Swank Diet?

Has anyone given the Swank diet a go? Just heard about it and read up on it a bit and wondered if anyone found the a restricted diet helped them at all?


The Swank diet was fashionable when low fat/ high fibre diets were fashionable. I did try it briefly but drinking milk every day made me feel quite weird and I quickly stopped. If you fancy trying a diet to help with MS, I’d go for the 5-2 (5 days eating , 2 fasting). I think there is actually some science suggesting this is good for MS, unlike all the other diets promising the world to MS sufferers.

Here’s a link

Not only did i give Swank ‘a go’, but following my diagnosis, it became integral to my MS management strategy.

It has been considered inadequate purely due to scientific sensitivity; ie. naysayers were quick to dismiss it on the basis that controls, and ‘double blinds’ etc were not in place and thus result bias was possible. This is true, but we have to consider the reality that it is tough to give test subjects a very specific diet over several years without them knowing about it! It simply is not possible to test this diet to strict dietary standards. For me, this was no excuse to dismiss it.

The diet is easy.

Sewingchick found it challenging to drink milk every day. I can only assume that her Swank differed from mine; my version allows next to no saturated fats. consequently, cow products (ie. milk, cream, yoghurt, cheese, beef) are essentially forbidden.

I would recommend the Swank diet.

To me, it is little more than good, solid, common sense advice: fresh fruit, fresh veg, olive oil, only the finest dead animals (white meat poultry and game red meats such as venison), fish oils, and no processed foods or fry ups.

At the end of the day, the trials into the efficacy of Swank started over 50 years ago. I took tremendous assurance from reading that many of those who participated in the trial and have stuck to the regime ever since, are not only alive and well today, but have remained mostly relapse free for over 50 years and pretty much entirely have remained devoid of disability progression.

If it turns out that Swank is just a load of twaddle, i will happily slurp down my cheeseburgers once confined to my wheelchair!

Don’t knock it until you tried it!

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Jelinek has updated Swank a bit and looks easy enough to follow.

Personally, I find the Mediterranean diet as good as anything and not in the least restrictive, unless you consider fresh food restrictive.


The John mcdougall diet is based on swanks theory. Given it a go for six months, don’t feel any better, or worse for it, but will help with stabilizing your weight, and keeps blood sugars and pressure to a very good level, so has it merits, and cuts your food bill down.

I just looked up the Swank Diet. You’re permitted two cups of low fat dairy products a day. My memory is that the Swank Diet book (which I was using) said this was obligatory but it was 16 years ago when I was following it, so I may have misremembered.

HI, I have been following the best bet diet for 4 years no dairy,gluten,sugar and low fat,

I feel really well on the diet but if I go back to my normal diet my symtoms are much worse.

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I’m on week three of a proper restricted diet. I did 5:2 for a bit and it did stabilise my weight but it was difficult.

Me and my husband watched the Michael Moseley programme about fasting, fasting helps your brain grow new neural pathways, so I decided to try it. I guess it’ll take a little time but good for my weight too.

I found one of the easiest things is just to ditch my cups of tea etc. and just drink water for the 3 fast days. You only need to half your intake of calories and I’ve managed to cope with taking Tefidera too.

I know it won’t ake any massive changes but any small improvements would be appreciated the weight loss would just be a bonus, inactivity isn’t good for my belly.

Sonia x

I’m following this diet,only been doing it for a few weeks but I have read the book and find the website very informative,friendly and helpful.Definitely worth a look.The basic idea is to eat the absolute minimum of saturated fat,so meat and dairy are banned and you eat a whole food diet with oily fish for the omega 3 fatty acids plus other seafood as wished and a lot of vitamin d.It’s not difficult to do but you do need to commit to it and do it properly,not tweek it to suit yourself.The Proffessor is very clear that if you don’t stick to it,yes you will still have a potentially very healthy diet but it won’t halt the progression of your ms.There is a lot of info out there if you search you tube for the names Swank,Jelinek and Mc Dougall

The best thing for me at the moment is the hope it gives me but maybe in a year or so I’ll be able to report something positive.Already lost loads of weight but isn’t it ironic,I’d give anything to be bigger if it meant I was still healthy smiley

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I’m a bit confused about this - are you following the 5:2 diet? That was what the Michael Moseley programme was about.

The Michael Moseley programme was about fasting. He tried a full on fast (which has many health benefits) and a few variations and said that 5:2 was quite doable and we tried it and I did stabilise my weight a bit. After seening the MS news (link bow).

I’m trying Mon-Weds, only drink water and half my calorie intake. Not that hard and still coping with Tecfidera pills ok. If anything, I’m usually a little under the half mark, usually about 800-900 cals on those days. Then the rest of the time you eat as normal. I figured it had to be worth a try because fasting does make the body produce new neural pathways.

I’d recommend the Moseley programme, it’s on the iplayer

Sonia x

ps. as we’re on week 3 I’ll have a weigh in later and let you know the progress

Thank you for all the comments and input. Hubby is generally watching his diet now (lots of fish,no processed food, almond milk instead of semi skimmed). I don’t think he’s quite ready for a fully restrictive diet yet but is taking on some of the swank principles. He’s lost lots of weight since his diagnosis and needs bulking up!

Hi Derek. My first time perusing the boards in ages and guess what? People are still asking the same question :slight_smile: Hope you are doing ok honey. Are you going to MS Life? xx

this is a bloody good start!

i miss big juicy beef tenderloin steaks and stinky cheese… but i have switched to eating venison and kangaroo with spreadable goat’s cheese instead.

we adapt and overcome! good work!

Ha ha definitely Paolo. I made myself homemade beefburgers tonight but he was very good and just had some cod loin!

A low-carb diet is a diet that restricts your carb intake, such as those found in sugary foods, breads, pasta, and other grains. Instead, it emphasizes foods high in protein and healthy fats. Proponents of the low-carb diet say that it can help you lose weight and improve your health. Critics say that a very low carb diet is unhealthy and can lead to heart disease and other problems.