The MS Diet: Eating Healthy With Multiple Sclerosis

The MS Diet: Eating Healthy With Multiple Sclerosis

A well-balanced MS diet can help you stay as healthy as possible if you suffer from multiple sclerosis. Though there are many fad MS diets with little research to back up their validity, MS specialists generally recommend a low-fat, high-fiber diet to help achieve the best health possible. Eating regular and well balanced meals has been proven to be the most effective for those living with multiple sclerosis. There are several schools of thought on what kind of diet is the most effective, but most experts do agree on the following principles:

Things to Avoid

Restrictions for MS patients include:

  • tobacco products
  • alcohol
  • caffeine 
  • products with aspartame

Processed foods are generally thought to be something to avoid, as well as all white sugar. Additionally, beef products, including its byproducts cheese and milk, should be avoided. A small amount of fat free milk products are okay to eat in moderation.

Beneficial Foods

It is thought that fresh fruits and vegetables help reduce inflammation and lessen pain. Fresh is always the best choice, but if you cannot find what you want in the produce department, frozen vegetables are the next best thing.

Omega 3 and omega 6 essential oils are also highly recommended for MS patients. These can be taken either in the form of supplements or from foods such as fatty fish and plant oils. Vitamin D is also an important vitamin to stay healthy, and it is often found to be deficient in people with MS. Check with your doctor to see if you are getting enough and if not, begin taking a supplement. Also, talk to your doctor about taking any additional supplements that may benefit you.

MS Diet Tips

Keep a regular meal schedule and try to eat at the same time every day. If 3 larger meals is too much, eat 5 to 6 smaller meals, and try to resist the impulse to eat unhealthy foods throughout the day.

Eating high fiber foods has been proven to be beneficial for MS sufferers. This can include any grains, fruits, and vegetables. Whole wheat bread, brown rice, salad, fruit, and vegetables all are great fiber sources that should be included in your diet.

Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This may be less than you think, as one serving of salad is just 1 cup and fruits and other denser vegetables is just a ½ cup. 

Increasing your intake of fish and lean poultry, while decreasing all processed meats, bacon, and sausages will also be beneficial (saturated fats can be particularly bad for people with multiple sclerosis).

While there is no straightforward diet for MS, there is the research that shows that eating a healthy diet can help you stay healthy longer. There are many differing opinions, but most professionals agree that a well balanced, low-fat and high-fiber, diet is the most beneficial plan to improve the quality of life for anyone with MS. Plan your meals and shop ahead of time to make sure that you stick to your goal of eating healthy.