Preservatives and Attention Issues in Children

As a psychologist who has worked with children for some time, I have sadly seen children suffering with mental illness at young ages. Many times, mental illness is brought on due to environmental stress, genetic disposition or a combination of both. However, I have also witnessed times when a diet change has caused remarkable positive changes in children.

I worked with one little guy who had a rare genetic disorder for which he was receiving rigorous medical treatment. He was taking the treatments with few side effects and was doing well medically. However, he was very restless, had difficulty paying attention, and became very agitated very quickly if things didn’t go his way. Of course his mother wondered the usual things a mother would consider in a circumstance such as this. Is it the medical illness? Is it that she and her husband have been too easy on him because he is ill? Is the child depressed or is he suffering from bipolar disorder. He clearly needed some type of behavioral intervention, which is where we started after double-checking that he was medically stable. His mother and father admittedly allowed him to get away with certain behavior out of guilt, however, they were far more consistent in disciplining him. Behavioral modification was beginning to work effectively some of the time, however, he was still waxing and waning in mood and behavior. After months of working with him, I started to wonder if maybe there was a medical connection. However, we hadn’t yet examined what the child was consuming. While awaiting the next doctor’s visit, we spent the next few weeks examining what the child was eating. His mother began utilizing resources on nutrition and attention difficulties. She increased her son’s omega 3-containing consumption. She decreased preservatives and sugar. She also eliminated milk from his diet for a brief period to see if that would help. After just a few weeks of the diet change, the child began to focus better, was calmer and was able to express his needs more effectively.

Here’s a link for parents looking for information about the relationship between behavior and certain types of food.,d.eXY

Arsenic in Wine

liv27wine_OSBS_02-27-2008_FLA_LIV_R91GD650.jpg  Arsenic is far beyond a preservative. In high doses, it can be deadly. However, it also occurs naturally in some foods, although in low amounts.  Unfortunately, it appears that some wine companies may have decided to add additional arsenic to some wine brands during the filtration process. Well, why would anyone want to do that? Arsenic apparently clarifies wine and gives it a more sparkly look. I’d rather drink my wine cloudy. There’s a lot of controversy around this topic right now, but little hard evidence of all that’s going on, so be aware and objective in what you’re hearing about this topic. More details will likely unfold with time. In the mean time, do a little bit of research on your favorite wine brands and read this article for more details while you’re sipping on your hopefully arsenic-free drink. Cheers.,d.eXY

Mindful Eating


As promised, I’m sharing a link to an article about mindful eating. How is this relevant to avoiding preservatives? Well, focusing on our food will reduce the chance that we’re mindlessly eating less desirable, preservative-filled foods (like I do from time to time and my puppy, Juno attempts to do every chance he gets).

The beautiful thing about mindful eating too, is that you are intentionally considering the cycle of nourishment and life – the creation of a piece of fruit sitting in front of you, for instance. Think about it as a seed, the way in which it was nurtured with time, water, sun and soil…

Enjoy the mindful eating exercise included in the article:

Update on That ‘No Preservative’ Thing

So we’re getting through a week of eating preservative-free. Journeys usually start out as idealistic, courageous notions where everything will work out seamlessly. Why else would we choose to venture out on them, right? Only problem is, reality sets in really quickly sometimes. For instance, I was super pumped about going preservative-free. I’m walking around the house like, “Hey, who needs preservatives anyway? Why would anyone want to eat stuff that doesn’t belong in our bodies? That’s nasty!” Yup, I was pretty self-righteous and annoying. And that’s probably why I very mindlessly popped dye-filled bites of food into my mouth here and there without thinking about it until it was too late.  But so what? I didn’t stay on the plan 100% of the time. And that’s okay because Ladybug and I promised ourselves we would take small steps. That’s the thing about change. It just doesn’t work out well to do too much too fast. So we’re slowing it down. In fact, it’s a good time to focus on mindful eating, which has so many benefits.I’ll share an article about it soon.

Relationship between Preservatives and Dementia

I currently provide psychological services to patients suffering from dementia. The umbrella term of dementia includes Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease-related Dementia, among others. There seem to be a variety of reasons people develop dementia, one of them being linked to consumption of preservatives. Dr. Suzanne de la Monte has discovered a relationship between dementia, insulin production and preservatives. She reports that preservatives in the body can cause increased insulin resistance. Insulin is most often associated with the pancreas, however, insulin is also produced in the brain. According to Dr. de la Monte, lack of insulin in the brain is related to dementia. Read the article here:

Preservatives and Breathing Difficulties

inhalerI was diagnosed with asthma at the age of 15. I struggled to get a handle on it for a long time, because even though I’ve tried to prevent triggers like kitty dander and cold weather, I still had a sudden onset of symptoms from time to time. Medication has been useful when necessary and I work closely with my doctor to manage an asthma action plan. I’ve used long-acting inhalers and rescue inhalers since being diagnosed. However, I’ve also continued to search for preventative methods that might help me avoid future attacks. I was frustrated with what felt like random symptoms. I came to realize that outside of the usual triggers, I also developed certain food allergies, like raw onions. Yet, the biggest culprits that pervaded my everyday life were the different preservatives I was eating. I honestly didn’t think much about the negative effects of preservatives for a long time because I didn’t see a direct problem with them. I ate what tasted good. However, as I realized that certain preservatives were preventing me from breathing, I knew it was time to change my diet.  If you have similar symptoms, first speak with your doctor about the possibility that your asthma is being triggered by preservatives. Then, start reading labels compulsively. Some preservatives thought to trigger asthma symptoms are sulfites, tartrazine (yellow dye), benzoates, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and salicylates. Watch out for these nasties. Happy breathing.

Why Preservatives are Harmful

Researchers have found multiple reasons why preservatives are harmful to us. They are not natural and therefore, interact negatively with our bodies. Some preservatives can potentially cause breathing difficulties, negative behavioral changes such as hyperactivity, heart damage and cancer. Check out this article by