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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

Are You a Vegetarian with Multiple Sclerosis?

By January 9, 2012

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I have increasingly cut back on the amount of meat that I eat. This is for several reasons, but mostly because I prefer to cook vegetarian meals. I would really prefer to become a vegan, as I just gravitate towards that type of food.

However, I am also trying out an eating plan that is pretty close to the Best Bet Diet. This diet basically has you eliminating:

  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Legumes
  • Refined sugar
  • Yeast

I actually have been able to do this pretty successfully. Yes, food choices are restricted, but there is some pretty delicious and healthy food that doesn't contain any of the non-allowable ingredients.

However, when you eliminate meat, poultry and fish from this kind of diet, you are pretty strapped for sources of protein. When I was an ovo-lacto vegetarian, I relied pretty heavily on eggs and dairy to fill in for the meat. When I was a vegan, it was beans and tofu, both of which are not allowable on the Best Bet Diet, as they are legumes. Peanut butter is out, too.

So, I was wondering how others may handle this. I do understand that it might not be possible to embrace vegetarianism at this point in my life, as long as I am following the Best Bet Diet. I think this diet is helping my symptoms - at least, I know I feel worse when I consume some of the things on the list. So, I can go ahead and keep eating meat and fish without too being too bothered by it. I also supplement with a rice protein powder in my smoothies, so I am already getting some protein there.

However, I did think that maybe someone out there had the answer or at least some suggestions for someone following the Best Bet Diet (or the MS Recovery Diet) who would like to eat less meat. Please, share your experiences and advice in the comment section below.

January 9, 2012 at 6:49 pm
(1) RCA123 says:

I was diagnosed with RRMS 4 months ago and I’ve been on the widely accepted Swank diet for about 2 months now. I have completely cut out all meats including red meat, pork. I occasionally eat chicken. I have also cut out fast, processed and fried foods. No soda either. I only eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains such as whole grain pasta and bread. Everything that I buy it always “low in sodium and sugar”. I rarely eat dairy. No cow milk, cheeses or ice cream. No alcohol either.

I don’t want any additional health problems, that’s why I do this.

January 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm
(2) Attnyc says:

I have MS and I eat everything only what I do eat less .

January 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm
(3) ber says:

I’ve been considering going vegetarian and while doing some research, I came across the dietary supplement, Spirulina. There have been conflicting reports about whether or not it’s safe for people with MS. Has anyone tried it?

January 10, 2012 at 2:29 am
(4) Diet Watch says:

“So, I can go ahead and keep eating meat and fish without too being too bothered by it.”-See below.

NEWS: “MEAT linked to Higher Risk of KIDNEY CANCER” – Nephrology News.
“Researchers found that people who frequently ate red meat were more likely to be diagnosed with Kidney Cancer”-study appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

NEWS: “Vegetarian Diet found Good for Kidneys”
“A grain-based vegetarian diet helps chronic kidney disease patients avoid accumulating toxic levels of phosphorous in their bodies, according to new research from the US. Dr Sharon Moe, of the Indiana University School of Medicine and Roudebush Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center in Indianapolis, and colleagues, write about their findings in a study due to be published this week in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.”- DOI:10.2215/CJN.05040610

January 10, 2012 at 4:12 am
(5) Diet Watch says:

NEWS: “Vegetarians less likely to develop cancer” – British Medical Journal
“Vegetarians will develop less blood, bladder and stomach cancer than meat eaters, according to new research published in the British Journal of Cancer.” “Two studies featured more than 61,000 people over a timespan of 12 years and found they contracted less cancer.” “Cervical cancer rates were twice that of meat-eaters among vegetarians.” “Cancers of the blood and lymph such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma were 50 per cent less likely in vegetarians than carnivores.”

January 10, 2012 at 4:14 am
(6) Diet Watch says:

“Multiple sclerosis linked to Meat, Pork, Dietary fat.”

Nanji AA, Narod S. – Med H. 1986 Jul;20(3):279-82.

“The relationship between prevalence rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in several countries and the corresponding per capita consumption of fat, beef and pork was investigated. A significant correlation was obtained between prevalence of multiple sclerosis and fat intake (r = 0.63, p less than 0.01), total meat intake (r = 0.61, p less than 0.01) and pork consumption (r = 0.87, p less than 0.001)..The mechanism by which pork intake may increase the risk of developing MS is unknown and deserves further study.


January 10, 2012 at 4:16 am
(7) Diet Watch says:



“Consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has been associated with a REDUCED risk of stomach cancer in the majority of case-control studies” “A high overall plant food intake (a sum of vegetables, citrus fruit, and whole grains) was associated with reduced risk in men.” “Of individual foods examined, Liver [meat] consumption greater than twice/week was associated with an increased risk of fatal stomach cancer” Men vs Women: The study affirmed that whole grains do Not increase risk of stomach cancer in women, but also could not be depended upon by a meat eater to reduce it.

“This study supports a role for plant foods in reducing the risk of fatal stomach cancer in men.” Some vegetables increased risk, but probably by displacing the consumption of whole grain which was found to benefit. Summary: Whole grains did Not cause cancer. In women grains had No effect, but liver, a paleo diet meat, did increase the risk of fatal stomach cancer in women. The results showed that Whole grains even modestly reduced the risk of human stomach cancer in men.


January 10, 2012 at 4:18 am
(8) Diet Watch says:

NEWS: Meat Consumption found linked to Esophagus and STOMACH CANCER – NATURE

“Unprocessed Red meat intake was positively associated with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma” “heme iron intake (the type of iron found only in meat, and found in plain red meat, including hormone free grass-fed meat) had a suggestive increased risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma” “Individuals in the highest intake quintile of 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline DiMeIQx, (a compound formed in ALL meat, including non-processed, grassfed beef and organic meat as well) had an increased risk for gastric cardia cancer”

January 10, 2012 at 4:22 am
(9) Diet Watch says:

NEWS: “Eating GRAINS can lower the chance of Colon Cancer by 1/5th”

“The researchers, from Imperial College London and the Danish Cancer Society, concluded that “a high intake of dietary fibre, particularly from cereal and whole grains, is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer”. “For every 10 gram increase in total dietary fibre, the risk of bowel cancer dropped by another 10 per cent.”
Fibre is only in non-animal products (fibre is vegetarian). Steak contains no fiber and a diet of meat, even grassfed beef, is deficient and can lead to cancer deaths. Lowcarb, Atkins, and Paleolithic diets are also deficient in grains and thus are missing this protection.

[In other words, if you've been avoiding Grains, you've just upped your risk of Rectal cancer in your hind end, by 20%. More, if you're now substituting meat in place of it.]

January 10, 2012 at 4:26 am
(10) Diet Watch says:

NEWS: “Red Meat found linked to Colon Cancer” – OXFORD JOURNAL
“In summary, our results suggest that high dietary heme-iron intake [the oxidative type of iron found in beef] may increase the risk of proximal Colon Cancer”.
“After adjusting for each micronutrient, the relative risks for proximal colon cancer increased more than two-fold from heme iron.” “Heme iron, a pro-oxidant, is thought to be carcinogenic.”


NEWS: Red meat again linked to cancer risk: Study – Foodnavigator

“This study adds to an ever increasing list of bad news for red and processed meat, following a previous study from the NCI that reported high intakes of red and processed meats may raise the risk of lung and colorectal cancer by up to 20 per cent.”

January 10, 2012 at 4:32 am
(11) Diet Watch says:

“Charred MEAT May Increase Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer”
ScienceDaily (Apr. 22, 2009) — Meat cooked at high temperatures to the point of burning and charring may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 100th Annual Meeting 2009.

January 10, 2012 at 4:34 am
(12) Diet Watch says:

NEWS: Meat consumption during adolescence among premenopausal women and risk of Breast Cancer.
“Red meat consumption during early adult life has been associated with breast cancer..A significant linear association was observed with every additional 100g of red meat consumed”

January 10, 2012 at 4:35 am
(13) Diet Watch says:

NEWS: Fish Intake Is Positively Associated with Breast Cancer
“In conclusion, this study showed that higher intakes of fish were significantly associated with higher incidence rates of breast cancer.”

January 10, 2012 at 4:57 am
(14) Diet Watch says:

NEWS: Correlation between milk and dairy product consumption and Multiple Sclerosis prevalence: a worldwide study.
Malosse D, Perron H, Sasco A, Seigneurin JM.
“We have studied the relationship between MS prevalence and dairy product consumption in 27 countries and 29 populations all over the world, with Spearman’s correlation test. A good correlation between liquid cows milk and MS prevalence was found; this correlation was highly significant”
SOURCE: Journal of Neuroepidemiology. 1992;11(4-6):304-12.

Therefore vegans and vegetarians would benefit from the advantages of Whole Grains (anti-grain sect is a myth traced to the now-debunked ‘paleo’ diet which has been revealed as false). Anti-gluten myth is traced to a group that was found using “Celiac Disease” which is genetic, to scare people from eating wheat protein and gluten. similar to the Soy Myth traced to the now debunked Weston A. Price Foundation. Vegetarians and vegans will also benefit from eliminating Pork, and other meats tied to Multiple Sclerosis, and would avoid the other ancillary ramifications such as adding meat or fish and then getting throat, esophagus, rectum and blood cancers from eating meat. And vegans and non-dairy vegetarians would benefit from the fact that they are not eating milk, now affirmed linked to Multiple Sclerosis.

Make a note of it.

January 10, 2012 at 4:59 am
(15) Diet Watch says:

NEWS: Correlation between milk and dairy product consumption and Multiple Sclerosis prevalence: a worldwide study.
Malosse D, Perron H, Sasco A, Seigneurin JM.
“We have studied the relationship between MS prevalence and dairy product consumption in 27 countries and 29 populations all over the world, with Spearman’s correlation test. A good correlation between liquid cows milk and MS prevalence was found; this correlation was highly significant”
SOURCE: Journal of Neuroepidemiology. 1992;11(4-6):304-12.

January 10, 2012 at 5:13 am
(16) Diet Watch says:

Therefore vegans and vegetarians would benefit from the advantages of Whole Grains. Grains are good. Not bad for you.

The anti-grain sect is a myth traced to the now-debunked ‘paleo’ diet which has been revealed as false. Turns out “cavemen” indeed ate grain. Real Archeologists found grain right in the teeth of paleolithic caveman. And actual Paleontologists have now confirmed ancient man did Not only start eating grain 10,000 years ago, which was propounded by Cordain and the now debunked paleo diet. Remains found paleolithic man was eating grain 19,000 years ago, and 30,000 years ago, and more evidence 105,000 years ago, and more over 200,000 years ago. Therefore the gluten grain bunch is scientifically false. Turns out the author of The Paleo Diet never had a degree in paleontology at all, he had a PhD in’gym’ class (phys ed.)

The Anti-gluten myth is traced to a group that was found using “Celiac Disease” which is genetic, to scare people from eating wheat protein and gluten. Wheat and gluten doesn’t cause it. It’s genetic. Also, if someone is going on about being allergic to wheat or gluten, celiac disease which is genetic has also been linked to schizophrenia, so anybody complaing about wheat or gluten-free may have mental schizoid disorders as well. Check the studies.

Soy is “evil!” and all the “Dangers of Soy” articles are an internet hoax myth which was traced to the now debunked fringe group the Weston A. Price Foundation. Then spread by Joseph Mercola. Dr. Joseph Mercola has been cited by Federal Authorities for dispensing false and/or misleading health and medical information.

Vegetarians and vegans will also benefit from eliminating Pork, and other meats tied to Multiple Sclerosis, and would avoid the other ancillary ramifications such as adding meat or fish and then getting throat, esophagus, rectum and blood cancers from eating meat.

Vegans and non-dairy vegetarians would benefit from the fact that they are not eating milk, now also affirmed linked as above to Multiple Sclerosis.

Please make a note of it.

January 10, 2012 at 5:59 am
(17) oldman says:

Having PPMS about 20y no matter what to eat but how much. About 20% proteinrich(all kind meat) enough, just like for my dog. The rest 80% vegetarian, mostly rice . The fat and lard only for my dog, seems harmful for me.

January 10, 2012 at 10:56 am
(18) Mark Demma says:


I can relate to your journey to find a diet that works, I embarked on a similar journey after gallstones and having my pancreas rupture. You get a lot of folks giving a lot of conflicting advice … if you look at the comments above it seems often with an almost religious fervor. Living amongst a pretty progressive crowd, I’ve heard the whole “OMG meat will kill you!” and low saturated fat / cholesterol dogma till it was ingrained (pun!) in me. My personal experience was that switching from white flour to all whole grains and eliminating red meat really didn’t help me in the least. It wasn’t until I willing to get over the “fat / meat is bad” stuff that I was able to lose weight (I went from 320 to 165) and get stronger and healthier. Now when I hear folks tell me I’m gonna kill myself by eating the exact foods that lead me back to health, I know they are well intentioned but I’ve found what works and I’m not going to listen to them anymore.

There is a video I think you’d really enjoy watching from Dr Terry Wahls who has MS and was able to use diet to properly fuel her body to get out of her wheelchair.


January 10, 2012 at 11:55 am
(19) Drpat says:

The importance of protein is overstated, mainly by the meat and dairy industry who have been promoting it for decades. But eople do not need nearly the amounts of protein they recommend and in fact, animal protein is actually harmful.

Dr. Colin Campbell, the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University headed a long term investigation…as to why so many Filipino children were being diagnosed with liver cancer, predominately an adult disease. The primary goal of the project was to ensure that the children were getting as much protein as possible. He says:

“In this project, however, I uncovered a dark secret. Children who ate the highest protein diets were the ones most likely to get liver cancer…”

Although it was “heretical to say that protein wasn’t healthy,” he started an in-depth study into the role of …protein, in the cause of cancer.” The resulting book, The China Study has been hailed by the NY Times as the cadillac of epidemiological studies. Everyone concerned about nutrition should read it:


January 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm
(20) Jack says:

“You are what you eat”. We know this is true but the effort to do this and avoid processed foods may be too difficult and create anxiety and who needs that. Recently I came across a remarkable story of a doctor in Iowa who believes she conquered secondary progressive multiple sclerosis by creating a paleo diet. She believes we have to go back to a hunters gatherers type regimen. I am a skeptic and I am not sure how long our caveman buddies roamed the earth. Google Terry Wahls, M.D. and decide for yourselves. There are a lot of scams and witchdoctors out there but something rings true about her. No matter what is said I am not giving up my three beers.

January 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm
(21) Olivia says:

Check out this video with Dr. Terry Wahls
The best diet advice I’ve found.

January 11, 2012 at 1:12 am
(22) HeatherT says:

There might be some red herrings here.

1. MS (and Parkinson’s) are both linked to iron. The biggest source of iron in the US diet is NOT meat … it is starches, esp. breads. Because it’s added to make “foritified” breads. A low-meat low-wheat diet is likely to be lower in iron. But it’s tricky, because some vegetarian foods can also be high in iron, and worse, some vegetarians take iron supplements.

2. Gluten ataxia (which is very much caused by gluten) is often confused with MS. Before I dropped gluten, I had several MS symptoms, which went away nicely when I stopped eating gluten.

3. There is also a kind of ataxia caused by manganese, which is high in some water supplies but sometimes not tracked, because it is not yet recognized as problematic — even though the symptoms have been well-established.

Gluten intolerance *does* trigger autoimmune disorders, and that can include damage to the myelin sheath. I’m not sure that is the same as classic MS though. Quite likely several different problems get lumped together with less-than-great diagnosis.

January 11, 2012 at 11:58 am
(23) Linda V says:

I was Dx’d with RRMS four years ago with some large lesions on my MRI. Since then I have been on a “plant-strong” way of eating recommended by Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, etc. I don’t eat animal products (meat, dairy, eggs). I eat minimally processed (i.e., whole) plant foods. Lots of starches (white and sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pastas, with added vegetables and fruit. I eat oatmeal or other grains and fruit for breakfast. Some nuts and seeds. No added oiIs or other fats. I take B12 supplements. I have not had a relapse in that time and am not taking a CRAB or other MS drug. Everything’s not perfect, but I am feeling better with this diet and I lost weight, lowered cholesterol and my cardiac CRP test showed very low inflammation in body (0.5).

January 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm
(24) Steph says:

I follow the Best Bet Diet religiously including taking supplements and I have no MS symptoms and lead a very active life. (I do not take any MS drugs!) Protein is the one thing I’m conscious of because you are right, it’s hard to get it from a vegan/vegetarian diet. I make a smoothie everyday with Sun Warrior Plant based protein powder, also Brandon Brazier’s Vega product is awesome and it tastes good! Food items I incorporate into meals is Quinoa, nuts & seeds, amaranth,millet and also I try to eat a raw protein bar every day. I do get bored sometimes with my limited food but it’s also fun to figure it out. Good luck. It’s worth it!

January 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm
(25) Brady says:

I was diagnosed with RRMS 7 years ago. Since then I never drink soda pop or alcohol. I eat no processed meats and very little meat at all. Once a month I will eat a little chicken. I eat almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, dried cranberries, skim milk or almond milk, broccoli,
cabbage, tomatoes, chlli (no meat), bananas, hummus, whole grain bread only, eggs, low-fat cheeses, pumpkin seeds (very high in iron),
salmon, and sushi. I give myself an injection of Betaseron every other day. Also, I take 4,000 mg of vitamin B3, 2 large capsules of fish oil,
2 capsules of calcium/magnesium, 1 women’s mulitvitamin with iron and 10 mg Lexapro a day. I also have 1 cup of coffee (with caffeine) every morning. I feel just as good as before I was diagnosed with MS and I maintain a full work schedule and maintain my home by myself.

January 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm
(26) Mary Ann Baclawski says:

I (mostly) follow the McDougall very low-fat, plant-based diet. I have heard that OHSU is conducting the first double-blind study of this diet. I hope that you will follow this and report on the conclusions of this study when it is completed.

January 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm
(27) craig griffin says:

Hi Julie.

After watching “Forks Over Knives” , I’ve converted to a “Whole Food”, “Organic” , “Vegan”, “Gluten-Free”, “Alcohol-Free” Diet.

I DO consume Soy milk and legumes.

I have never felt better. My MS symptoms have gone into hiding. I’m down to my correct weight, and I have a lot of energy.

The diet is easy to follow. Beans, lentils etc are important for protein.

I treat myself to seafood on special occasions.

Breakfast: Steel Cut Gluten-free Oats with Fresh Fruit, Flax Seed and Soy Milk
Lunch and Dinner : Fresh Vegetables, Corn Tortillas, Potatoes, Squash, Mushrooms, Beans, Avocados, Fruit.
1 Multivitamin and Vitamin D3 Daily and Calcium Supplement.

Basically Anything That Does Not Contain Animal Proteins and Is Organic, Unprocessed and Gluten-Free is Working For Me.

Everyone is different .. so you need to listen to your body.

Also: Exercise Daily at your own pace .

Good luck to everyone!!

January 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm
(28) Jane says:

I have been a mostly a vegetarian ( I did eat seafood) for 20 years. I have always wanted to go to vegan, and did so after my diagnosis 1 year ago. I read all the books on diet and ms and came up with a plan that works for me. Vegan diet, gluten free, sugar free, very low fat. I eat soy products and legumes, and I feel good, have been relapse free for over a year. I exercise every day and try to maintain a positive attitude. It can be very confusing all the different opinions on diet, but I believe one doesn’t fit all and we all need to find what works for us, I believe it is critical to leave sugar, dairy, and processed food out of our lives!

January 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm
(29) Calliecam28 says:

I was a vegetarian up until MS came along. I have since gone mostly organic, vegan, and mostly gluten green. I have also eliminated almost all processed food, and all artificial sweeteners. I have had occasional symptoms crop up, but no relapses at all since changing my diet.

January 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm
(30) Calliecam28 says:

*gluten free*

January 11, 2012 at 4:27 pm
(31) Michele says:

I went veg several years ago, & felt even better after cutting dairy & going vegan. I eat a wide assortment of whole grains, legumes, tofu & vegetables. I also eat seitan dishes which I make from high gluten flour. I incorporate various omega fatty acid foods into my meals, like walnuts, olive oil & flax seed & anti-imflammatory foods like blueberries, ginger & green tea. This has also been good for my diabetic husband to eat this way.

January 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm
(32) Nauko says:

I’ve been on my own self created MS diet based on a blood allergy tests. I basically removed all the items that were in the red zone( 4 or higher) and then challenged the items. Those tests are a little hard to decide what they mean, but I found I feel better. I’ve removed dairy, cane sugar, eggs, and a few other weird high items like cranberries and pineapple. I am also sort of following the Terry Wahls diet so eating a ton of vegies. But, I am in the same boat. I can’t figure out how to remove legumes and get any protein. I mostly eat lots of kale, brown rice with chicken or fish. Sugar is my biggest challenge. Sugar is in everything so it takes forever to make every meal from scratch and with small kids there is the added stress of not getting them to eat what I am eating so I am making 2 meals. I am about to remove gluten. I’ve been doing this for a year and so far it seems to be helping, but I am still not sure if it would be the case either way. My last MRI actually looked better then the prior one and I am not on any MS drugs, but I just don’t know. Still get all sorts of weird sensations off and on so not sure if something is going on that isn’t showing up on MRI.

January 11, 2012 at 6:08 pm
(33) Diet Watch says:

All viewers may want to witness the following article. Freshly published just today, in the Huffington Post, by a person who was diagnosed with MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS) and who was also over 100 pounds OBESE.

- She went VEGAN. Lost the 100lbs. And eased much of her MS symptoms.


If for some reason the link does not come up, you may be able to locate it by searching for “Sandy Henson Corso” (the author with MS) in Google.

January 12, 2012 at 5:01 am
(34) Sohini says:

Dear Julie, I am from India and the major part of our normal diet is primarily vegetarian. Since my diagnosis in 2006 I have slowly eliminated dairy and red meat from my diet. As I am a devout follower of Yoga the practice has also helped me immensely to tune in to my body and thereby cut out foods that worsen my condition. Right now I am very happy with a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain flat breads , red and yellow lentils as well as an occasional meal of eggs or chicken. hope this input is helpful to fellow readers.

January 12, 2012 at 5:20 am
(35) Nina says:

I am just now reading The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf. Seems out ancient ancestors were in much better shape than us! It all started for me when I got tired of feeling like someone was constantly pulling me down away from the things I needed to do. Sluggish and tired – even on those “good days” where I actually get diner AND the dishes done.

One way I treat myself (or should I say “treat-ED”) was to have desert in the bathtub when I am feeling especially run down. The last night I did that was with milk and cookies. Just after I got out, I felt horrible… so bad I had to lay down. An hour later I was fine. HHHmmmm.. got to thinking about that. Friends at my workplace say they feel healthier 10 fold and lately have been getting back to it after falling off the proverbial Paleo wagon because they were just feeling like crap!

Gonna do it… it’s healthy, not a “diet” at all, just careful about what you eat, what our natural bodies were supposed to eat before we had invented agriculture, we had no other choice. I may get back here again to let you know what changes there are if any. I have a feeling there will be, one is I hope this feeling of a pulled muscle in the back of my head goes away, we’ll see. :)

I have never posted here so now would be the time to thank you, Julie. Due to your generosity in opening up this forum for us it has helped me learn so much about myself. I am my own advocate now. I am also about to take the drug Gylenia – Pill form. I have so many ways to keep myself busy with MS, almost is a friend of mine that I don’t like taking to the grocery store! lol

January 12, 2012 at 10:55 am
(36) Rob says:

Biggest misconception in health is that grains are healthy for you

January 12, 2012 at 11:44 am
(37) Shiela says:

Responding to: “Vegetarians less likely to develop cancer” – British Medical Journal:

The article goes on to say that vegetarians had cervical cancer that was twice as high as meat eaters. Breast and prostate rates were similar. Slightly higher also were rates of colon and rectum cancer, Prostate cancer was higher also, although to a lesser degree.

There may be other pertinent information to your particular health concern in this article. I suggest reading the ORIGINAL article rather than relying on the summation presented at the url mentioned above. Curiously,

An important omission of criteria in this study (at least not commented on in the article) is whether the study included meat consumed from the study participants were from animals grown for commercial mass sales, and that are fed diets that include growth factor hormones to speed sales (and who knows what else that is not good for them, or us) as opposed to organically fed animals. If we “are what we eat”–so are animals, and we that eat them. For example, the original article also states that some previous studies have suggested that certain meats, such as bacon, might increase the risk for bladder cancer, perhaps due to preformed nitrosamines (Lijinsky, 1999; Michaud et al, 2006), and this area deserves further investigation. Is it the meat that is dangerous? or what is being put into the meat–what the cows are being fed?

The article mentioned above in comment 5 was an abstract intended for the average viewer. If you would like to see the full article with more comprehensive information, visit: http://www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v101/n1/full/6605098a.html

January 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm
(38) Shiela says:

The previous ORIGINAL article I mentioned also includes the necessary bibliographies to get more detailed information on the study presented.

In regard to additives to meat diets may also find this article interesting, published by Cornell University and prepared by Renu Gandhi, Ph.D. BCERF Research Associate and Suzanne M. Snedeker, Ph.D., Research Project Leader, BCERF

January 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm
(39) Shiela says:

The article I mentioned above by Cornell University can be found at :

January 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm
(40) Brice says:
January 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm
(41) Al says:

I have MS secondary progressive and was diagnosed just 1.5 years ago, I decided to start a macrobiotic diet since with all prednisone I took, I gained 30 lbs last year and all macrobiotic and my doctor told me that macriobiotics works fine for people with autoinmune diseases and this specific diet will help me to get rid to the extra pounds….. so far, so good, this diet fits me nicely, I am not eating any kind of meat, neither milk just sometimes a little egg in my Cesar salad, that’s all and I am feeling pretty nice, but the extra weight is going down so slowly maybe because cortisone is so difficult to get rid off.

January 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm
(42) Jerry Amos says:

“Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis” by Prof. George Jelinek has a thorough study of excellent nutrition lifestyle for MS. It’s essentially vegan plus some coldwater fish for the polyunsaturated fats to make cell walls more flexible and less inflammatory. Yes, B12, Vitamin D3, et. al. are thoroughly covered. Our son, 43, came down with severe MS symptoms last February, vertigo, vision, sleep problems, heat intolerance, headaches, the whole bit. MRI showed lesions. He’s been on Glatiramer and the Jelinek diet gradually improving, back to work 5 days, more and more bicycling, paddling kayak – he lives near Port Hacking in Australia. Dr. Roy Swank had patients with excellent MS results over decades – 50 years and counting now – with nowhere near as restrictive a diet as the one omitting excellent vegan foods such as beans and legumes. A small percentage of people are gluten intolerant. My niece-in-law who had MS was mildly so. Restricting gluten had little effect. She died in September of the well known lethal side effects of Tysabri.

January 16, 2012 at 1:24 am
(43) Sheila says:

I have been on the Swank/Jelinek diet for two years now. I have had absolutely no progression of my RRMS. Legumes are not restricted on that diet and for me at least are a major source of protein.

Good luck with the Best Bet diet. Just remember to keep your saturated fat very low!

January 16, 2012 at 7:06 pm
(44) Deb says:

I was diagnosed 6 years ago. I immediately began the Swank diet and a year later became totally vegetarian. I also juice daily and eat a lot of raw food. I have remained relapse free the entire time with no meds, work full time and feel great. I am 100 % convinced that diet matters in treating MS – and most other illnesses as well!

January 17, 2012 at 11:33 pm
(45) SheltieSue says:

I have RRMS and have also been following the Jekenik diet with the addition of chicken/Turkey breast. I have had no further relapses over the past 4 years.
My family history of MS is very bad with nearly all the girls having MS.
Anything I can do to help myself and be pro active does me good.

January 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm
(46) Becky Miller says:

Vegetarians who consume home- or commercially-canned fruits and vegetables and/or juices, eat tomatoes, smoke, or consume diet sodas, pay attention:

Woodrow C. Monte, PhD, a food scientist, researcher, and Professor Emeritus of Food Science and Nutrition at Arizona State University, has just published a comprehensive book, “While Science Sleeps, a Sweetener Kills,” which is now available on Amazon.com. The book specifically solves the mystery of the cause of Multiple Sclerosis.

The book presents Dr. Monte’s lifetime of research into the nutritional causes of the major diseases of civilization. Dr. Monte has carefully and thoughtfully pieced together the scientific evidence found in hundreds of scientific studies to show convincingly that the single culprit is methanol – a molecule found primarily in canned fruits and vegetables, tomatoes, cigarette smoke, smoked foods, and the artificial sweetener aspartame. Methanol is converted by the enzyme known as Alcohol Dehydrogenase Class 1 (ADH1) into formaldehyde inside the body’s most sensitive tissues.

Each liter of diet soda contains the amount of methanol found in a pack of cigarettes, and evidence is mounting that diseases traditionally associated with smoking – such as multiple sclerosis and, most recently, heart disease and stroke – are now being associated specifically with aspartame consumption.

The human body converts dietary methanol into formaldehyde in the stomach, liver, veins and arteries, lungs, pancreas, skin, breast, and brain. Dr. Monte makes a compelling case that it is this process, and the disease that results, that is responsible for the epidemics of a variety of cancers, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases like Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease that have exploded over the past thirty years since the introduction of aspartame in the summer of 1981.

More information about Dr. Monte and his work can be found on his website: http://www.WhileScienceSleeps.com.

May 11, 2012 at 5:21 am
(47) Alex says:

I am 27 and have had RRMS. I am currently on copaxone, but have had a steady progression of certain symptoms since my diagnosis at 25. I have decided I will do all that I can to stave off long term neural degeneration and comfort in the knowledge I am taking the fewest risks possible.
Therefore I have undertaken the best bet diet; as well as maintaining less than 15grams saturated fat per day, as per Dr. Swanks recommendation. As well, I swim, lift weights and do yoga. I keep my protein at a reasonable level by eating ~60 oz of green smoothie and ~60oz of fruit smoothie daily(no added sugar). I recently ordered Terry Wahls book and would like to integrate the diets. I too, am concerned about getting adequate nutrition without the protein. I do believe a plant food diet is ideal: however, it will be tricky given the obvious restrictions.
Has anyone else tried to combine these two diets? Specific nutritional suggestions would be amazing. Thank you

August 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm
(48) slankedoktor3 says:

It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people in this particular topic, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

September 10, 2012 at 8:51 am
(49) agatha says:

I did a vegan version of the Swank diet (whole grains legumes, veggies, fruits a few nuts and seeds, B12 and fish oil and bone health supplement). Felt better for a couple of months but gradually felt much much worse and developed all kinds of infections together with dry skin and extreme tiredness. After getting antibiotic treatment which stopped my MS symtpoms I am now on a paleo diet similar to Terry Wahls’ programme. I feel much better. There are lots of people who initially feel better as vegans (usually becuase they take the processed crap out of their diet) and then after a while, usually some years, start to develop deficiency problems (B12, taurine, B6, fatty acids…) – see Chris Masterjohn’s account on the Weston Price Foundation website – a typical story.

October 1, 2012 at 9:55 pm
(50) Cory J Douglas says:

I seriously doubt that anyone here, or elsewhere for that matter, has pointed out that humans can get all of the proteins necessary to support human life from just one plant and one plant only– it is called CANNABIS for crying out loud!

January 8, 2013 at 6:28 am
(51) Roxy says:

I am 22 and have been diagnosed with RRMS when I was 17. I take no meds what so ever for my ms.

I’ve been following a diet instead for the past 4 years. A diet of no gluten, no lactose, as little as possible sugar, using coconut oil to bake and no garlic or onion. I’ve also been a vegetarian since I was a child. Meaning no meat, no fish, no gelatin and no animal fat or colour additions etc. And of course not too much alcohol, no smoking and sports.

This is what to most may come on as a very big limitation and it’s true that you have to leave a lot of foods you’d usually use without even thinking about it. But for me personally it does work. When I sin on my diet and eat things I shouldn’t (1 knibble of something once not counted in) my ms starts bitching me again. I’ll get hugs, I’ll get dizzy spells, lose of balance, musscle spasms etc. You know the drill.
It is just a suggestion but I do notice the difference between no lactose, gluten and cacao in my ms.

May 3, 2013 at 11:28 am
(52) OM says:

I do not have MS, but I have a cousin with it. She was already a Vegan when she was diagnosed with it. Her husband was also a Vegan. She thought it was healthier for her, but as she maintained a strict diet for her MS…her symptoms worsened. I have been on a Paleo diet for quite a long time and I’m very healthy. I suggested she might just try it. She did and after 6 weeks she was already feeling better. She is now on a Paleo diet and her husband is still a Vegan. They are both healthy and active.

This just shows that everyone is different and we should eat the way our bodies say to. Some people do fine with high protein/high fat/low carb. Some do better with no animal proteins at all. I think the name calling over this is silly.

August 26, 2013 at 6:11 pm
(53) Melissa says:

I was diagnosed with MS in 1997. I was a lacto-ova vegetarian at the time, and had been for about 10 years. Last fall, I had lost an unhealthy amount of weight, and my husband thought that maybe I should start eating meat. I have a good friend who is a big advocate of the Paleo diet (meat, fruits & vegetables) who had been telling me for a long time that it was suppose to be very beneficial for those with MS and wanted me to try it. I was in the worst health I had been in my life at that point. So weak I could barely function, so I decided to give it a shot. Within 6 months I felt better than I had felt in 20 years. I’m not saying that the Paleo diet is right for everyone with MS. As a matter of fact, I have strayed some, and am focusing now on a gluten-free diet. But I honestly believe that adding meat to my diet and cutting out grains has improved my health markedly. No, I’m not cured. I still have MS. I still have several other health issues as well, and yes, I still take medication. But I can honestly say that diet modification is important. Listen to YOUR body. If meat makes you feel better, eat it. If it makes you feel worse, don’t. Just be good to yourself, and try to avoid as much junk as you can. Good luck everyone!

August 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm
(54) Melissa says:

Oh, Paleo is NOT good for trying to GAIN weight, however. I’ve (hopefully) bottomed out at 102#. (I’m 5’6″) This is the main reason I started to stray from the diet, I’m eating what I can to gain some weight!!! So far, some dairy–cheese, and corn products don’t seem to be too bad. Overindulging in processed sugars right now too—I don’t recommend this though.

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