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How to Follow the Feingold Diet: Allowed Foods

written by: theMallorys • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 7/1/2011

Learning what foods are allowed on the Feingold diet is the first step toward healthy meal plans for your family. Food items allowed include specific fruits, vegetables and meats.

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    If you’re new to the different diet options aimed at curbing learning and behavior problems, you may be wondering what foods are allowed on the Feingold diet. The answer is simple: any foods that don’t contain artificial coloring, preservatives, flavoring or aspartame. You’re also not allowed to eat any foods containing salicylate in the first phase of the program. Some of those foods can be phased back in slowly, depending on if and how you react to them.

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    Here are the fruits that you are allowed to eat on the Feingold Diet:

    • Pears: Serving Size 100g, Calories 59 kcal, Total Fat 0.40 g
    • Bananas: Serving Size 100g, Calories 92 kcal, Total Fat 0.48 g
    • Pineapple: Serving Size 100g, Calories 49 kcal, Total Fat 0.43 g
    • Cantaloupe: Serving Size 100g, Calories 35 kcal, Total Fat 0.28 g
    • Any other fruit except: apples, peaches, grapes, oranges, peaches, currants, berries, plums, tangerines, nectarines

    Fruit juices are allowed, as long as they are fresh and non-citrus.

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    Vegetables that are fresh and organic are the best kind for the Feingold diet, because they’re free of pesticides. Some of the vegetables allowed are:

    • Carrots: Serving Size 100g, Calories 43 kcal, Total Fat 0.19 g
    • Cabbage: Serving Size 100g, Calories 25 kcal, Total Fat 0.27 g
    • Broccoli: Serving Size 100g, Calories 28 kcal, Total Fat 0.35 g
    • Lettuce: Serving Size 100g, Calories 18 kcal, Total Fat 0.30 g

    Vegetables that contain salicylates are not allowed in Stage One of the diet, but they can be reintroduced to see whether there’s a reaction. Some examples are radishes, cucumbers, cauliflower and eggplant.

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    Many of the grains, like wheat which is forbidden on the gluten free, casein free diet, and corn, which is not allowed on the special carbohydrate diet, are fine to eat on the Feingold diet. Grains include:

    • Brown rice: Serving Size 100g, Calories 370 kcal, Total Fat 2.92 g
    • Oats: Serving Size 100g, Calories 369 kcal, Total Fat 6.10 g
    • Popcorn: Serving Size 100g, Calories 382 kcal, Total Fat 4.20 g

    If you suffer from allergies to wheat, then consider a more restrictive diet, such as a gluten free diet.

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    Meat and Poultry

    Any fresh meat and poultry is allowed that doesn’t contain antibiotics and hormones or other additives, such as nitrates. These are additives that will trigger the behaviors that the Feingold diet seeks to limit or eliminate. The meats should also be unprocessed, because processed meats and poultry often contain additives, which are not allowed on the Feingold diet. Many farmers and organic food co-ops offer grass-fed meats that are raised without hormones or antibiotics, and no nitrates are added to the meats. Some supermarkets even carry such meats, but expect to pay high prices.

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    Now that you know what foods are allowed on the Feingold diet, you might think that compliance with the diet is impossible. Many children and adults have successfully implemented the diet, and have reported positive outcomes. Find a Yahoo! support group or contact the Feingold Association for help and support on everything from recipes to encouragement to continue with the diet.

    Image Credit: Bryan Medders