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7 Things You Need to Know About the Swank Diet

By Daryl H. Bryant (508 words)
Posted in Living with MS on July 11, 2013

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7 Things You Need to Know About the Swank Diet

Eating right when you have multiple sclerosis can be challenging at times, as it is a significant lifestyle change. The Swank Diet has been around for over fifty years and thousands of people with MS have used it to alleviate their symptoms and get healthier.

This is more than just another fad diet; it is essentially a low-fat diet that requires you to eliminate many fats and oils. Consuming an increased amount of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is just one of the many benefits to the Swank Diet. While many people mistakenly assume that the diet is vegetarian, it simply limits the amount of meat that MS patients should eat.

To get started, follow these recommended rules of thumb:

1. Do not exceed 15 grams of saturated fat per day. Read labels carefully; because many processed foods such as bread, pasta, and even salad dressing rely on saturated fat. The worst offenders are red meat and processed dairy products. While they are typically in very small amounts, they can add up quickly.

2. Unsaturated fats and oils should be limited to no more than 50 grams per day. These are found just about everywhere, but pay attention to amounts in restaurant meals, since many chefs tend to rely on oils to enhance flavors.

3. Do not eat any red meat for the first year. After the first year, eat no more that 3 oz. of red meat per week. That means no beef, hamburgers, steaks, hot dogs or even beef stew. While this sounds extreme, many people who follow the Swank diet have stated that they get used to substituting ground turkey or chicken in many meals within a few weeks. After a year, remember that three ounces of meat is about the size of your fist. It's equivalent to a quarter-pound burger or a single hot dog.

4. Only eat dairy products that contain 1% or less butterfat. This means switching to skim milk, fat-free cheese, non-fat ice cream and yogurt. Avoid all butter, margarine, and buttermilk, as well as the full fat versions of any other dairy products.

5. Avoid processed foods containing saturated fat. This can be a very difficult rule to follow, so if you have to use a processed food, make sure that you count the saturated fat in it towards your daily limit of 15.

6. Take one 1 tsp cod liver oil capsule and a multi-vitamin with a mineral supplement each day. This will ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients you need even though you are making significant cuts in certain food groups.

7. Limit your egg consumption to three eggs per week, but no more than one egg per day. Each egg has about five grams of saturated fat in the yolk. Note that this rule does not apply to egg whites, which contain no saturated fat and can be eaten as much as you want.

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