The Swank diet has been created with the aim of facilitating the management of multiple sclerosis , delaying its progression, and reducing the intensity of the symptoms. In any case, we must emphasize that it is a very complex pathology of partially unknown physiology.
It does not have a cure today and all that can be done is to bet on its slow progress. We are going to tell you what you need to know about this dietary pattern that claims to be positive for your treatment.
Before you start, remember that multiple sclerosis is a disease that usually begins to manifest itself after reaching adulthood. It presents with muscle dysfunction and accelerated sarcopenia, as well as problems in nerve connections. Over time, the patient will become totally dependent, even needing help at the ventilatory level in order to survive.
What is the Swank diet?
The Swank diet is proposed to improve the treatment of multiple sclerosis. It was devised in the 90s by an American neurologist and its main commandment is the fact of eliminating saturated fats. Increasing the consumption of fish will also be key to reducing the symptoms of this complex disease.
Actually, there is very little evidence to support the implementation of such a dietary pattern. However, it is true that regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids can be positive to prevent muscle deterioration and control inflammatory mechanisms. According to a study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, even supplementing with these nutrients could be helpful.
However, there are not enough articles to determine that lipids of the saturated type are actually detrimental to the treatment of this problem. Those of the trans type have been shown to increase inflammation, but not those that belong to the cis group. Rather the complete opposite. In fact, it is indicated that limiting the intake of omega 6 (polyunsaturated) and increasing the intake of omega 3 can be positive in order to avoid excessive inflammation.
Swank Diet Principles
Despite the lack of evidence in this regard, it is important to note that people who have started this dietary pattern report considerable improvement. It has been observed that in places where there was a tendency to consume more fish, the incidence of multiple sclerosis was lower. This made the doctor in charge of the investigation think that, perhaps, the distribution in terms of the intake of fatty acids would have something to do with it.
On the other hand, the doctor carried out certain investigations under which he affirmed that the high consumption of lipids caused a grouping of the blood cells, which hindered the circulation in the capillaries.
From here, the genesis of increased inflammation is proposed, which may aggravate the progression and symptoms of sclerosis. To combat this, he defends a high fat intake and a greater presence in the regimen of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
Allowed and prohibited foods
To facilitate the implementation of the Swank diet, there are tables of allowed and prohibited foods. Thus, it will be known precisely what should not be eaten. In this last group of foods, there are refined oils, red meat, dairy products, and processed foods. In principle, no more than 15 grams of saturated fat should be provided each day.
However, it is possible to routinely include various types of grains, eggs, pasta and rice, poultry, fruits, and vegetables in the regimen. Also, fish and nuts. Now, allow alcohol. Do not rule out the consumption of a glass of wine with meals. What’s more, he advises it.
However, recent literature does not support this last point. There is evidence that alcohol is a toxic substance regardless of the dose consumed, so it should be completely restricted from the regimen. In addition, it is especially harmful to the central nervous system, which is why it can accelerate the development of neurodegenerative pathologies.
On the other hand, the inclusion in the regimen of a daily vitamin and mineral supplement is recommended, apart from another cod liver oil. The latter has a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Both elements are decisive in preventing the development of autoimmune problems and those associated with the nervous system.
The Swank diet, a possible adjunctive treatment for sclerosis
As you have seen, the Swank diet could be positive for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. It is clear that it will not solve the problem completely, but it will help to avoid a rapid progression of the symptoms. Of course, not all the propositions contemplated are justified under the most recent scientific literature. The consumption of wine or alcohol, for example, should be completely avoided.
Finally, it is key to comment that, as far as possible, it is convenient to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Otherwise, the progression of sarcopenia could be accelerated. Thus, greater early dysfunction will be caused.
It must always be kept in mind that the muscle does not only have a role at the motor level, but also acts as an endocrine organ. It manages to modulate the state of inflammation in the internal environment and is essential for homeostatic control.