In the US, diagnoses of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are on the rise, in part because healthcare experts are more adept at catching early-stage indicators. And while we learn more about how to identify it, we’re also learning more about how to manage ADHD – and it turns out diet (specifically, carbs) can play a huge role in how ADHD symptoms manifest.
When the idea of diet therapy for ADHD first emerged in the 1970s, it focused on the elimination of foods that were believed to encourage hyperactivity, such as artificial colorings and sweeteners, preservatives, and a handful of raw foods with “triggering” natural chemicals. While still noteworthy, looking at more recent studies that link brain health and nutrition, doctors are now considering a diet low in carbs and high in healthy fats (i.e. a ketogenic diet) could be even more beneficial toward stabilizing the blood sugar spikes that exacerbates the condition.
How Do Carbs Affect the Brain?
When we eat a bowl of breakfast cereal or a white bread PB&J (foods high in refined carbohydrates) our blood sugar and insulin levels spike. And because what comes up must come down, this is followed shortly by a crash of both.