What is The Feingold Diet?

It is an elimination diet that helps you find out if certain foods or artificial additives are triggering the problems you are seeing.

If you see positive results once you have gotten rid of those chemicals then you simply continue to eat the foods you enjoy that are free of them.  Happily, there is a huge selection of brand name foods of all kinds, including snacks, desserts, drinks, convenience foods and mixes that are acceptable.

The Feingold Diet removes

  • Artificial (synthetic) food dyes
  • Artificial (synthetic) flavorings & fragrances
  • BHA, BHT and TBHQ
  • Artificial sweeteners

Temporarily Removed at The Start of The Diet

  • Foods and non-foods containing salicylates
  • Aspirin and medicine containing aspirin

Products containing several other additives are marked in our Foodlist & Shopping Guide because many families need to or want to avoid them. Sugar is not removed; most tolerate sugar in moderation, although corn syrup is a problem for some.

How will I know which brands to buy?

The Feingold Association researches brand name foods with the manufacturers and uses the information
we receive to create lists of products we have found to be free of even small amounts of unwanted additives.

We collect this information and publish our Foodlist & Shopping Guide — a collection of more than 13,000 brand name products we have researched and are acceptable for you to use.

How will I know which brands to buy?

The Feingold Association researches brand name foods with the manufacturers and uses the information
we receive to create lists of products we have found to be free of even small amounts of unwanted additives.  When a preservatives is used in the packaging or is an ingredient of an ingredient, they are not required to be listed on the product’s ingredient list. This makes label reading unreliable.

We collect this information and publish our Foodlist & Shopping Guide — a collection of more than 13,000 brand name products we have researched and are acceptable for you to use.

Foodlist & Shopping Guide

The PDF Foodlist & Shopping Guide is included in the materials that are provided on the Feingold Diet.  It can be purchased  seperately as a PDF or printed book. Click the Foodlist to see details on how to order.  

Who decides if an additive is safe to use?

Astonishingly, the company that makes and sells the chemical is in charge of deciding if it is safe for consumers to use!

The Feingold Handbook

This is your guide to using the  Feingold Diet — to show you how to have success as quickly and easily as possible.

It contains the best ideas and solutions that have been found by parents like yourself since the Association was formed in 1976.

Some of the topics covered in the Handbook are:

  • Using the Diet for different ages
  • Gaining your child’s cooperation
  • Meal suggestions
  • How to keep a Diet Diary
  • Better foods at bargain prices
  • How to substitute ingredients
  • Tips and time-savers
  • Holiday ideas
  • Working with your child’s teacher
  • How to handle parties, soccer games, etc.
  • Getting help from the relatives
  • Doctors, dentists & counselors – how to get their help
  • How to deal with a reaction
  • Other additives to consider
  • What about gluten and casein?
My child is taking medication; can he still use the diet?

Many families use the diet while their child is taking medication and find that they can achieve the same results with a smaller dose.  It isn’t an ideal way to test out the diet, but you have to eat anyway, so you might as well provide your family with healthy choices.  This is one of the topics we cover in the Feingold Handbook.

Is this diet just for ADHD?

No, not at all. The diet was actually designed for a woman who had a terrible case of hives. Dr. Feingold put her on a diet that removed several things: artificial colors, artificial flavors, aspirin and a group of foods we refer to as “salicylates.” He was amazed to learn that not only did the hives clear up, but her behavior changed from angry to normal. As long as she didn’t eat the above things she did not fight with her family and co-workers. As he began using the diet with children he saw many cases where their behavior quickly improved. Parents also reported major changes in a child’s schoolwork and in many other areas. Over the years Dr. Feingold found that many other problems improved when people stopped eating things like food dyes. The Feingold Association continues to collect feedback from families who have reported a wide range of improvements.

Why are these additives such a problem?

Most food dyes, artificial flavorings and fragrances, as well as the three preservatives we eliminate are made from petroleum! What’s more, they are legally permitted to be contaminated with toxins like lead, mercury and arsenic. Most humans don’t do well when they eat petrochemicals!

Food dyes are not new; they’ve been around for more than 100 years.

So why are we only seeing problems with them in recent years? In years past most children only consumed them occasionally — usually at holidays and parties. But today they are being added to more and more foods and nonfood products, and in much larger quantities. Synthetic dyes and flavorings are more like drugs than like foods, and in both cases, the dose determines the outcome

Between the 1950s and today, the use of food dyes in the United States has increased 500%!

At one time (in the days before “rainbow cake,”) cereal was beige, orange juice was made from fruit, a soda drink was an occasional treat, and if your mother made you take vitamins, they didn’t taste good.

Where can I find the acceptable brand name products?

Your local supermarket should carry most of the things you will want. Today there are a growing number of stores that offer natural products; and hard-to-find specialty items can be ordered online.

This is not a “health food diet.” Kid-friendly foods are part of the Feingold Diet.

Can I use the Feingold Diet on my own?

Yes, if you are willing to make all of your food from scratch and not use any processed foods or commercial household
or personal care products, and not eat out at restaurants.

Can we still eat out at restaurants?

While it’s best to stick with foods at home for the first few weeks, we recognize that families are very busy, and can’t always be at home to cook.

As more and more people are dealing with allergies and sensitivities, restaurants, resorts and amusement parks (including Disney parks) are responding to this need.

Fast Food Guide

Our Fast Food and Restaurant Guide will help you find the best options at many of the major chains. (It covers only
restaurants in the United States.)  This Guide is available in PDF form or paper form.

Looking for recipe help?

We have collected many delicious Feingold-friendly recipes and compiled them into our Feingold Family Favorites cookbooks.  Whether you are new to the Feingold Diet or have been eating additive-free for a while, these recipes will quickly become some of your go-to meals.  We have included recipes for beverages, breakfast foods, snacks, main dishes, breads, soups, sides, desserts and shortcut recipes like multiple-use and money-savings mixes that are ready to go when you need them.  To order our cookbooks click on cookbooks