Swank diet discussion

A board to discuss various diet-centered approaches to treating or controlling Multiple Sclerosis, e.g., the Swank Diet

Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby CaveMan » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:12 am

Firstly you have to disect the information to realize that it's never actually been proven to be bad for you, all research data linking saturated fat to heart disease stems from the ancel keys 7 country study which showed that there is a linear corrolation between heart disease and saturated fat consumption, the only problem was he neglected to include data from 15 other countries which confounded his conclusion.
Many of the excluded countries which had high saturated fat consumption and low heart disease or vice versa.
So there is no evidence to show that saturated fats are bad and the fact that the majority of our cell membranes are comprised of saturated fats suggests maybe they are actually good and essential. After trans fats the worst fats are actually Omega 6's, your typical vegetable oils, as they are pretty much rancid/oxidised in the bottle already before you use them and highly inflamatory.
I am just an interested individual trying to crack the autoimmune nut.
Partner has Graves Disease, 5 years, showing good test results, looking forward to potential remission in the near future.
3 friends have MS, 1 just recently diagnosed, severity 7/10.
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby tedhutchinson » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:34 am

It may interest readers here to understand how the reseachers got misled into thinking that Saturated fat was the cause of the problem.

This new peer reviewed paper downloads free from this link
Food for Thought: Have We Been Giving the Wrong Dietary Advice? Zoë Harcombe explains how
"The Seven Countries study classified processed foods, primarily carbohydrates, as saturated fats."

If only more people took the trouble to go back to the original research and look at the actual data used and the way the research was conducted we would perhaps make fewer mistakes and be less likely to provide dangerously misguided advice.
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby jimmylegs » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:02 pm

HA i've been working on justifying my whole food sat fats.. the processing angle makes it so very, very easy :) nice
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby CaveMan » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:14 pm

If you want really good brain food, coconut fats are the best, high in medium chain triglycerides and readily usable by the body, it's being used in studies for Alzheimers and Parkinsons with positive results, not to mention the positive effects of a Ketogenic diet on drug resistant epilepsy.

I'm not a complete Fat-o-phile, but I think there is a major correction required for most people in their carb:fat ratio's, the western world is too relient on sugars and this IMO is at the root cause of many, if not all of the chronic medical conditions, when combined with excessive Omega 6's consumption, systemic inflamation is the end result.

BTW Ted, thanks good link.
I am just an interested individual trying to crack the autoimmune nut.
Partner has Graves Disease, 5 years, showing good test results, looking forward to potential remission in the near future.
3 friends have MS, 1 just recently diagnosed, severity 7/10.
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby jimmylegs » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:58 pm

this may not be news to anyone else, but it just sort of threw itself onto my desk and i laughed and thought i would paste it in here :D seemed fitting

Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids and composition of human aortic plaques
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lance ... 8/abstract
How long-term dietary intake of essential fatty acids affects the fatty-acid content of aortic plaques is not clear. We compared the fatty-acid composition of aortic plaques with that of post-mortem serum and adipose tissue, in which essential fatty-acid content reflects dietary intake. Positive associations were found between serum and plaque ω6 (r=0·75) and ω3 (r=0·93) polyunsaturated fatty acids, and monounsaturates (r=0·70), and also between adipose tissue and plaque ω6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (r=0·89). No associations were found with saturated fatty acids. These findings imply a direct influence of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids on aortic plaque formation and suggest that current trends favouring increased intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids should be reconsidered.
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby CaveMan » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:34 pm

When you are able to take on that the Conventional Wisdom (CW) fear of fat was based on flawed assumptions, then find science actually confirms the opposite, you begin to question other CW reccomendations, particularly the base of the USDA food Pyramid, noting ofcourse this is not a nutritional pyramid, nut in actual fact is a representation of agricultural production that needs to be sold.

Of all the health markers, persistantly elevated blood glucose, even within normal range, seems to be associated with the future developement of chronic diseases, not just diabetes, but nearly all the diseases of modern civilisation have a direct corrolation to blood glucose levels.

So fat intake should be increased, carb intake reduced and for most people overall caloric intake should be reduced, protein should be kept at an adequate level to maintain body repairs, but excess protein consumption is just an unnecesary burden on the body whose removal requires toxic processes. That's the Macro,s as for the Micro's a nutrient dense varied diet is best, so berries are a better choice than large fruits as they have a better micro:macro ratio.
I am just an interested individual trying to crack the autoimmune nut.
Partner has Graves Disease, 5 years, showing good test results, looking forward to potential remission in the near future.
3 friends have MS, 1 just recently diagnosed, severity 7/10.
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby jerrygallow » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:22 pm

I don't understand why some in the MS community resist the idea of restricting saturated fats. I can understand that the Paleo approach has caused us to rethink the "dangerous" fat, that never was, and to see finally how sat fats have only a tenuous relationship to heart disease. I can also see how saturated fat restriction can lead to obesity.

HOWEVER, we are not talking about heart disease. This is MS. Studies have shown that MS patients have very high levels of saturated fats in their brains, as something in our body uniquely prefers this fat, and essentially gives us a shortage of other fats our nerves need. Second, research shows that high saturated fat meals slows blood flow (fitting in with new CCSVI developments), and causes sticky platelets (a noted abnormality in MS blood).

I can write a book arguing how sugar is not harmful, but if I am talking to a diabetic, well, I could kill the patient. MS patients are not healthy, average adults.

And the elephant in the room--the Swank diet worked!!! It worked better than any drug ever tried. In the words of one neurologist, the Swank diet remains the single most effective intervention for multiple sclerosis ever recorded in the literature.

Now we can theorize all day long about how saturated fat was vilified, how unsuccessful it was for public health, bla blah blah. All I know is this. I went from sitting on the couch with debilitating fatigue, feeling fragile, waking up every morning with new symptoms, and relapsing every four months (if you can call it that, it was more like one steady decline), to remodeling three houses, having MORE energy than I had before MS, going five years relapse free...I came off of Tysabri against doctors orders, and instead of "crashing and burning" with the IRIS (as they feared, as most patients have rebound since the drug just hides damage,) I had only a minor flare of numbness in my fingers. I am now one year drug free.

I can get dairy fat or eat too much saturated fat, and the next day I feel it. I can even notice if I eat too much coconut fat. If I push it for a few days or week or so, I am back to relapse mode.

I can walk five miles or more...no buzzing, no tingling, no fatigue anymore. I used to not be able to walk from one end of the mall to the other without sitting down. I tout the Swank diet every chance I get and cannot believe why MS patients would not try something so easy. Now it is second nature. The high fat foods don't even taste good. I don't even feel like I am on a diet. Not to mention that I lost 15 pounds, am frequently told I look years younger than my age, and feel great.

But I will add that it takes about two years for the full benefit to kick in. I continue to slowly improve. There is absolutely NOTHING to lose. For all this business about the real issue is the saturated fats come from animals fed omega 6, and that is what makes it inflammatory, then answer me this. Why did MS appear in the 1850s, when people drank pure cows milk from grass fed cows, corn oil had not been invented yet, and the fat of the day was "healthy" lard and tallow? In my opinion, the real issue with MS is dairy fat. Avoid it like the plague.
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:50 am

I was a strict vegan for 15 yrs before dx. had to switch to omnivore diet, sat fats and all, to get better. you can take diet too far in either direction, fats and all.
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby jerrygallow » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:17 pm

yes, I agree. extreme diets are bad. But the standard American diet is pretty extreme. Maybe you didn't have enough omega 3s, or had too little zinc. The Swank diet is far from a vegan diet. It does require fish 3 times per week, some form of fish oil supplement (cod liver oil for the original Swankers). I also take a small zinc tablet several times per week since I eat less red meat.
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby jimmylegs » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:30 pm

i don't think anyone here is pro standard American diet..

thanks to lab testing i have great records on all the deficiencies acquired via veganism. b12 being a key player where ms is concerned.
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby Jimpsull » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:12 am

From the Swank Foundation site on fats:

Your diet will consist of no more than 3 teaspoons (15 grams) of saturated fat per day.

Your diet should contain a minimum of 4 teaspoons (20 grams) unsaturated fat (oil) and must not exceed 10 teaspoons (50 grams) daily. (5 grams = 1 tsp.)

FATS AND OILS. Essential fatty acids are necessary nutrients in the diet. Because of the reduced consumption of saturated fat, it is suggested that you increase the consumption of unsaturated fats (oils).

Essential fatty acids are necessary for the function of the nervous system. The body is able to synthesize most of the fatty acids needed for growth but must rely on necessary food sources for small amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids known as Essential Fatty Acids. Fats and oils are a concentrated source of energy; each gram of fat or oil (9 calories per gram) supplies twice as much energy as protein or carbohydrate (4 calories per gram).

On a low-fat diet, you may notice drying of your skin and hair, and easy fatigability, if your intake of unsaturated fat (oil) per day is limited. Your lifestyle will dictate the amount of unsaturated fatty acids necessary in your diet. If you are working and exercising, you may need to increase your oil. If you are sedentary, 4 teaspoons (20 grams) per day will usually be sufficient.
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby jimmylegs » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:31 am

I also read a study just the other day (i noted in passing that r vieth was one of the authors) in which the ratio of mufas to pufas was demonstrated to be important for vit d3 retention, ie more mufas help you hang on to vit d3 and more pufas do the opposite. so a higher mufa to pufa ratio was better in terms of d3, but I didn't get into the details. will see if I can find some specific numbers. and the link to the study.

to date I personally have not had fatty acid levels tested. last bloodwork was the first time I had lipids done and I haven't seen the lab report yet so I don't even know what info is there. I suspect only ldl, hdl, total cholesterol etc. i know my cholesterol came in a smidge on the high side. that was after bacon and 2 eggs for breakfast for literally 4 months straight. mind you i'm talking one single piece of bacon :) and loads of veggies in the mix too. anyway.

I spent some time a while back trying to determine a MINIMUM healthy amount of sat fat in diet but it's tough and i can't recall off the top of my head if i found anything in the way of a study. i did the math on sat fat in my own diet recently - bacon eggs cheese and all - and came in around 15-16mg sat fat per day. (the eggs chipped in 4g total, bacon 1g)

given my very slightly elevated cholesterol result i decided to drop back to one egg and bc of that to have veggies on the side instead of omelet style. then out of the blue a job dropped in my lap so looks like i'm back to the oatmeal fruit and flax breakfasts i ate all winter :) i can already tell that my new problem will be the tendency to skip breakfast altogether! :S
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby gomogo2000 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:23 pm

Jerry etal, please check out this website on cottonseed oil. There are strong implications between it and many modern day illnesses. Very interesting read. The MS connection is under Problems, toward the end. Cottonseed oil is found in more and more foods today, esp. chips. Website needs to be typed in as opposed to a search. It goes something like this: tendler5 .wix .com / cottonseedhistory.
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby Kronk » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:25 am

Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead but I think the most important part was missing from this discussion...The evidence that MS patients have too much saturated fat in there plasma. The goal of the Swank diet is to reduce saturated fat intake and ideally reduce MS symptoms. I have a theory on the diets mechanism of action.

Saturated fat adds rigidity to the cell wall which is critical, but too much would alter the permeability of the cell and effectively seal the nucleus off from interactions with other cells limiting many of the critical biological processes in the human body. Additionally people with MS are found to have excessively high levels of Lysophosphatidylcholines or lysolecithins, chemical compounds that are created by the body from saturated fatty acids. Lysolecithins have been shown to DEVOUR myelin sheath and are often used to mimic diseases such as MS in lab studies. Why people with MS create too much of these compounds is a big question, but the fact that we know that we do should make us reduce the fuel. Would you throw gas on a house fire?

Swanks study isn't the only one to tout the benefits of diet.
- Dr Kousmine’s book, ‘Multiple Sclerosis is Curable’ outlines 55 cases she treated over a period of 19-26 years.
- In 2005, the first RCT on dietary fat in MS was published. The study showed that patients felt better according to standard MS quality of life questionnaires. But more importantly, their relapse rates fell quite significantly from pre-trial rates.

A major concern I have with the Swank diet is the restriction of poly-unsaturated fats. If the ratio is broken would it not make sense to increase poly-unsaturated fats to balance it? I do not restrict my unsaturated fats. Nor do I abide by the "forbidden list" I eat everything in moderation staying under the 15g saturated fat limit daily. Additionally I avoid inflammatory foods.

Study showing fatty acid ratio in MS
http://www.pnas.org/content/86/12/4720.full.pdf

Study showing high lysolecithins (derived from saturated fat)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC494425/

Description of a lysolecithin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysophosphatidylcholine

Study with fatty acids and rheumatoid arthritis (an anuto-immune disease)
http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/ ... 8.full.pdf

Study showing fatty acid profiles the same in all neurologic disorders
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... x/abstract
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Re: Swank diet discussion

Postby LibbyA » Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:24 pm

Kronk: you may have answered my question that I just posted to the forum. I'm newly diagnosed, just beginning the journey. Interested in the Swank diet. So, as long as you stay under 15 grams of saturated fat, you eat what you like? You mention the "forbidden list", by this do you mean red meat, regular cheese/milk, butter etc?

Thanks, Libby
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