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The MS Diet: What to Eat for a Better Life

The MS Diet: What to Eat for a Better Life

A nutritious diet is a prerequisite for good health for anyone, particularly for those with a chronic ailment like Multiple Sclerosis. Eating well improves heart health, controls weight, and increases overall energy levels — making it easier for patients to live actively and benefit from the best Multiple Sclerosis treatment. 

Let’s explore various aspects of a Multiple Sclerosis diet plan, including foods to embrace, avoid, and the importance of adhering to a proper diet. 

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory condition of the central nervous system. It is an autoimmune demyelinating disease, which means the immune system mistakenly attacks normal tissues — in this case, the myelin or protective covering around nerve fibers. This leaves scarred tissues or lesions in multiple areas, disrupting impulses throughout the body. When the myelin sheath is damaged, nerve impulses slow or even stop, causing neurological problems.

Essential Components of the Multiple Sclerosis Diet Plan

While there is no real evidence to show that a special diet can treat or cure Multiple Sclerosis, a balanced diet that is low in fat and high in fiber can help manage some of the symptoms and improve overall health and fitness. Other nutrients that patients with Multiple Sclerosis should consume include antioxidants to combat inflammation and plenty of vitamins and minerals to combat fatigue and reduce the risk of Osteoporosis.

Here are some dietary tips to try in consultation with your physician.

  • Avoid processed foods as much as possible.
  • Cut out alcohol or limit it to just a few servings per week.
  • Opt for plant-based fat sources like nut butter, avocado oil, or olive oil, rather than animal fat sources.
  • Incorporate lean protein sources, such as legumes, and tofu for muscle support and overall strength. If you are a meat eater, you can also add fish and poultry to your diet.
  • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals every day to improve immune function and overall well-being.
  • Ensure that you eat food items rich in Vitamin D such as egg yolks, oily fish and milk. Consult your doctor before taking any off-the-counter Vitamin D supplements.
  • Incorporate foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Avoid skipping meals, as this can reduce your energy levels
  • Eat lean proteins such as white meat, fish, tofu, and beans
  • Opt for the Mediterranean Diet, as it contains most of the nutrients and food groups that are recommended for patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

Consult your physician before starting any diet plan.

Foods to Avoid with MS

Certain foods may exacerbate MS symptoms or contribute to inflammation, making it essential to identify and limit their intake. Understanding which foods to avoid is a crucial aspect of managing MS through diet. Let’s take a look below:

  • Cow’s milk: Dairy products made from cow’s milk tend to be high in fat and also inhibit the body’s production of active Vitamin D, owing to the calcium present in cow’s milk. Instead, opt for plant-based milk made from almond, soy, cashew, or oat (while taking any allergies into account).
  • Gluten: People with Multiple Sclerosis have a higher risk of Celiac Disease, which is triggered by gluten-based carbs. Instead, choose carbs like rice, quinoa, or oatmeal that are filling as well as nutritious.
  • Sodium: Too much sodium can trigger new inflammations in the body and should be avoided. You can flavor your food with spices instead.
  • Saturated fat: These have been linked to higher rates of heart disease and stroke, and should be avoided even by people who do not have Multiple Sclerosis. Cheese, coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter, and chicken skin are all rich in saturated fats.
  • Trans fat: Trans fats are even more dangerous than saturated fats and have no known health benefits. Sources of trans fats are typically man-made and include shortening, margarine, fried foods, cookies, and processed meat.
  • Sugar: Consuming too much sugar can make you put on weight and make it harder for you to engage in physical activity. It can also increase your feelings of fatigue. You should also avoid artificial sweeteners, as these have their own health risks including potential bladder problems.

Best Foods for MS

Research indicates that the best foods for Multiple Sclerosis are:

Fatty Fish

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon, mackerel, and other fatty fish have anti-inflammatory properties that can help slow down disease progression.


Loaded with antioxidants, berries help combat oxidative stress and support immune function.

Whole Grains

Whole grains provide more fiber and nutrition than refined grains. 

Personalized Multiple Sclerosis Diet Plan

As part of our MS rehabilitation program, we offer personalized MS diet plans taking into account individual preferences, dietary restrictions, and the unique needs of a patient of MS. We believe the best diet for multiple sclerosis should focus on nutrient-dense foods that support overall health, and reduce the risk of potential triggers. While each person with MS may respond differently to dietary interventions, the two absolute essentials of an MS diet are anti-inflammatory foods and hydration. Both of these are critical for better energy levels, immune function, and management of MS symptoms.

While there are no official dietary guidelines currently in place for Multiple Sclerosis, consuming certain nutrients may reduce the severity and progression of symptoms. A low-fat, high-fiber diet can be incorporated along with physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy as part of the best Multiple Sclerosis treatment plan.

To know more about our MS rehabilitation program, reach out to our team today.

WhatsApp +91 89048 42087

Call +91 78159 64668 (Hyderabad) | +91 82299 99888 (Bangalore)


What is the best lifestyle for MS patients?

Maintaining a balanced lifestyle with regular exercise, stress management, adequate sleep, and social engagement can contribute to overall well-being for individuals with MS.

What diet is best for MS patients?

The best diet for MS consists of whole, nutrient-dense foods. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats is known to support overall health and help manage symptoms.

What foods to avoid if you have multiple sclerosis?

It is advisable to limit the intake of processed foods, saturated fats, and potential allergens like gluten or dairy. 

Can I eat rice if I have MS?

Rice is typically considered a safe and neutral food, even for individuals with MS. It provides energy and is a good source of carbohydrates. Along with rice, it is advisable to include a variety of grains in moderation for overall nutritional well-being.

Does Vitamin D deficiency cause MS?

Research suggests there is a link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of developing MS. Adequate vitamin D levels help modulate the immune system and lower the risk of autoimmune conditions, such as MS. However, a direct cause-and-effect relationship has not been established yet.

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