Dr Swank healthy eating diet.

My wife has started us on a healthy eating diet following the Dr SWANK plan, it pretty much means that I can’t eat any of the things I love, Chocolate, bicuits, cakes and a vast array of other sweet stuff that tastes great and now have to eat lots of green things called veg-i-stables or something like that, it’ss all new to me. in all seriousness, Dr SWANK is saying that a diet very low in saturated fat, ie. none, is very good for slowing down the onset of MS, is anyone else doing this or something similer, does it work, can I survive saying goodbye to Dairymilk???

Hi AB I think that what your wife has done is laudable - healthy eating is so important. On the other hand, this MonSter really detracts from your quality of life and a treat sometimes really helps to cheer you up and give you a boost. So, as far as I am concerned I will continue to have some treats - especially CHOCOLATE! Happy eating! Teresa xx

No one benefits from eating rubbish (otherwise known as treats), regardless of your medical condition.

The Swank diet (updated by Professor Jelinek) is just healthy eating and can only help improve general health. There are rare exceptions, but try it for a while and see how you feel.

Food intolerance is another area worth checking out.

On the contrary Derek, I think that treats - in moderation - can be psychologically very important for many people who are struggling with their lot in life Teresa xx.

You do what you need to and what works best for you - if that means cutting out sweeties and eating healthier, then so be it. I cut out red meat completely after reading Jelinek, and I must say that although I do feel like I have slightly more energy than I did, sometimes, I could really go for a fillet steak, medium to well done, creamy pepper sauce with fat chips and onion rings on the side. But I know that if I do this then I’ll be wiped for about a week, so I don’t. Your diet is a very personal thing, only you will know what you can stick to, and what works for you.

Luisa x

Hello A.B.

I have recently started the Jelinek diet, which of course is a more modern version of the Swank diet. It is difficult for me to be able to tell if this is really doing me any good as I am in a relapse at the moment, but what is interesting is that I ALWAYS need steroids to kick these into touch, but so far with this relapse I haven’t needed any. It could be a hooking great co-incidence of course (or devine intervention, new socks etc) but I am waiting until I receive my annual appointment with the neurologist and when he offers me more vile steroids I will turn them down. I can’t decide whether my nervous system is more battered than my bones, so I try to stay off these steroids.

I am certainly willing to give the Jelinek diet at least eighteen months to see if there is any change.

Take care and good luck,


Hello, I too think it’s important to treat yourself. Following 2st weight gain from various different medicines I’ve bitten the bullet and joined fat club AKA Slimming World. It’s amazing, but effectively just healthy eating. You can have the odd treat, chocolate cravings can be dealt with. My sister in law has lost 2 1/2 stone on this so called ‘diet’ and when we got out for dinner she doesn’t really seem to be eating that different. Amazing! There’s alot to be said for healthy eating, but don’t go mental. :slight_smile: Suz xx

Hi AB. I’ve been following the swank diet for 3 years in April. I feel that it’s helped me along with rebif and vit d. I had 5 relapses in 10 months when I was first diagnosed and 4 of them were big ones. After 8 months of being on the diet, plus taking vit D3, reducing stress and starting rebif 22 my MS stabled and I’ve stayed relapse free for 25 months. The diet is easy and tasty and I enjoy cooking which helps. Although you can’t have chocolate, you can make a chocolate cake which is swank and you can make chips by baking them in the oven. You can have walkers baked crisps which are loads nicer than normal crisps. I honestly feel like its helping and it’s just healthy eating. Use the UK shopping list on their forum, it’ll help you for the first few months.

Please please please read jelinek’s book. People on this forum talk so much about drugs and trails I feel diet is really not getting the attention it deserves. I have been on the diet since sept 2010 and no new symptoms or relapses… I am also on Copaxone but I have to say I hate injecting but I love how sticking to the diet makes me feel - empowered and in control and doing myself a favour. I made a deal with myself to stick to it for 5 years and see how I do. I was diagnosed with rapidly progressing rrms and have many lesions in brain and spine, I refused Tysabri as I feel that if I’m ok for 5 years on diet + Copaxone I will have ‘beaten the odds’.

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I’m with all the Swank/Jelinek people. To be precise, I’m following George Jelinek’s ‘Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis’ diet. It is based on Swank’s but cuts out even more saturated fats.

As well as the book, Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, there is a great website,, which also serves as a community for those who are choosing to adopt the OMS diet and lifestyle. The community is very uplifting and positive and we have a sense that we have taken control of our condition.

It is fair to say that the MS Society and the MS Trust are not fully supportive of the Swank/Jelinek diets. They hark on about the fact that Swank’s 34 (34!) year study wasn’t an RCT, when it could never have been set up as one. They dismiss the strong evidence that the Swank diet significantly reduced disease progression*. Their views are not much different from many neurologists. We each have to take our own decision on what we place more weight on - 34 years of hard evidence (and a follow up at 50 years) or the Holy Grail of an RCT.

As mentioned, OMS is more than a diet, it is a lifestyle - vitamins, exercise and meditation.


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Just a few specific thoughts on the views given by the people here:

  1. OMS’ers are human too and a number want to ‘cheat’ and still have their favourite foods. The most common seems to be chicken. The link in my above post and this Podcast explain why cheating is a bad idea Swank’s study showed that a miss is as good as a mile, and the best results are when saturated fats are kept to an absolute minimum.

  2. Dairy is an absolute no no for people with MS, so chocolate is definitely out

  3. OMS is not anti-drugs. Many people, me included, are on some form of disease-modifying drug. I am on LDN, which is not one of the licenced drugs, but that is another post altogether… There is an explanation of the main disease-modifying drugs in the book and website (the site is obviously more up-to-date). There is, however, a lively and open forum for expressing opinions and asking questions of people’s experience of various drugs.

  4. I have a ridiculously sweet tooth and, before OMS, my diet was all sweets, biscuits and chocolate. On OMS I’ve given all of those up, but it’s still possible to have lots of desserts and other sweet stuff. The Deliciously Ella blog has some amazing desserts. The frozen cheesecake (with no cheese or cake, and about 15 mins to prepare) and the raw brownies (about 5 mins to prepare) are both absolutely amazing. If I want a quick fix of sweetness, dates are great, or smother something with honey.

  5. It can take 3-5 years for the diet to take effect - 18 months isn’t long enough to tell. In any event, I at least see this as a lifetime commitment.


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Back in 05, I was ill. Really down and weak and I’d had a bad relapse that lasted for 15 months. In the end, i got so low that I started a raw food diet and it made a huge difference. I still have all the expensive books that kept me interested and motivated. Eventually, the cost stopped me persisting. I may go there again when the veggies start maturing in the garden. The OMS diet is good, but I think the restrictions can put people off. Now, I’m on tecfidera and still still trying to eat as healthily as possible. I don’t (personally) think diet can cure ms, but a healthy diet is always good. Lowering inflammation is important. Diet can make a huge difference. I’m not allowed sugary foods anyway so I don’t indulge. Except a square of dark chocolate from time to time.

Strange when someone come on the forum, having hauled up a thread from 2012!, just to promote their blog.

I have MS. I don’t think I got it because I ate chocolate and dairy, and don’t believe it will go away if I stop eating it. None of us would have MS if it was that simple, would we?! Nope, I’m going to carry on eating my good quality, 70+% dark chocolate. The world is a better place with chocolate. :slight_smile:

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‘Strange’ is right… anonymous too. A link i shall not be clicking.

I adhere to Swank… i miss my cheese and cake… but fish is tasty, so too is chicken breast, kangaroo, ostrich, venison, buffalo…

Basically anything which isn’t the conventional farm animal. Cow products, one and all are defo off the menu; it is startling the amount of sat fats that contains.

And yes… thank goodness for 70% choc!

Swank rawks! (IMHO) …/

The “anonymous” post (with a link to my blog) was from me (!)

I blog every month or so, and having just written one on diet etc so this was at the forefront of my mind so I thought i’d see what other people’s experiences and thoughts were on this messageboard. I didn’t realise the thread was from 2012 (i just searched the website and it came up). I have no reason or self-interest in promoting my blog - it might just be of interest if any reader / fellow MS sufferer wants to dip into it (i’ve found such blogs from other people enormously supportive over the last few years)

I think I probably ticked the “post anonymously” box thinking I was opting out of too many communication emails.

anyway - enjoy your chocolate!

On Thursday, 17th November 2016 MS Ireland hosted a live stream event featuring a panel of MS experts.

sponsored by MS Ireland and supported by Novartis


Dr. Nonnie McNicholas, MS Research Fellow, St Vincent’s University Hospital: Cognitive Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis

Professor Eva Havrdova, Consultant Neurologist, Charles University, Prague: NEDA in Real Clinical Practice

Dr. Conor Kerley, PHD, BSc, H.Dip, MINDI, DCU: Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies to Combat MS

Have a look at the segment from Dr Conor Kerley

I have started the video at the point where Dr Conor Kerley starts talking.

To hear all the speakers including Dr Eva Havrdova Professor of Neurology at the First Faculty of Medicine,. General University Hospital, Charles University in Prague, you can reset the video to the beginning.

However Dr Eva refused to discuss the NNT or numbers needed to treat for the best MS drugs (at time 1:23:20 in the video ) she felt it was not a topic for discussion for the audience which had a lot of people suffering with MS present.

[YOUTUBE]MS Research Explored - YouTube