What Are the Best Plans for an MS Diet?

While some people with multiple sclerosis (MS) say following a special MS diet helps manage the symptoms of their illness, everyone is different. The best MS plan is a varied one. But you may notice an improvement in your health and well-being when you eat a certain way. After clearing your choice with your healthcare provider, you may find specific modifications helpful in managing your symptoms.

The most essential thing in choosing an MS-friendly plan is to ensure you get as much food as you need and obtain all of your essential nutrients in the form of various foods from each food group. Always speak to your doctor or dietitian before making any diet changes, particularly if you have other health conditions besides MS.


The Overcoming MS Diet

The Overcoming MS diet (OMS) was developed in 1999 by Dr. George Jelinek following his own diagnosis of MS. The plan is part of an overall lifestyle program that includes medication, exercise, and meditation. The OMS diet advises cutting out dairy and meat and eating less fat – particularly saturated fat. It also recommends flaxseed oil supplements oil (for omega 3s) and vitamin D, but only if you’re not getting out in the sun much.


The Paleo Diet

The Paleolithic plan eliminates processed foods and focuses on lean meats & fish, fruits & vegetables, nuts & seeds, and eggs. Also known as the “caveman diet,” Dr. Terry Wahls brought attention to this particular plan when she began studying its benefits in treating her own MS.


The Wahls Elimination Diet

This modified version of the Paleo plan consists of animal protein, fruits & vegetables, omega-3 oils, and plant protein. It eliminates dairy, eggs, and gluten.


The Swank Diet

Dr. Roy Swan developed this regime in the 1950s. He officially reported the results of this diet 20 years later after observing its effects on his MS patients. 

This plan is also low in fat and eliminates processed foods. Choices included in this MS diet are:


  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grain pasta and cereal
  • Trimmed poultry
  • White fish and shellfish


The Mediterranean Diet

Like the other diets mentioned, the Mediterranean plan is low in saturated fats and high in whole grains, legumes, fruits & vegetables, fish, and olive oil. This regime is beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes and heart disease. There have not been any studies showing its benefits for those with MS, but it is the most nutritionally balanced diet and has been shown to diminish inflammation.


Overall, a balanced plan is the best MS diet. Before starting any dietary changes, discuss them with your doctor.

Looking for more tips on healthy living? Visit the Healthy Lifestyles section in our blog.

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