had just about given up as even being possible. At first I was uncertain and would carry our cordless phone with me just to make sure he was not dialing 911 again just because I was downstairs doing the laundry and he couldn’t see me! Although he is a bit perfectionistic at this point and sometimes worries more than he needs to, it happens less and less. We all enjoy and treasure our simple joys now that he is better. We are very thankful for the Feingold Association as this was the beginning of a long healing process and we still follow the program very carefully.

 

Thank you to the members who contributed their stories. We are sure they will be helpful to many!

Members of the Feingold program receive an issue of Pure Facts each month. To receive yours, please follow this link and join our program!

how diet can affect handwriting

Sensitivities to artificial chemical additives can be difficult to explain to those who have not seen (or understood) the effects first hand. Generally speaking, people will understand what it means to have an allergy to nuts, fish, chocolate, etc. They expect to see hives, swollen tongues, difficulty breathing … all to varying degrees. It is easy to make the connection because there is an almost immediate correlation between ingesting the food and seeing physical symptoms clearly associated with allergies.

It becomes a bit more difficult to explain sensitivities to artificial chemical additives. Symptoms are not always clear cut such as hives. When a child is sensitive to things like artificial chemical additives, and is exposed to them, he can have different reactions, depending on where he is most vulnerable. Something like a food dye can affect the skin, leading to hives. Or it could be the lungs, resulting in an asthmatic attack. If the brain is affected, a child might behave badly or have trouble thinking and remembering.

It may be an artificial flavoring or preservative, or even a healthy food that is high in “salicylates” that is responsible for the reaction. It could be one of the artificial fragrances so widely used in non-food product.

Dr. Feingold used to explain that the muscles and nerves are especially sensitive to additives that are made from petroleum, and we see this in examples of handwriting.

One child might have good control of his fine muscles, but not his gross muscles; this means that he could have good handwriting, but is unable to do well in sports. For another child it could be the opposite, doing fine on the soccer field, but unable to write well. For these children, it is clear to see in the “before” and “after” samples of handwriting.

Some of these samples show large, awkward writing and even reversals of letters. Then, a few days later, after the effects of the chemical have worn off, the work shows the child has much better control of his fine muscles, and his ability to focus, understand and remember is much improved. Sometimes, a child who is doing well on the Feingold Diet will bring home schoolwork that makes it clear he has been exposed to a chemical that is causing him to have trouble with his muscles, nervous system or will be affecting his ability to think.

Not all children show obvious changes in their schoolwork, but for those who do, the examples can be dramatic.  Below are some examples which have been shared with us.

Handwriting Before and After

Handwriting Before and After

 

Handwriting Before and After

The evidence is clear, and rather amazing, isn’t it? The Feingold Diet helps much more than just focus and behavior. Our website and Facebook page are filled with helpful information to help you learn more about our program. Stop by, have a look, and feel free to contact us with any questions. Like our Facebook page and follow our blog to keep informed. We look forward to hearing from you!

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about us    
The Feingold Program is a form of elimination diet where foods containing certain harmful additives are removed and replaced with similar foods that are free of those additives. When starting the Program, certain foods and non-food items containing an aspirin-like chemical called salicylate are also eliminated, and later tested for tolerance…more


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