Diets designed with MS in mind
In part two of this three-part series, we focused on five easy ways which can help us develop and maintain a healthy gut. In this third and final instalment, we offer an at-a-glance guide to three of the more commonly known diets that have been devised to help manage the impact of multiple sclerosis (MS) on our bodies.
As you will see the common trend with these diets is the consumption of gut-friendly foods and reducing or eliminating the intake of unfriendly foods such as sugars, saturated fats and those that are highly processed.
The Wahls Protocol
The Wahls Protocol was created by Dr Terry Wahls, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa and MSer. The diet is based on key elements of the paleolithic (or paleo) diet. A paleolithic diet is based on foods similar to those that would have been eaten during the paleolithic era that could be obtained by hunting and gathering, such as lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Processed foods, grains (wheat, oats, rice), soy, dairy, eggs, potatoes, tomatoes and legumes (beans and lentils) are eliminated. Dr Wahls and colleagues are still conducting research into the benefits of this diet for managing MS. Find out more at www.terrywahls.com.
The MIND diet
MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay and combines aspects of the Mediterranean diet with the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. This diet was devised by Dr Martha Clare Morris SCD and her team at Rush University Medical Centre in the USA to help improve brain function and counter the onset of dementia. There are no formal guidelines for following the MIND diet, it involves eating ‘good’ foods such as fish, nuts, leafy vegetables and berries whilst minimising intake of foods considered ‘bad’, these include red meats, processed meats, sugar, fried foods, butter and cheese. It is thought that by eating a more natural plant-based diet we can minimise the degenerative effect that inflammation has upon our brains.
A range of books authored by Dr Martha Clare Morris is available for general sale. There are also various websites and books from other sources which offer guidance on following the MIND diet.
The Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS)
OMS is not only a diet but an overall lifestyle program, developed by Professor George Jelinek, an Australian medical professional, after both he and his mother received an MS diagnosis. We will focus on the diet element for this blog. The OMS diet involves consuming a largely plant-based, very low-saturated fat diet, with omega-3 supplements in the form of cold-pressed flaxseed oil. Since its existence, the OMS diet and overall program continue to evolve as more evidence is gathered. So far studies conducted by Professor Jelinek have shown that those who consumed the lowest amounts of meat, dairy, alcohol and higher levels of omega 3-derived flaxseed and fish reported better physical quality of life scores and lower relapse rates. Find out more at www.overcomingms.org