When we heard about the link between maternal obesity and autism, we thought it made sense, sad as that discovery is. After all, obesity during pregnancy is linked to other risk factors for infants. So it's not surprising that our typical diet of highly processed food is also linked with autism.
The problem here isn't so much with what processed food puts into our bodies -- it's what it keeps our bodies from eliminating. High frutcose corn syrup can cause mineral deficiencies, which in turn can prevent our bodies for getting rid of toxic chemicals in our systems.
Processed food leading to autism is a very complex chain of events, as researcher David Wallinga explains. "If you've got enough calcium in your diet, it's going to protect you from absorbing lead, and concurrently, if you are calcium-deficient, then you're going to absorb more lead in your gut, and therefore have more lead in your bloodstream." Toxins in the environment also play a role here. The researchers recommend a diet high in antioxidants and necessary minerals for pregnant women.
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It's one thing to think about the harm processed foods do to our own bodies and weigh whether or not we want to take the risk. But when our eating habits can effect our unborn children -- what then?
I guess it shouldn't be too shocking that HFCS and other processed foods are (GASP!) bad for us and for our babies. But learning exactly why they're harmful is surprising. Now we know -- if you're expecting, it would be sad to cancel out all the good of those helpful prenatal vitamin supplements with junk food snacks.
Does the link between processed food and autism surprise you?
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