Friday, 27 July 2007

Nutrition and ms

Q. Is there a diet that may benefit MS?
From Nutrition by Shereen Jegtvig

I have been told that I may have MS. My over all health is not good and has not been for years. Is there a diet that may benefit my health? By the way, my friends say I am not a good advertisement for healthy eating.Holly
A. There is no specific diet yet for multiple sclerosis, however there may be some connections between MS and diet. It appears that MS may occur more often in people who drink lots of milk and eat lots of saturated fat from meat. The preservation methods of sausages may also be connected to a higher risk of MS.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs) have been shown to help alleviate symptoms. There may also be a correlation with MS and low B12 levels and low vitamin D levels.
An anti-inflammatory diet may help you improve your health. This means a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of meat, fish, nuts, legumes, seeds and whole grains. You can also use my Nutrition and Calorie Guide for Men and Women to help you determine how many calories you need and learn more about food groups.
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What are the MS Symptoms?Learn the Early Symptoms of MS, Learn Causes & Latest Treatments.MS-Symptoms-Revealed.comYou might want to ask your doctors about vitamin B12 supplements, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D supplements.
Weinstock-Guttman B, Baier M, Park Y, Feichter J, Lee-Kwen P, Gallagher E, Venkatraman J, Meksawan K, Deineher, S, Pendergast D, Awad AB, Ramanathan M, Munschauer F, Rudick R. "Low fat dietary intervention with omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in multiple sclerosis patients." Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids Volume 73, Issue 5 , November 2005, Pages 397-404.
Miller A, Korem M, Almog R, Galboiz Y. "Vitamin B12, demyelination, remyelination and repair in multiple sclerosis." Journal of the Neurological Sciences Volume 233, Issues 1-2 , 15 June 2005, Pages 93-97.
Lauer K. "Sausage Preservation Methods and the Prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis: An Ecological Study." Ecology of Food and Nutrition, Volume 46, Number 1, January-February 2007, pp. 1-11(11)
Cantorna MT, Mahon BD. "Mounting evidence for vitamin D as an environmental factor affecting autoimmune disease prevalence." Experimental Biology and Medicine 229:1136-1142 (2004).
FAQ Index
Updated: June 8, 2007

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Which diet is the right one?

Decided to place all three diets on my blog as its good to be able to compare them.

They are very different diets so which one is the right one?

My plan is to look at them all closely and try to decide which one I want to use.

Of them all I think the low fat swank diet interests me the most.

Wonder what other people think about these diets.


by Elmer M. Cranton, M.D.

This diet is used in two ways:
1) To help with a diagnosis of suspected food allergies: Adhere strictly to this diet for at least a month and observe whether any symptoms of illness, skin rash, fatigue, congestion, digestive tract problems, joint pain, discomfort, etc., improve at the end of that time. Suspect foods and beverages that were eliminated. These can then be added back one at a time, as described below, to confirm a diagnosis of food allergy. This process may need to be repeated if in doubt, and it is sometimes necessary to remain on the diet for more than a month to obtain greater relief of symptoms. A daily diary of symptoms and potentially allergic exposures is helpful. Keep in mind that food allergies are most often of the delayed type, persisting for some time after the allergic substance has been eliminated and recurring only after repeated daily exposures, once symptoms have improved.
2) To relieve stress on the immune system: By reducing stress on the immune system for a period of several months, intolerance to previously offending foods and beverages often disappears. This period of rest can give the immune system time to recover its tolerance to some, if not all, previously reactive foods. Previously bothersome foods may once again be tolerated in moderation, especially when not consumed frequently. With this goal in mind, the diet can be followed strictly for three months. Yeast in the body, mainly in the colon, also stress the immune system and increase the severity of food allergies and chemical sensitivity. If yeast are eliminated with anti-fungal medication, previously allergic foods can often be better tolerated. Fixed allergies to gluten containing grains (such as wheat) and dairy products is common, however, and reactions to those foods may persist throughout life, fluctuating in sensitivity from time to time. Viral infections and other illnesses can reactivate food allergies.
This food program is sometimes called the “Cave Man Diet” or the “Rare Food Diet.” It avoids commonly eaten foods. Allergy is usually the result of repeated exposures to a specific substance or food. The more often the exposure, the more likely it is to provoke an allergic response. For unknown reasons, some foods are tend to be much more allergic than others. This diet eliminates the most common food allergens, including most foods that are consumed frequently by people living in industrialized western countries. This regimen closely resembles the diet of a stone-age hunter-gatherer.
Because the immune system is more likely to be sensitized to foods eaten frequently in the past, repeated exposure can lead to sensitization and resensitization. Conversely, foods that are not commonly eaten are less likely to cause adverse reactions—another term for allergy. Unless all sensitizing foods are eliminated during the same period of time, for a month or more, there may not be enough time for symptoms to clear. Multiple allergies are additive. Eliminating only one or a few of the sensitizing substances may not be adequate to see improvement, and the diagnosis will be missed. It is necessary to be very strict in following the dietary instructions below. Adverse reactions to foods and drinks are often totally unsuspected and are very common. Unfortunately, there are not any reliable laboratory tests for this type of allergy.
The only way to be absolutely sure of the diagnosis is to follow such a program of elimination and provocation. Blood and skin testing may sometimes help, but they are expensive and are not reliable to delayed-onset diagnose food allergies or chemical sensitivities. Although some such tests are marketed by clinics and laboratories, I have found the rate of false positive and false negative results to approach 50%. Even with testing, it is still necessary to eliminate all (or most of) the offending foods for 30 days or more to confirm the results. Then to provoke symptoms by adding them back. It would be nice if there were an easier method. But I have not found one. The program described here is not only most accurate, it costs nothing other than time and inconvenience. There is no other way to be sure. If you do not eliminate all or most of the reactive allergens at the same time, symptoms may not resolve and you will have wasted your time by an improper attempt using this self-administered test.
Some foods, such as grains and milk products, are much more sensitizing. It is common for chronic fatigue, multiple allergies, chemical sensitivities, arthritis, and many other non-specific symptoms to be related, at least partially, to diet. These instructions will allow you to substitute highly nutritious meals consisting of foods you rarely eat. You may not like it, but you will not be deprived of any important nutrients. If symptoms improve and if you feel better on this diet, it means that something you eat or drink on a regular basis is either causing or contributing to the severity of symptoms. Chemical fumes, perfumes, pollutants, exhaust fumes and fumes things in the air you breathe can act in the same way.
It has been said that dietary carbohydrates cause yeast to multiply in the body causing symptoms. While this may be a part of what happens with high intake of sugar and simple carbohydrates, milk protein, wheat, corn and other starchy grains are highly sensitizing to the immune system, unrelated to their carbohydrate content. Grains are grasses and it is well known that grass pollens are the most common cause of nasal allergy and hay fever. The same applies to foods in the grass family. For unknown reasons, milk and dairy products are also highly sensitizing. Although lactose intolerance is also common, food allergy is usually caused by food-specific proteins, not lactose.
Although chronic symptoms are often blamed on Candida or yeast, there are usually many other factors involved. Yeast can be highly stressful to the immune system and can greatly increase the severity of food allergies and chemical sensitivities. It is uncommon, however, for yeast to be the only, or even the most important cause of symptoms. Yeast can contribute to allergic symptoms after a course of antibiotics, or following excessive intake of sugar—including large servings of fruit or juice. Treating only the yeast, however, does not usually bring about lasting or full improvement.
When this diet is used as a diagnostic test, you should follow it very strictly for at least a month while keeping a daily symptom and diet diary. At the end of the test period, note any symptoms of ill health that have improved. If improvement occurs, you probably have food allergies—and usually chemical sensitivities as well. If in doubt, the test can be repeated several times to confirm those observations. Wait for a month or two between test periods, while consuming your customary foods and beverages.
You may experience withdrawal symptoms and strong cravings during the first week or two on the diet. Paradoxically, withdrawal and cravings are also symptoms of food allergy. After a few weeks of elimination, cravings for the offending foods will disappear. Cravings are not related to nutritional factors. Foods allowed on this diet are highly nutritious, although inconvenient, and this diet is fully adequate to support good health.
This dietary elimination program will help to uncover what you may be reacting to, often without suspecting it. Favorite foods that you think are needed for wellbeing may surprisingly be causing symptoms of illness. After a period of avoidance, the immune system can develop tolerance to previously reactive foods. Throughout life, this type of food program can help to develop a long-term food plan that minimizes symptoms—with periodic modification and least disruption to lifestyle.
By eliminating yeast from the body with antifungal medicines and remaining on this diet for several months, previously reactive foods may subsequently be tolerated. (Although allergies to wheat, corn, milk, chocolate, cola, sugar and chemical additives may remain fixed, if used more than occasionally. An effective program is to take medications to reduce the yeast burden in the body while following this diet, and then continue on the diet for an additional month after those medications are stopped. That will allow the immune system to rest and recover some reserve. Reducing yeast lowers a fixed cause of immune stress, allowing more reserve and better tolerance for other things. Eliminated foods can subsequently be added back, one at a time, carefully observing for recurrence of allergic symptoms. Gluten grains (especially wheat), corn, and dairy products should be withheld until last, because long-term fixed allergies to those items are common.
It is not necessary to eat everything allowed, only to avoid everything not allowed. In addition to the instructions below, avoid anything that you previously ate more than once each week, even if otherwise allowed. For example, if you crave bananas and eat them frequently, eliminate them. And if you snack regularly on almonds, eliminate them too. If you suspect sensitivity to any of the allowed foods, eliminate those as well. Every person is different and there is a wide variability in tolerance.
Observe carefully for changes in nasal or lung congestion, mucous, fatigue, foggy thinking, digestive disorders, constipation/diarrhea, bloating, gas, fluid retention, pain, mood swings, joint aches, urinary problems, drowsiness after meals, and other symptoms that can be caused by unsuspected food allergies.
Meal suggestions and allowed foods are listed below. Do not become discouraged. This is not a lifetime program. It is temporary, as an aid to your diagnosis and recovery. If you discover food allergies that persist, you will probably choose to avoid those foods whenever possible. Now let’s see what you can eat. After you get relief, you then have the rest of your life for provoking and elimination, to determine what things you can eat and drink and how often without symptoms. When you change your diet, you may eventually develop new sensitivities. Once you learn the principles and procedure for diagnosis, this becomes a do-it-yourself program. These principles are not taught in medical schools, so do not be surprised if you health care providers do not understand this process. They may even try to discredit what you experience.
Allowed Foods That You Can Eat
Meat and seafood: Use only fresh or fresh frozen lamb (lamb imported from New Zealand or Australia contains less chemicals and antibiotic residues). Avoid beef, chicken, and pork. Avoid farmed-grown fish or shrimp (most of the shrimp now available are farmed in Asia). Avoid processed meats, cold cuts, hot dogs, sausage, etc., which have many added ingredients including sugar, starch, colorings, preservatives, and chemicals. Any type of wild game is acceptable. Deep-water ocean fish such as orange roughy, halibut, tuna, and wild salmon are allowed. All salmon from Alaska is wild. Choices can include lamb, crab, lobster, oysters, deer, rabbit, duck, goose, clams, pheasant, frog legs, quail, scallops, and Cornish game hen. Turkey is allowable if it is fresh, has not been injected or pre-basted with “butterball” chemicals, is not ground, pressed, or otherwise processed, and has no additives.
You may eat most vegetables except you must avoid corn, white potato, tomato, peas, beans and other legumes. You may eat most fruits except apples and citrus. Lemon and lime are usually tolerated to enhance flavor. Eat only small fruit servings of fresh, unprocessed fruit, and do not drink fruit juice, except in very small amounts.
You may drink bottled mineral water, spring water, water filtered thorough a purifier, or distilled water. Bottled water is usually pure enough, if you are sure of the source. Water bottled in plastic containers may contain chemical plasticizers that leach from the container. Inexpensive activated charcoal filters can effectively remove chemical residues from drinking water.
You can eat nuts, including filberts (hazel nuts), almonds, or pecans. Use fresh cracked or nuts still in the shell, not roasted, or otherwise treated. (Peanuts are not nuts despite their name. They are actually legumes. Avoid peanuts.)
You may use safflower oil, sunflower oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil and extra virgin olive oil. Use only cold pressed oils with no additives, purchased from a natural food source.
You may eat sweet potatoes, yams, cabbage, carrots, squash (many varieties), asparagus, cauliflower, avocados, celery, garlic, okra, radishes, greens (beet, mustard, spinach, collards, etc.), cucumbers, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, kale, avocado, broccoli, parsnips, green peppers (not hot pepper or peppery spices), rutabaga, leek, and turnips. Because wheat, corn, rice, rye, oats, barley, buckwheat, millet, and other grains are common causes of allergy, and because all grains belong to related food families, avoid grains while on this diet. This means you must avoid all breads and other foods made with any kind of flour. Although buckwheat, amaranth, milo and quinoa do not belong to the grain family, many grain sensitive people react to those grain substitutes and they should also be avoided. There is no way to make a sandwich, so get used to it.
You may eat fresh or fresh frozen fruits (not fruits dried in sugar or packed in sugar or syrup), including bananas, grapes, peaches, pears, pineapple, kiwi, papaya, mangos, melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, Crenshaw), cherries, apricots, pomegranates, mangos, coconuts, plums, persimmons, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, or loganberries. Eat only small servings of fruit, as fruits contain lots of natural sugar. Fruit canned in its own juice without sugar or additives are allowed. Avoid fruit juice except in small amounts.
For condiments, you may use honey in very small amounts as a sweetener. Stevia is highly recommended as a natural sweetener. (Avoid NutraSweet®, Equal®, aspartame and saccharine, which are artificial chemical sweeteners.) Sea salt is allowed. The allowed oils can be used for cooking and on salads. Chopped nuts (of allowed types), ginger, garlic, cilantro, almond butter, and sesame butter are allowed. Many of the nut butters are processed in the same equipment that makes peanut butter, so read the label for warnings about small amounts of potential allergens.
Foods You Must Strictly Avoid
Avoid milk, cheese, yogurt, egg, all grains, corn, wheat, rye, oats, barley, rice, sugar, oranges, grapefruit, legumes, beans, peas, peanuts, beef, chicken, pork, apple, white potato, food colorings, chemical additives, emulsifiers, yeast, preservatives, chocolate, cola, processed and packaged foods, coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages. Avoid chemical exposures. Read all labels carefully. Do not breathe tobacco smoke, exhaust fumes, solvent fumes, chemical fumes, or perfumes. Use scent-free laundry and house cleaning products that have no chemical odor. Use only hypoallergenic, scent-free toiletries and cosmetics. Avoid tobacco in any form. Avoid areas of fabric stores, shoe stores, shopping malls, and the cleaning and cosmetic areas at the supermarket, which can expose you to high concentrations of chemical fumes and scents. Avoid newly installed carpets and newly painted or refinished housing and office space, where solvents and fumes outgas into the air. Furniture polish and many cleaning products release potentially toxic fumes.
Milk and milk-containing foods: Avoid milk and dairy products entirely, including cheese, butter, ice cream, margarine, yogurt, cream soups, breads, crackers, cookies, cakes, candies, luncheon meats, and other manufactured or processed foods. Casein and lactalbumin are other names for milk protein. Read all labels carefully.
Egg-containing foods: Avoid eggs or any foods containing egg, including custards, cakes, cookies, ice cream, pies, macaroni, salad dressings, noodles, pancake mixes, and all other manufactured or processed foods.
Grain-containing foods: Avoid wheat, corn, rye, barley, rice, and all grains and foods containing grains. This includes all commercial breads, cookies, crackers, cereals, batters, luncheon meats, pancake mixes, candies and a wide variety of other packaged and processed foods.
Citrus: Avoid orange, grapefruit, and foods containing those citrus fruits.
Sugar-containing foods: Avoid cane sugar, beet sugar, corn sugar, fructose, glucose, and brown sugar—including candies, cakes, sugar-coated cereals, ice cream, carbonated beverages, and the wide spectrum of processed and packaged foods which contain sugar. Sugar is hidden in dozens of foods including catsup, pickles, relishe, and salad dressings. Avoid artificially sweetened food or drinks that contain NutraSweet®, Equal® or aspartame. A very small amount of honey is allowed, but sweets are very addicting and it is best to go through a total withdrawal. Stevia is best tolerated as a sweetener.
Legumes: Avoid peanuts, beans and peas of all kinds, including string beans, lima beans, soy beans, baked beans, green peas, field peas, black-eyed peas, and vegetable gums. Soy bean protein ("textured protein") is hidden in a variety of manufactured foods. Read labels carefully.
Chocolate & Cola-containing foods: Avoid chocolate and cola drinks of all kinds, including diet cola. Avoid all sweets, candies and foods to which chocolate has been added.
Meats: Avoid all forms of beef, pork and chicken, including luncheon meats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage and hamburger. Avoid all cold cuts. Avoid tenderized, spiced, processed or otherwise treated meat products of any kind. Most shrimp now sold in the USA is farmed in Asia and raised on human waste, antibiotics, etc.)
Fruits & Vegetables: Avoid white potatoes (even if the outside skin is red), French fried potatoes, potato chips and any food containing potato. Avoid tomato, corn, and rice. Avoid fresh, frozen or dried apples, oranges, and foods containing apple or citrus flavoring (which is often an artificial chemical). Avoid any other fruit or vegetable that was regularly eaten more often than once each week in the past.
Yeast-containing foods: Avoid breads, wine, vinegar, mushrooms, and dried fruits. Use only vitamins that are formulated to be yeast-free and hypoallergenic, without chemical additives or preservatives.
Coffee, tea & alcohol: Avoid all coffee and tea products (including instant and caffeine free). Also avoid herbal teas and all alcoholic beverages. Drink pure water, it’s good for you. Carbonated water, unsweetened but with all natural fruit flavor is acceptable.
Condiments: Avoid black, Cayenne. and any kind of hot pepper. Avoid onion, NutraSweet®, Equal® and aspartame, which are artificial chemical sweeteners. Beware of many spices that are mixtures of both labeled and unlabeled ingredients. Stevia as a sweetener is allowed, if a pure extract.
The following are only a few suggestions, to be used as a starting point. Be creative and vary the allowed foods, while avoiding foods that are not allowed. Read over this whole document very closely and then use all of the information to create your own menus.
Food Suggestions For Breakfast: Sweet potato slices, yams, sliced bananas, strawberries, melon, allowed nuts, fresh pineapple slices (or canned in their own juice), sprinkle bananas with chopped fresh cracked pecans, almonds or other allowed nuts, fresh melon, mineral water, fresh fish baked or broiled, lamb patty, olive oil, shredded coconut, sea salt.
Foods You Might Eat For Lunch: Lamb patty, carrots, any allowed vegetable, pears, banana coated with ground nuts or almond butter, kiwi fruit, grapes, fresh almonds, slices of lamb, fish, sweet potato slices, salad with oil, vegetables and chopped celery, cabbage (raw or steamed), pear, broiled snapper, almonds.
Foods You Might Eat For Supper: Sweet potato, yam, lamb, any allowed meat, avocado, steamed carrots, any allowed vegetable, fresh fruit with shredded coconut, asparagus, almonds, baked fish, broccoli, banana, spinach, baked squash, green peppers, fresh raspberries or strawberries, roast duckling, Brussels sprouts, celery or carrot sticks, Cornish game hen, cauliflower, sea salt, chopped almonds or pecans, baked or broiled fish. Buy imported Australian or New Zealand leg of lamb, slice it into lamb steaks or cubes, and freeze meal-size portions—trimming off the excess fat.
Snacks: Pineapple slices, peaches, grapes, raw vegetables, allowed nuts, celery sticks stuffed with almond or sesame butter, banana coated with crushed nuts, sardines packed in olive oil.
If weight loss is desired, this diet can be very helpful by reducing cravings for reactive and addictive foods that have been eliminated—while at the same time providing good nutrition. If weight loss is not desired, or if weight is too low and gain is desired, use more of the calorie-dense oily foods such as avocados, nuts, almond butter, olive oil, etc. Eat lamb without trimming as much of the fat.
Organic foods are always preferable, but may not be available—and the added expense may be prohibitive. By carefully reading all labels, it is possible to achieve a relatively healthy diet, free of most chemicals and contaminants.
After several months, after symptoms have improved for a time, foods can be added are added back. Add back only one new food every 3 to 4 days, in pure form, and eat that new food at least twice each day during the test period. Butter is the one dairy product that is better tolerated, because it is pure fat, without any protein. The protein part of foods is most allergenic. Margarine has milk both protein and chemicals added, and is never preferred. Of all the grains, long grain brown rice is least likely to cause problems (S&W Brand). If cooked rice is sticky, it contains gluten-like material that tends to be more allergic. If the cooked grains of rice do not stick together, they are less allergic. Since gluten is what makes almost all bread, crackers, chips, dough, etc., hold together, some sensitive people choose to go through life without that type of food. Although corn is said to be “gluten free,” experience indicates that grain-allergic patients often do not usually tolerate it well.
Shopping tips:
From the supermarket:
1. Begin by stocking up on allowed fresh fruits and vegetables that you do not usually eat, such as asparagus, avocados, mangos, pears, pineapple, strawberries, yams and sweet potatoes, etc.
2. Buy lamb and fresh fish (not farm raised), Avoid foods treated with sulfites and other chemicals (Fresh fish and shrimp are sometimes treated with sulfites right on the boat when caught to retard spoilage). Orange roughy is the least contaminated fish and is usually in the super-market freezer if you ask for it. Halibut is also good.
3. Buy allowed nuts in the shell (or fresh shelled with no processing) including almonds, coconut and hazel nuts, pecans.
4. Pure water (pure spring water, distilled water, mineral water bottled in glass, or filtered water). Most public drinking water sources are chemically treated and contaminated. Filters can be purchased to purify water as it comes from your tap, and this is best. An activated charcoal filter will remove most chemical residues.
From the health food store:
1. Cold pressed sunflower, safflower, sesame, extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed, oils.
2. Nuts in the shell, or fresh cracked without additives.
3. Almond and sesame butter (read the labels to be sure there is no mention of peanut contamination).
More Shopping Tips
1. Eat mainly fresh or fresh-frozen foods. Although organically grown foods, grown without chemicals, sprays or insecticides are preferable, they are often expensive and not readily available. You cannot always believe the claims. Fresh produce and meat from your local supermarket will usually suffice.
2. Avoid most canned, packaged, processed or chemically-contaminated foods. READ LABELS.
3. Avoid processed, smoked or cured meats, such as salami, wieners, bacon, sausage, hotdogs, etc., since they contain starches, fillers, milk, corn, sugar, food coloring and other additives.
4. If you use canned or packaged food, read the labels carefully to be sure that it is a pure food with nothing added.
5. Avoid canned fruits packed in syrup because they contain large amounts of cane or corn sugar. Instead, buy fruits fresh, fresh frozen or packed water in their own juices. Check labels to make sure they do not contain added sugar. They sometimes lie. For example, dried fruit might be first purchased by the packager already saturated with dried sugar. Because the packager does not then add any sugar, they can deceptively put “no sugar added” on the label.
6. Some sardines and other fish are canned in vegetable oil. Since the oil may be of an unknown source, buy fish fresh, packed in water, in its own oil or in olive oil. Sardines packed in olive oil or sardine oil make a good snack. Tuna packed in spring water is acceptable.
7. Most commercially available nuts are roasted in vegetable oil and contain additives. They are sometimes rolled in brewers yeast or corn starch to prevent them from sticking together. Accordingly, buy nuts in the shell, or freshly shelled nuts which you know have not been dusted with a starch or otherwise treated (usually available from health food stores).
8. Most commercially available turkeys are injected with chemicals and are basted with milk, corn starch and tenderizers, etc. Turkey rolls and processed turkey meat are also chemically treated, unless the label specifically states otherwise. Avoid them and buy only fresh turkey from known sources. The label will usually state if a fresh turkey has not been treated.
9. Use safflower, sunflower, sesame, or extra virgin olive oil in cooking and for salad dressings.
10. You can use 100% pure Carob powder as a substitute for chocolate. (Make sure it does not contain sugar or starch.)
11. Buy pure sea salt, since commercial salt often contains corn starch and chemicals. Don't get the kind that states on the label that it “pours when it rains.” That means chemicals have been added.
12. Pure garlic powder may be tolerated, unless garlic was used frequently in the past.
Copyright © 2005 by Elmer M. Cranton, M.D.

The Best Bet Diet by Ashton F. Embry

The Best Bet Diet
Basically, Ashton Embry's Best Bet Diet(BBD) works on two fronts.
1 - To stop, or at least restrict, the consumption of foods whose molecular structure is so similar to the myelin in our own bodies that they could ignite the autoimmunity process and cause an attack on the myelin in the CNS. These "suspect" foods are as follows;
Dairy - Avoid all animal milks, and all butters, cheeses, and yoghurts made from them, and all products that contain them. Where appropriate, replace in the diet with rice milk or low fat coconut milk, both of which are widely available on the supermarket shelves, these days.
Gluten - Avoid all wheat, rye and barley, and all products containing them. It is advised that oats are also avoided despite new research suggesting they contain no gluten. For our purposes, they are still regarded as a "modern" grain, added to the diet only in recent times, and the chances of avoiding autoimmune reactions is greater without them. These "suspect" grains are replaced in the diet with rice, corn, quinoa and a whole range of other grains/flours that are both gluten-free and widely available these days.
Legumes - Avoid all beans, peas and pulses, especially soya, and all products containing them. All other vegetables are allowed, in particular the green leafy ones, like spinach and brocolli that are high in omega 3 EFA.
Refined sugar is also avoided, wherever possible, because it can make the leaky gut worse and can also adversely affect the immune system. More acceptable alternative sweetners are honey, maple syrup, fruit sugar(fructose) and stevia.
Eggs and Yeast are both allowed in limited quantities as long as the individual shows no specific allergic reaction to them.
Please note: As an additional precaution, it is suggested that the individual also has a ELISA blood test done to identify which, if any, foods have escaped across the leaky gut in the past. The argument goes that the individual's immune system will have created an lgG antibody, as part of its defence mechanism, the presence of which can be detected during the test, when presented with a sample of the same food. The assumption being that the individual may be hypersensitive to these foods and they may be contributing to the pourous nature of the gut. It would seem sensible, as part of the overall strategy, to either avoid or reduce the intake of these foods in the diet, at least for a time, to give the leaky gut a chance to heal.
In general, those following this approach enjoy a diet based primarily on the breast of chicken or turkey, fish, game meats and beef from cattle that have been fed exclusively on grass. The diet is also low in saturated fat and aims to achieve a far healthier balance of omega 6 - omega 3 fats than is normal in today's western society, where the condition is now rife. More detailed information is shown in the Getting Started Guide.
2 - To take a range of supplements that can have a positive effect on each aspect of the disease process. In other words,
To reduce the risk of autoimmune reactions by "dampening down" the immune system. These include vitamin d3(cholecalciferol), calcium, magnesium, omega 3 fish oil and vitamin E.
To help repair the leaky gut and prevent the escape of intact food proteins into the bloodstream in the first place. These include acidophilus, grape seed extract, fish oil and enzymes.
To strengthen and heal the blood brain barrier to prevent attacks on the myelin in the Central Nervous System. These include gingko biloba, grape seed extract, pycnogenol and co-enzyme QIO.
Now, given the amount of scientific research data already to hand in this area, we believe this to be a strategy that is both prudent and sensible for anyone with MS to adopt, particularly when considered together with the wealth of anecdotal evidence of improvement from members of this group and beyond.
Vitamin D Supplementation
Now, to return to the specific questions relating to vitamin d supplementation. Damien Downing argues, in his paper Vitamin D - A Time For Reassessment, that the current Recommended Daily Allowance(RDA), for vitamin D is woefully inadequate and based more on 19th century folklore than on any real science. Rheinhold Veith examines the safety issue in his paper Efficiacy and Safety of Vitamin D. He suggests that for individuals who spend little or no time in the sun an intake of 4000iu per day is not only perfectly safe but also necessary to raise 25(OH)D levels to the optimum range.
Now, those convinced by the evidence should be aware that the most reliable indicator of circulating vitamin D levels is the 25(OH)D test and regular testing of this, both before and during supplementation, is essential.
The key is to ensure a level of circulating vitamin D - 25(OH)D - of between 100 and 125nmol/l which is considered to be the optimum range to maintain good health and to reduce the risk of autoimmune reactions developing into full-blown autoimmune disease.

THE SWANK DIET by by Roy L. Swank, MD, Ph.D.

DAIRY PRODUCTS. All dairy products must be non-fat or contain no more than 1 gram of saturated fat per serving. The recommended daily amount is two (2) servings.(1 cup = 1 serving)The following foods are permissible in any amount:

Non-fat milk or skimmed milk
Evaporated skimmed milk
Powdered skimmed milk
Non-fat buttermilk (without butter bits added)
Non-fat or dry curd cottage cheese
Fat-free cheese
Non-fat sour cream
Non-fat yogurt
Non-fat ice cream
Butter Buds®
Molly McButter®
Cooking sprays
Products to be avoided are as follows:
Cocoa butter
Coconut oil
Palm oil
Hydrogenated oil
Imitation dairy products
EGGS. The white of the egg contains no fat. The yolk contains 5 grams of mostly saturated fat. You are allowed three eggs per week, but no more than one per serving. One complete egg = 5 grams of saturated fat. It is not necessary to count the small amount of fat or oil found in the grains, cereals, rice and pastas in your diet. The recommended daily amount is four (4) servings.GRAINS & CEREALS. You are encouraged to use whole-grain products as much as possible. Refined, un-enriched products provide very little, if any, vitamin source. All bread products are permissible. This includes white bread, whole wheat bread, sourdough bread, English muffins, bagels and all the other grain breads available. The natural grains provide bulk in the diet and aid in elimination. Although these products may contain a small amount of saturated fat, it has been accounted for in the body of the diet. Avoid items such as muffins containing an undesirable oil, pastry, cakes, pies or any other product made with hydrogenated palm or coconut oil, lard, butter, margarine, shortening or vegetable oil that is not defined. Cold and hot cereals are permissible on the diet. The most economical are usually the ones with the least amount of saturated fat. Cheerios®, shredded wheat, Wheaties®, puffed rice and Grape Nuts® are almost fat-free and less expensive. Watch granola; it is usually high in fat. All hot cereals are permissible, e.g., Cream of Wheat®, Cream of Rice®, oatmeal, cornmeal and any other rich grain used for cereal.
PASTA & RICE. Refined pastas and rice are permissible in any amount, but whole grain pastas are preferred.CRACKERS. Snack crackers containing no shortening, butter, margarine or processed oils are permissible. Rye-Krisp®, melba toast, matzo bread, non-fat saltines, fat-free graham crackers and non-fat tortilla chips are acceptable snacks. Avoid all commercially prepared chips and fancy crackers.PASTRY. Commercially-prepared pastry usually contains shortening, butter, margarine and/or processed oil. Therefore, you should avoid these foods.Angel food cake does not contain egg yolks or shortening and can be used as an acceptable dessert.COMMERCIALLY PREPARED FOOD. Any boxed or canned food containing processed oil (hydrogenated), shortening or butter and exceeding 1 gram of saturated fat per serving is to be avoided. Some acceptable products are available. Read labels and be sure to check serving size.CONDIMENTS. With the exception of mayonnaise, condiments such as mustard, catsup, relish, barbeque sauces, taco sauces, sweet & sour sauces, herbs and spices are permissible in any amount. Mayonnaise contains unsaturated fatty acids (oil) and must be counted in your daily oil allotment.
2 tsp. mayonnaise or salad dressing, commercial = 1 tsp. oil
1 tsp. mayonnaise, homemade = 1 tsp. oil
1 Tbsp. "fat-free" mayonnaise = 1 tsp. oil
Fat-free salad dressings = zero (0) fat and oil
BEVERAGES.Caffeine. Caffeine-containing products increase nervousness and insomnia, as well as frequency and urgency to urinate. Therefore, it is necessary to limit these beverages to a maximum of 3 cups daily (can be combined). If an increase in symptoms occurs, do not consume caffeine.Example:
1 cup coffee + 1 cup tea + 1 cup cola = 3 cups daily total.
3 cups coffee or 3 cups tea or 3 cups cola = 3 cups daily total.In whatever way you decide to combine your caffeine, the daily amount must not exceed 3 cups.Alcohol. Most patients tend to be sensitive to alcoholic beverages. A glass of wine or a cocktail with the evening meal is permissible.NUTS AND SEEDS. Nuts and seeds are good sources of natural oils as well as essential fatty acids. Commercial nut butters that are not hydrogenated or that you grind yourself at the health food store, also contain good sources of oil. Daily snacks of these foods help to maintain a good energy level. The following list is to be used to count your daily intake of oil:
2 tsp. peanut butter or other nut butters (old-fashioned, non-hydrogenated) = 1 tsp. oil
1/2 oz. (about 10) peanuts, almonds or cashews = 1 tsp. oil
1/3 oz. (about 10) any other kind of nuts (walnut and pecan halves, filberts, hazelnuts) = 1 tsp. oil
3 tsp. sunflower seeds = 1 tsp. oil
3 tsp. pumpkin kernels = 1 tsp. oil
1/3 oz. Energy Snack Mix = 1 tsp. oil (mix together almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds)
FRUITS. Recommended amount is two (2) fruits daily. All fruits are permissible in any amount. Fresh fruits are preferred since they contain the most nutrients, followed by frozen and then canned fruits.The following fruits contain unsaturated fatty acids and must be counted in the daily oil allotment:
Avocados. 1/8 = 1 tsp. of unsaturated fat (oil) = 5 grams
Olives. 3 medium black = 1 tsp. of unsaturated fat (oil) = 5 grams
Olives. 6 medium green = 1 tsp. of unsaturated fat (oil) = 5 grams
VEGETABLES. Recommended amount is 2 cups daily. 1 cup = 1 serving. Vegetables provide the body with vitamins and minerals and are rich in essential fatty acids. You are encouraged to include a variety of vegetables in your daily diet.
POULTRY. The average serving is four (4) ounces.Skinned, trimmed white chicken or turkey meat is permissible. Avoid processed meat products such as ground turkey and chicken, which may contain dark meat, skin and fat; luncheon meats made from pressed turkey and chicken; and canned turkey and chicken products. For ground turkey and chicken breast, grind it yourself or ask your butcher to prepare and grind it for you when the grinder is clean. This may cost a bit more.FISH. All white fish is permissible in any amount:
Cod, abalone, halibut, snapper, smelt, flounder, sole, sturgeon, tuna canned in water, shark, mahi mahi, haddock, perch, pollack, etc.All shellfish is permissible in any amount:
Clams, crab, lobster, oysters, scallops, shrimp. (For those patients with elevated cholesterol levels, shellfish should be eaten infrequently.)Fatty fish contains unsaturated fatty acids and must be counted in your daily oil allowance. You are allowed 50 grams (10 tsp.) per day.

Tuna, canned in oil 2 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)
Tuna, canned in oil, rinsed & drained 3 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)
Salmon, Chinook 1 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)
Salmon, Coho 2 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)
Trout 2 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)
Sardines, canned in oil 1 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)
Herring 1 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)
RED MEATS. During the first year on the diet, red meat is not allowed, including pork.Of the following low-fat meats, 3 oz. = 1 tsp. saturated fat. You are allowed 3 ounces (weighed after cooking) following the first year.Low-Fat Meats
Lamb (leg)
Liver (chicken, turkey, beef, calf, pork)
Kidney (pork, veal, lamb)
Heart (calf, beef - lean portion only)
Tongue (calf only)
Gizzard (chicken)2 ounces of the following medium-fat meats = 1 tsp. saturated fat. You are allowed 3 ounces following the first year.Medium-Fat Meats
Beef (lean only)
Ham (lean only)
Lamb (rib, loin, shoulder)
Pork (lean only)
Chicken (dark meat, no skin)
Turkey (dark meat, no skin)
Pheasant (no skin)
Squab (no skin)
Heart (lamb, chicken, turkey)
Kidney (beef)
Tongue (beef)
Gizzard (turkey)VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS The following vitamin supplements are recommended:
1 tsp. cod liver oil or 4 capsules (equals 5 grams oil to be counted in your daily allotment). Cod liver oil contains highly unsaturated fatty acids and will give you more energy. It also aids in reducing the number of colds and flu you may have. Cod liver oil is high in vitamins A and D. Additional A and D should be restricted to only one therapeutic multiple vitamin and mineral capsule per day (not mega doses).
1 multiple vitamin with minerals (see #1 above).
1,000 mg. vitamin C
400 IU vitamin E

1. Saturated fat should not exceed 15 grams per day.2. Unsaturated fat (oils) should be kept to 20-50 grams per day.3. No red meat for the first year.4. After the first year, 3 oz. of red meat is allowed once per week.5. Dairy products must contain 1% or less butterfat unless otherwise noted.6. No processed foods containing saturated fat.7. Cod liver oil (1 tsp. or equivalent capsules) and a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement are recommended daily.
The Swank Low-Fat Diet is not a new treatment. Our ancestors ate much less fat than we do, both for economic reasons and because it simply was not available. Today many have returned to this more natural diet for health reasons. The Swank Diet has been helping patients with MS live productive lives for over 35 years. It is simply a diet low in saturated fat and relatively rich in polyunsaturated oils. To obtain maximum benefit from treatment, we advocate its application as early as possible. This is while the symptoms are transient, before a major disabling attack occurs in MS, heart disease or stroke. The diet should be accompanied by adequate rest, reduction of stress, and the adoption of a mental attitude that fosters optimism and determination to live a satisfying life within the limitations of the disease. The goal of the MS patient is to reduce the attacks and promote a state of remission that will add years of fruitful activity to his or her life. It is our belief that the Swank Low-Fat Diet plays a major role in accomplishing this goal. FATS. The main energy-providing components of food are protein, fat, carbohydrate and alcohol. Of these, weight for weight, fats provide the most energy at 9 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram in carbohydrates and proteins. There are two types of fats: saturated and unsaturated (fats and oils). Fats are broken down in the body to form three kinds of fatty acids as follows:
saturated fatty acids
monounsaturated fatty acids
polyunsaturated fatty acids.
SATURATED FATTY ACIDS. Saturated fats are those lipids containing mainly saturated fatty acids found in animal fat, processed (hydrogenated) vegetable oils, coconut and palm oils. Saturated or animal fats are solid or hard at room or refrigerator temperatures.
POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS. Both vegetable and animal products contain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Abundant sources are sunflower, safflower, rapeseed (canola), corn and soybean oils. Salmon and trout are meat sources.
MONO-UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS. These are found mainly in vegetable oils and nuts. Olive oil is an excellent source of this fatty acid.
HYDROGENATION. When reading labels you will become familiar with this term. Polyunsaturated fats do not resist spoilage. When exposed to the air they begin to oxidize and become rancid. Chemically, unsaturated fats contain many double bonds. The process of hydrogenation adds hydrogen to reduce the number of double bonds, thereby making the oil saturated (solid) and more resistant to oxidation. This extends the shelf life of the product."Non-fat" products may contain as much as 5 grams of saturated fat! When eating so-called non-fat products, count each serving as 1 gram of saturated fat. Your diet will consist of no more than 3 teaspoons (15 grams) of saturated fat per day. Your diet should contain a minimum of 4 teaspoons (20 grams) unsaturated fat (oil) and must not exceed 10 teaspoons (50 grams) daily. (5 grams = 1 tsp.) FATS AND OILS. Essential fatty acids are necessary nutrients in the diet. Because of the reduced consumption of saturated fat, it is suggested that you increase the consumption of unsaturated fats (oils). Essential fatty acids are necessary for the function of the nervous system. The body is able to synthesize most of the fatty acids needed for growth but must rely on necessary food sources for small amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids known as Essential Fatty Acids. Fats and oils are a concentrated source of energy; each gram of fat or oil (9 calories per gram) supplies twice as much energy as protein or carbohydrate (4 calories per gram). On a low-fat diet, you may notice drying of your skin and hair, and easy fatigability, if your intake of unsaturated fat (oil) per day is limited. Your lifestyle will dictate the amount of unsaturated fatty acids necessary in your diet. If you are working and exercising, you may need to increase your oil. If you are sedentary, 4 teaspoons (20 grams) per day will usually be sufficient.
The following oils may be used in your diet:
sunflower seed
sesame seed
rapeseed (canola)
flax seedRULES FOR OIL.
Do not reuse oil when cooking.
Always refrigerate oil after opening to avoid rancidity (except olive oil).
Keep olive oil in a cool, dark place (do not refrigerate).
Do not heat oil to the smoking point.
Count oil used in cooking in your daily oil allowance.
Three (3) teaspoons of oil = one (1) tablespoon. Sixteen (16) tablespoons of oil = one (1) cup.
If an oil clouds or hardens at refrigerator temperature, do not use. (Olive oil is the exception to this rule.)

Notes about the best diet versus elimination diet

The best bet diet.

The best bet diet is constantly being recommended as the diet for ms. It’s basically a low fat, no wheat, and no sugar diet that allows fruit & veg & fish. As well as rice cakes, oatcakes. In some versions chocolate seems ok in moderation and beans are ok in others its totally forbidden.

It’s the wheat that's the problem or rather the gluten in wheat, the sticky stuff that results in bread, as we know it. Spelt seems to be better than wheat. Whisky is ok but wine in moderation. Rum may not be ok as it’s made from sugar cane, would love to hear other people’s views on this. And coffee is also forbidden; this is because it irritates the bladder.

This diet does not allow wheat flour, bread, cake, biscuits, crisps, puddings, sugar, beer, and yeast. It also recommends you do not eat any dairy produce, so no milk or cheese or butter or cream. But strangely enough it recommends meat which is quite shocking if you do not eat meat as this diet does not approve of beans, pulses and especially soya beans which non meat eaters rely on for their healthy protein.

The elimination diet
Just been recommended to try an elimination diet, and a lot of B vitamins and calcium and magnesium in the evening. Magnesium is good for muscles. Apparently the jerks and spasms are due to oxygen lack in the brain.

The elimination diet says no salicylates, which means no citrus fruits, apples. Peaches and apricots and blackberry, blackcurrant are ok if cooked or canned, cherries are fine. No eggs, no margarine but you can have a dairy free one. So you can only eat a rice bread or cakes. No brewers yeast. Big bananas only.

Beetroot with no vinegar is ok and brazil nuts, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower and cashew nuts are allowed.

Do not have carob, capsicum, barley, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, or coffee.

You can have celery, unseasoned chicken, (salt is allowed), coconut, cress, crab, custard apple, dates, duck, figs, fish, garlic is safe, goat's milk, goat’s cheese, hazel nut, honey, honeydew, .

Not allowed are cola, corn, cow’s milk, cucumber, curry, egg, eggplant, gelatine, ginger, kidney bean, kiwi fruit, lemon, lentils, liquorice, lime, malt, mandarin, mint, mushroom, mustard, nutmeg, oat, olive, onion, orange, oregano, paprika,

You can have lamb, lettuce, lobster, lychee, macadamia nut, mango, maple syrup, oyster, parsley, parsnip, paw paw i.e. papaya, parsley, tinned peaches, pear, pecan, persimmon, tinned pineapple only, pork, prawn i.e.. shrimp, pumpkin, rabbit, radish, redcurrant, rice (white is safer), rockmelon, safflower, salmon, sardine, schnappers, sesame seed, shellfish, shrimp, spinach, squash, sweet potato.

Not allowed are peas, pepper, plum, poppy seed, potato, prune, quince, millet, rye, nectarine, passion fruit, sage, soybean, strawberry, string bean, sugar, tangerine, tea, thyme, tomato, turmeric, vanilla bean, walnut (full of mould), wheat, zucchini, alfalfa, cocoa, lentils.
Allowed are sugar beet, sunflower seed, trout, tune, turkey, and watermelon. Camomile tea and dandelion tea can be had in small quantities.

Take a fish oil capsule at least once a day and eat fish when you can.
It's antiinflammatory and MS is an inflammatory dieses.

Take some vitamin D if your climate does not have a lot of sun
You'll get real food cravings for about a week especially coffee.
You could do it slowly eliminating things.

Take a calcium and magnesium supplement in the evening. Both those minerals relax muscles. Also take oil of evening primrose if you not have any Omega 6 oils in your diet to balance out the Omega 3.

Vitamin B is very good for nerves. Take them in them morning as they can stop you sleeping.

B1 500mgm

B6 500mgm

B12 1000mgm

B2 100mgm

Folic acid 5mgm

B3 500mgm

The following two are taken in the evening.
B3 500mgm at night.
Choline 500mgm at night.

Take a zinc tablet once a day.

Vitamin A 500iu

Vitamin E 500 -1000mgm daily.

Vitiamn C 1000 mgm daily.

Take the C and all the minerals in the evening as you absorb the minerals better when sleeping and the vitamin C enhances absorption also.

If the diet sounds too daunting then eliminate wheat and all dairy products first.