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Your Autism Journey

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Phenols and Salicylates


Phenols, salicylates, food dyes, and additives are problems that can be addressed after the GFCFSF diet has been started. Generally, it is recommended for parents to address foods high in phenols, salicylates, and additives about 2-6 months after starting the Gluten-, Casein-, Soy-Free (GFCFSF) or other similar diet.

Phenols are unique properties that can found in high or low amounts in different foods. High levels of phenols in certain foods seem to affect children with autism and individuals with sensitive digestive and/or immune systems. In addition, salicylates and additives can also have a negative affect the aforementioned individuals and in many cases, need to be avoided altogether.

The best way to know if phenols, salicylates, or additives affect your child is to remove them using a rotation diet - give a food for 4 days, then do not give it for 4 days, then give it again for 4 days, and journal their reaction.

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Phenols and Salicylates: Learn what they are, watch for reactions
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