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Multiple Sclerosis Diet

Multiple sclerosis diet is the diet plan to be followed by patients of Multiple Sclerosis, which is an autoimmune disease affecting the brain as well as the spinal chord. The disease spreads to different parts of the body and common symptoms include loss of muscle balance, poor bowel movement, improper eye movements, poor attention and impaired hearing and speech or sexual dysfunction. Though the effect of the diet on the patients of multiple sclerosis is disputed, studies have shown that proper dietary restrictions can prevent the deterioration of the condition.

The most well known multiple sclerosis diet found is the ‘Swank Diet’, which was designed by Dr Roy L Swank in 1948, which is also disputed amongst the medical fraternity, a part of which is of the view that a diet may not have much effect on the disease. Dr Swank conducted a research on 144 patients in a period of 34 years, and the research was published in 1990 in 'The Lancet'. As per the study, people following the Swank diet had not shown any further deterioration of their diseased condition in the 34 year timeline. This came in contrast to those patients who were not following this diet and their condition kept deteriorating.

The Swank Diet

A typical ‘Swank Diet’ is low on saturated fat. Here are the primary features of this Multiple sclerosis diet-

  • Restriction of saturated fat intake to a maximum of 15gms per day.
  • Daily consumption of unsaturated fat to be restricted to 20-50gms.
  • Red meat not to be consumed in the first year, after which 85gms in a week is the prescribed quantity.
  • Low fat dairy products to be consumed, and the butterfat level in them should not exceed 1%.
  • Non-consumption of processed foods having saturated fat.
  • Foods rich in omega 3 like seafood, cod liver oil, multi vitamin and mineral supplements to be consumed regularly.
  • Allergy causing foods should be avoided in a multiple sclerosis diet. There are no restrictions on gluten foods or wheat.


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