A diet rich in vegetables, fruit and whole grains could help ease the symptoms of autism, according to a new study.
Researchers found eating a low glycaemic index (GI) diet, similar to that used by people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels stable, reduced symptoms of the disorder.
Their findings could also offer clues to help understand one potential cause of autism, they added.
The GI is a measure of how quickly foods containing carbohydrates, such as breads, cereals and baked goods, raise glucose levels in the bloodstream.
Those that cause a sharp spike in blood sugar levels over a two-hour period are said to have a high glycaemic index. While those that don't cause the big rise, including vegetables, fish, lean meats and while grains, have a low glycaemic index.
The researchers wanted to investigate whether a low GI diet could help people with autism - a spectrum of disorders characterised by social avoidance, repetitive behaviours and difficulty communicating.