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MS Diet & Nutrition

If you're living with MS, you should really take the old "your body is a machine" analogy to heart. For starters, you have special dietary needs, like more fiber, calcium and vitamin D. And, for your body to truly perform better, you should eat the most nutrient-dense foods possible. Certain foods can relieve constipation, boost your energy, or strengthen your bones. The following dietary information and other tips may be helpful in managing your MS symptoms:

Please remember to consult your doctor before starting any new diet.

Understanding multiple sclerosis diets

Although there are certain foods that can help with the symptoms of MS, specialists generally recommend that you follow the same low-fat, high-fiber diet that is encouraged for people without MS. But you are unique, so always talk to your doctor before making any major changes in your diet. You may even want to find a registered dietitian who has developed nutrition plans for people with MS.

These nutrition plans are different than the so-called "MS diets" you may have heard about. Many claim to treat, or even cure, MS symptoms. But most haven't been rigorously tested in controlled studies, and the few that have been studied have produced mixed results. If you have questions about MS diets, talk with your doctor first. As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Good vs. bad calories

Calories are a measure of the energy in the foods we eat. Healthy calories, like those found in spinach, arm our body with powerful disease-fighting nutrients. Unnecessary calories, like those found in donuts, often get stored as fat, and can turn into extra weight.

When you choose foods, start by selecting those with harder-working calories, like baked sweet potatoes, as opposed to fried options like French fries. Making smarter calorie choices can also help you maintain a healthy weight.

MyPlate: A simple reminder for healthy eating

MyPlate (below) was created by the USDA to help Americans eat healthier and get the right amount of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy at every meal. Doing so can keep you from overeating and help you balance your plate with the right foods.

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