A guide on how to eat properly and live a healthy life while controlling, reducing, and eliminating the symptoms of MS.

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Healthy Living with Multiple Sclerosis: Foods to Avoid

By Daryl H. Bryant (477 words)
Posted in Living with MS on August 15, 2014

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Healthy Living with Multiple Sclerosis: Foods to Avoid

Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the nervous system causing a range of physical symptoms from fatigue to vision problems. In addition to the physical symptoms of MS, patients often  experience mental and emotional symptoms as they cope with MS. While this progressive disease has no cure, there are ways to manage symptoms and to help prevent attacks and flareups. Experts recommend patients with MS strive to keep active and eat a healthy diet in order to help keep symptoms of MS from becoming overwhelming. The following is a brief guide to managing MS with a healthy diet. It is important to note that there is no one diet that is guaranteed to treat MS, however, it can be helpful to avoid certain foods and to strive for a healthy eating plan.

Animal Products
While some experts fully support those with MS staying away from any and all animal products, others say the research to support this dietary restriction is limited. Still, all healthy diets can use an increase in the amount of fresh produce consumed while decreasing unhealthy additives. Processed meats, including chicken breast, often have added salts and may not be as healthy as consumers are led to believe. For those living with MS, it is a good idea to consider eliminating meat or animal products for at least one to two days per week. Opt for soy or almond milk as opposed to cow's milk and trade your chicken breast for a healthy, vegetarian stir fry served over quinoa.

Saturated Fats
Avoiding altogether or decreasing the intake of saturated fats benefits any and helps with leading a healthier lifestyle. Foods that are typically high in saturated fats include some animal products and those cooked or deep fried with oil. A simple way to decrease the amount of saturated fat present in a diet is to remove fast food from a diet. Additionally, avoid packaged foods as these tend to not only be higher in saturated fats, but also in added salt and sugar.

Refined Sugars
There is no evidence that links a high intake of refined sugars with aggravated symptoms of MS, however, there is tons of support that says weight management plays an important role in dealing with MS symptoms. Carrying additional weight increases the risk of MS related fatigue, possible mobility problems and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Whenever possible satisfy a sweet tooth with fresh fruit rather than sugar and calorie laden candies. When chocolate cravings occur, indulge in a glass of dark chocolate almond milk instead of a bar of chocolate.

Again, there is no diet that will completely treat or cure MS and it's symptoms, however, sticking to a low-fat, high fiber diet can greatly reduce flareups and other physical symptoms of MS.   

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