Any diet considered to be beneficial to Multiple Sclerosis sufferers is like most other treatments, a moot point. Furthermore, every individual is different, and a different dietary regime is likely to be required in each case. Is a palaeolithic diet different?
It is often a case of trial and error to find out what works for you bearing in mind that any dietary change should be given two or three months to see if it will work.
Should you consider the palaeolithic diet?
There are two widely accepted diets that are beneficial for Multiple Sclerosis.
The Swank Diet, and one devised by Roger MacDougall now known as the Palaeolithic Diet.
The latter focuses on excluding gluten and casein, while the former also advocates low animal fats. Gluten is found in all flour-based foods; bread, pasta, pastry and breakfast cereals and beer. Casein is the main protein in milk. So all dairy products should be avoided.
The Swank Diet stipulates that all red meat should be omitted during the first year and kept to an absolute minimum thereafter. It further advises a daily intake of cod-liver oil and vitamin supplements.
Balancing Your Consumption
There are more, and many variations of the above. But I would advise taking nutritional advice, as extreme diets can, in themselves, be harmful whether the diet be for a condition like multiple sclerosis or simply for weight loss purposes.
Incidentally, The Palaeolithic Diet is so named as it is believed to be based on what old stone age humans would have eaten.
They would, of course, have no access to modern, refined foods. Humans have been around for several million years and have evolved to digest hunter-gatherer food.
Modern foods have only been around for a few thousand years, so our bodies have had insufficient time to adequately adapt to digesting cereals or high-fat meats.
I have seen the spelling Paleolithic elsewhere on the web, which according to my Concise Oxford English Dictionary, is a variation of the usual spelling of the word.
I have visited many websites advising on dietary guidelines for MS sufferers.
For the most part, these sites, and magazine articles for that matter, seem to focus on what not to eat, rather than on what we should eat.
Essential Eating Plan
I have just purchased the two books in the hope that they will approach the subject in a much more positive way. I shall report back in due course.
On this note, I was reading an article in New Pathways magazine suggesting we should avoid tomatoes, oranges, aubergine and peppers as these may be inflammatory. What!
The available menu gets shorter every day. This advice would be in direct contradiction to my Wahls Protocol which propounds “Eating the Rainbow” or, in other words, consuming all brightly self-coloured fruits.
A further thought is that some of these foods may be inflammatory to the gut. But, that does not mean they cause inflammation of the brain. Anything that causes inflammation of the brain, should be avoided at all costs as my MS-addled brain will testify.
I have been avoiding oranges, nectarines and other citrus fruit for the last few months. And, I do feel better for it. Next for the chop will be tomatoes, which is going to be a bigger wrench.
A variation of the Paleolithic Diet is The Wahls Protocol by Dr Terry Wahls. This is much more than just a diet. It is a complete lifestyle plan.
Which Lifestyle Plan is for you?
It is a lifestyle change and involves becoming completely gluten-free and dairy-free.
And, ensuring proper vitamin and mineral intake from food as opposed to supplements. This is a dietary regime I am following with great results.
I decided that The Wahls Protocol was worth trying in earnest. Dr Wahls explained the role of mitochondria. How autoimmune disease can develop if the mitochondria are not working fully.
This was the first coherent explanation about the vital role our mitochondria play.
Furthermore, Dr Wahls explains why diet can reverse or ERADICATE your MS symptoms.
I have acquired two other diet books: The Gold Coast Cure and Eat Right for Your Type. The latter I have not yet read fully. So the verdict on these other dietary regimes will come in a later post.
In summary, It is my opinion that diet is crucial to correctly manage your Multiple Sclerosis. We are all different and we all have different dietary needs.
It may be that a palaeolithic diet will suit you. But, only you can decide which of the various diet plans is most suitable for your needs.