What is the Feingold Diet Program?

It’s a diagnostic tool to determine if certain foods or food additives are triggering some or all of the problems you are seeing. It can be continued as a treatment. It can also be combined with any other necessary medical treatments.

Which foods and additives are likely to cause problems?

  • Dyes such as Red 3, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Green 3, and others — like Yellow 10 or Red 30 — in medicines and toiletries.
  • Artificial flavors (vanillin is a common one, but there are thousands of others just called “flavors”)
  • Artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Equal/NutriSweet) and sucrolose (Splenda).
  • Three preservatives: BHA, BHT and TBHQ

Several common fruits, some vegetables and a few other foods and medicines contain a kind of chemical (called salicylate) that are a problem for some people. Some plants make salicylates to protect themselves from insects and disease. While salicylate-containing medicines such as aspirin can offer benefits, and plants that contain salicylates can be very nourishing, they are not well tolerated by everyone. There is a lot of confusion on the internet about which foods contain salicylates. But to say that any one food item will cause a problem is misleading. Understanding the biochemical impacts of any given food substance is highly complex and ever-changing.

There is a large body of research that shows the damaging effects certain food additives can have, and that removing them can help the majority of people. These chemicals can affect behavior, learning and health. For example, many synthetic food dyes are created from petroleum. Different people have varying reactions to these chemicals, depending on their individual biochemistry and genetics, and some people are more sensitive than others. Thus, some people may be harmed by these chemicals, even in small doses.