The Impact of Sugar On Autism Part II: Healthy Substitutes

sugar and autism

Last week, we took a look at the different kinds of sugar, what they really are composed of and how they affect the body. In case you missed it, you can catch up with us by reading last week’s post.

As we mentioned last week, high fructose corn syrup in particular, as we’ve discussed before here on this blog, is a very dangerous neurotoxin. Yet, sugar in some forms, especially glucose is an essential substance for the body. When glucose levels are low, some neuro processes, such as self control are less active.

That being said, which sugars are safe? Which should be avoided? Which sugars are best for children with Autism?

No matter what dietary belief different specialists have, one general rule can be assumed: food is at its best in it’s most natural form. It is when we begin to process foods and include preservatives and additives that the most healthy foods become detrimental to one’s health. The chemical and biological structure of the foods change and do not have the same effect on the body as they normally would in their pure form.

Many of the foods that contain additives and are processed are carbohydrates, reports Natasha Campbell-McBride MD. Carbohydrates, when ingested, are absorbed into glucose in the body. When we consume foods in their rawest and most healthy form, the carbohydrates allow glucose to gradually be released into the body at a comfortable speed. Processed foods cause the blood glucose level to rise at quicker levels. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, says in her report on the Essential Diet for Autism, that this is the reason why that after you, or even your child has a bowl of cereal in the morning, the feeling of hunger could be back in an hour causing you to reach for a chocolate bar, or a cup of coffee, then feeding into the dangerous up and down level of glucose.

The belief that Autism as an autoimmune disorder, meaning that there is an imbalance in the immune system. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD goes on to say that

” Processed foods, particularly processed carbohydrates and sugar, directly weaken the functioning of macrophages, natural killer cells and other white blood cells and undermine systemic resistance to all infections. For example, an immune compromised person, (like an autistic child) who has soft drinks and french fries or crisps daily, will worsen their condition by these food choices.”

Studies also show that sucralose decreases the amount of healthy bacteria in the gut by increasing acid levels in the colon.

It has also been said that Sugar is more addictive than Cocaine. Although this may sound extreme, think about the effect that sugar has on moods? Do you remember the last time your child was “high” on sugar? Or maybe your child has cried on end for a piece of candy or their favorite sugary cereal.

So, what do you do when your child craves sugar? What’s a safe alternative?

Consider using natural foods and adding your own sweeteners; healthier alternatives. Make your own desserts.

Agave Nectar is a relatively new member to the shelves. Agave is known to be sweeter than honey with a lower glycemic index, or the rate in which it causes the glucose levels in the body to increase. Agave also has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.

Xylitol is is derived from birch bark and can be found at your local health food store. It is produced in small amounts by the human body. It is also said to decrease the risk of tooth decay. It is found in breathmints and gum that market themselves as fighters of tooth decay.

A rule of thumb is “everything in moderation”. It’s important to understand that even the most seemingly healthy substitutes may not be good for the body in abundance. It’s all about balance.

Next week: We will look at Xylitol individually as a beneficial sugar alternative and how it can not only prevent tooth decay and provide a sweet alternative to sugar, but can prevent infections in the body as well.

As with any sweeteners, they should be consumed in moderation. As far as giving sugars to your child as a reward, consider making healthy fruit like apples or grapes a reward. Sugary foods should not be seen as something to behave or excel for.


  1. John Ordille says

    We have our son down to about 7-20 grams of natural sugars from fruits such as dried pears or peaches (no sulphates, completely clean). Where can we get a good source of glucose. He may be too low on this type of sugar. We generally keep sugar to an extreme low to keep yeast levels low.

  2. says

    Stevia is natural and organic.
    Zero Calories, Zero Carbs

    A perfect all-natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners

    • Perfect all-natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners
    • Superior tasting, highest quality
    • Much sweeter than sugar
    • 1 tsp power = sweetness of 1 cup of sugar
    • No known side effects
    • Organically grown and processed from Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni plant
    • Great for weight management and blood sugar levels
    • Available in tablets, liquid concentrates and powdered extracts
    Dr Deidre Brophy Ph.D Sce Nat Med

  3. admin says

    Hi Figo, Fast metabolism or oxidizer is a person who releases energy too quickly. He is like a wood stove with a fire that burns too FAST, overheating the room (body) and running out of fuel. You would see low magnesium, high sodium and potassium, overactive thyroid and/or adrenal glands. This person needs stress to keep going or else he would collapse. Low magnesium is bad because it shows symptoms of sleep disturbances, over-sensitivity to light and noise, autism, depression, anxiety, and low zinc is bad because can causes growth retardation, skin issue, GI issues, poor appetite, immune, DNA issue, high copper in body. Selenium low most commonly robbed by body to chelate heavy metals like mercury but our thyroid hormones need it to make itself more active. I don’t understand why you are running any tests from whoever and not receiving any interpretation/analysis advices. If you need me to manage your child’S healthcare, HIRE ME!

  4. admin says

    Hi Kathleen, I understand your concerns about using xylitol and cancer but I couldn’t find any research papers on PubMed about the connection. Generally, these tree alcohol sugar do cause diarrhea for some individuals or at varying degrees. I think Dr. Bionchi’s concern about those sugars are the sources like GMO products. If this is the case, I share the same concern.

  5. admin says

    Hi John, keeping sugar or simple carbohydrate consumption lower is a good idea to keep those yeasts at bay. I found also a lots of kids with hypoglycemia issue mostly due to either bad diet or too healthy diet.

  6. jeannette roberts says

    i am new to this website. i have a 12 yr old who is diagnosed with aspergers’ syndrome and we do have major melt down’s, sensitivity to light and sound, hard time going down for sleep, and appetite supperessed. his drs have him on meds and i don’t know how much has to do with that. we also have a 8 yr old who is extremely hyper, prone to mood swing’s, stomach aches, headaches, as well as the 12 yr old, but the dr says the 8 yr old only has adhd. the 8yr old is not mine and has suffered emotional, physical, and environmental distress and abuse. his mother was an alcoholic and i don’t know how much she drank from when she was pregnant. he is tall but tiny in size. my 8 yr old girl is plump and also prone to mood swing’s and sleep issues. i don’t know what direction to go and if their food’s have anything to do with all of these issues. my 12 yr old is just slightly taller than the other two and has recently just started putting on some wieght. help . which direction do i start. i believe the 8yr old suffers from ptsd and from the abuse and watching his mother die. but can his poor diet before us have had an effect and how do i change the diets without understanding? thanks

  7. erna says

    Hi admin, I have a 5 year old daughter that was diagnosed with autism. I really need help with fixing her diet. She will not eat anything thats cooked. We give her milk, bread and she loves sweets. What is my first step? She pediatric did not reffer me to any specialist. Please help. Thanks

  8. mj says

    the best form of sweetener i found for my son was ‘basra’ date syrup, as he reacted to all the other forms (stevia, agave, xylitol). i use it to make him all sorts of desserts and he loves the taste and it doesnt set him off no matter how much he has of it, whereas just a few grains of normal sugar or other sweeteners would make him bring the roof down!

  9. says

    Depending if the child was born c/section, reverse mode, forceps birth, suction birth, fast birth or slow birth. The variation of degree of damage is different. Where there are vertebras out pinching the nerve that supplies life to the brains function in the frontal lobe the illnesses are different to the vertebras pinching the nerve to the eyes, the optic nerve and the auditory nerve. The pinched nerve to the Thymus causes low to no immune system function and with parasites in the patient and candida or fungus you will have cancer in an organ depending how many vertebras are out in their spine connected to the type of cancer developing.
    With Thermal Imaging we see how many vertebras are out in the spine causing cancer to develop from poor circulation and acidity.
    Dr Deidre Brophy Ph.D Sc Nat Med

  10. admin says

    Hi Erna, please email or contact our office and we would send you the procedures to qualify your case before the doctor accepts your case. To answer your Qs, “what is the next or first step?” You need to know what is happening to your daughter’s body now, and the best way is to do a functional Blood Chemistry testing.

  11. admin says

    Dear Jeannette, my heart goes for you to take care of all these three special kids. You are asking me for advice for a very complicating cases but anyhow, I would give you one basic step. You do this and you can go a long way unless you hired me to manage their healthcare. You need to ensure: a) they have oxygen in their brain, i.e., no anemia, circulation problems, cold extremities, do any oxygen therapy if available; b) make sure they are NOT hypoglycemia as they need to eat protein-based food more often; c) give their brain positive stimulation via exercises, prayers, suitable therapies. Good luck!

  12. Getting my BCaBA says

    High Fructose Corn Syrup is not a neurotoxin. Anthrax is a neurotoxin. Snake venom is a neurotoxin. What peer reviewed empirically gathered evidence do you have that it is a neurotoxin?

    Who is Natasha Campbell-McBride MD? What is her degree in? Is she a pediatric neurologist? Is she a podiatrist? Does she have any autism experience at all? Where did she get her degree? Does she represent any college or university? What reputable scientific or medical institutions have endorsed her “report?”

    What evidence do you have that people with autism are immune compromised?

    Who “said” that sugar is more addictive than cocaine?

    Why is this filed under “Behavior Modification?” What in this article talks about how changing a person’s sweetener will change their behavior? What part of their behavior will change? How will it change? How much will it change?

    “Studies also show that sucralose decreases the amount of healthy bacteria in the gut by increasing acid levels in the colon.” What studies?

    What studies can you site to back up anything you’ve said in this article?

  13. admin says

    Hi “Getting my BCaBA”, your reply is prepared in a special post. Look for it in the coming week.

  14. says

    I think we all would agree, refined sugar is not good for us and it’s in virtually everything we eat, leading to a host of health issues. I have an adult child, who has a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, so for lack of a clear diagnosis, has been cast into the Autism Spectrum. Because he is able to work outside of the home, I have constant issues with diet and over indulgence of sugary foods, drinks, etc. He is obese, by all standards, yet there is little, any medical doctor, nutritionist or related health professionals can recommend to address this problem. My fear is he he will become Diabetic, compounding his health issues. As I continuosly search for an answer[magic bullet], I have tired virtually everything, without much success. However, I recetnly discovered an all natural sugar blocker, which after researching it for 3 months and trying it myself, am going to start him on it.

  15. admin says

    Hi SamV, your adult child who had a weight problem might need to address the Leptin or he has gut issues. Have you produced any ‘magic bullet’ yet?

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