MS-Friendly Food Tips
- by Elisabeth N.
- July 18, 2016
Elisabeth N. is a paid employee of Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” A healthy, well-balanced diet is important for everyone, but especially for people living with a chronic disease like MS. As always, discuss any dietary recommendations with a health care provider and/or dietitian.
It’s all about balance
Most clinicians and nutritionists agree that the key to a healthy diet is balance. This includes a diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars. Following a low-fat, high-fiber diet and including plenty of fluids/water is recommended. High-fiber foods include whole grain breads/cereals, oatmeal, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, whole wheat pastas, and brown rice. Adding fiber gradually to the diet is recommended, as adding it too fast can sometimes cause gas, cramps, and diarrhea.
The facts on fats
Limiting saturated and trans fat is recommended. These types of fats are solid at room temperature and include highly marbled meats, butter, cheese, and other full-fat dairy products. Trans fats include shortening, hydrogenated oils, and many processed and fried foods.
Unsaturated fats are important to include in a healthy diet, and are components of myelin and other central nervous system tissues. These include oils from seeds, vegetables, and fish. Choosing lean cuts of meat and low-fat dairy products, and preparing food by grilling, baking, steaming, or poaching can help eliminate excess fat.
Here are a few tips to make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable:
- Conserve energy when cooking by sitting on a tall stool instead of standing for long periods.
- Buy precut, prewashed produce, or wash/chop them ahead of time to make prep work less time consuming.
- Double up on recipes when cooking a meal then freeze the leftovers for a quick reheat on another day.
- Stock up on healthy snack items such as fruit (dried or fresh), granola, nuts, etc., instead of unhealthy alternatives.
As previously stated, always discuss diet recommendations with your health care provider. Only you and your health care provider can decide what the best diet is for you!
Shared Solutions® Nurse
About The Author
Elisabeth N., RN is a registered nurse, who works for Teva’s Shared Solutions®. She has been a nurse for nine years, and has more than two years of experience with multiple sclerosis.
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Ellen Scatena | July 18, 2016Thanks for the info. Makes great sense. Hope to figure out how to send to computer to print .
Teva's Lift MS® Team | July 19, 2016We are happy you are finding value in the blog, Ellen! Please continue to check back for more info.
Amy | July 22, 2016I've read that going gluten free for MS can potentially be helpful, too. I was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago and went GF the next day. Funny enough, I have MORE energy being GF than I did prior to my diagnosis and eating wheat.
Teva's Lift MS® Team | July 25, 2016Thanks Amy. While that might not work for everyone, we appreciate your contribution to our community.
Sherri | July 22, 2016Thank you for your ideas, an caring time !!
Eunice | August 16, 2016Want to learn more about Healthy foods. I'm on gluten free diet now.
Teva's Lift MS® Team | September 01, 2016We're so glad you reached out to the community for support, Eunice! One of Teva's patient advocates wrote a blog post that includes tips for eating healthier that may interest you. https://www.liftms.com/education/six-tips-for-healthier-eating
Also, our By the Bite recipe series features some great healthy recipes to help get you started! Please continue to check back for more tips from the community.
Kass | August 18, 2016Thanks for reminding me.
margaret | August 26, 2016I found this dietary information very helpful and inspires me to make healthier choices. Thank you.
Teva's Lift MS® Team | August 29, 2016Thanks for your kind words, Margaret! Comments like yours fuel our efforts to build a helpful community.
Peggy | September 03, 2016One of the first suggestions my neurologist gave me in managing my MS was to eat mostly vegetables. I took her advice and began to change my diet. The more I follow eating vegetables as the primary part of my meal, the better I feel. Inflammation begins to decline and well as my MS symptoms. Now I even enjoy organic, extra firm tofu as a protein source.
Teva's Lift MS® Team | September 06, 2016It sounds like you’ve found something that works for you, Peggy – kudos for your efforts! Please keep us posted, and be sure to check back for more tips from the community.
Temika jackson | January 09, 2017I agree with all of it because my has Ms for four years and I help her cope with it helping her is not easy my mom