Wahls diet for non-meat eaters?

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

Wahls diet for non-meat eaters?

Postby doctormarsha » Wed May 22, 2013 11:57 pm

Does anyone know if Dr. Wahl's diet can be effectively adapted for those if us who are vegetarian? We eat fish, but no other meat. Wondered if there is a way around the grass-fed meat, organ meat, and bone broth? Also wondered if any beans or legumes can be used. They are a major source of protein for us. :-/
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Re: Wahls diet for non-meat eaters?

Postby jimmylegs » Thu May 23, 2013 5:48 am

speaking as an ex vegan whose dietary choices led to multiple nutrient deficiencies that correspond with the poor nutrient status commonly seen in ms patients, I can offer this info..

you'd need to optimize the nutrients (and any other potential factors and synergistic effects that we don't know about yet) that are delivered in grass-fed meat, organ meat etc. such as iron, zinc, b12, protein - things you'd expect to be lower in vegetarians. some of these are nutrients that are depleted by gluten which, as I understand it, is not part of the wahls regimen. also by phytates, which you would have to be careful of with legumes.

depending on the nutrient density in your dietary choices you may be able to attain useful target levels (testing should definitely be done to assess this, and the 'normal' ranges of course will be misleading if not outright dangerous). otherwise you might want to consider a supplement regimen.

fyi king crab apparently has an approximately similar amount of zinc per serving as red meat. you may require more zinc-rich foods than are recommended in the wahls regimen, if you need to consume more foods with antinutrient components such as legumes.

interestingly, one diet/supplement protocol (klenner, 1971) which I found of particular use considering the available research when it was developed, is coincidentally dense in nutrients that are typically problematic for vegetarians (notably protein, b vitamins, zinc). related question.. how do you feel about eggs? they are a recommended protein source per klenner, on the order of 2-3 eggs for breakfast daily (as a therapeutic strategy, not necessarily long term maintenance)
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!
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Re: Wahls diet for non-meat eaters?

Postby ElliotB » Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:25 pm

"a way around the grass-fed meat, organ meat"

A big benefit or grass fed meat is the high omega 3 content (yes, 100% grass fed meat is good for you). Wild fish is very good for us as well. There are many wild fishes that are especially good because they are high in Omega 3 fat such as wild salmon, sardines, and wild tuna to name a few. Also, when consuming other seafood, make sure they are not farm raised. Shrimp, for example, are typically farm raised, but wild shrimp can be found if you search for it.

Do a search on the web, "fish high in Omega 3".

I follow a slightly modified Paleo diet (eliminating even more food items than it recommends) and while I have consumed beans or legumes all my life, I have eliminated them (and nuts) from my diet and feel a lot better without them. I don't believe Dr. Wahls recommends them.

Do a web search for "Vegetarian Protein Foods" and you may find some you like.
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Re: Wahls diet for non-meat eaters?

Postby ElliotB » Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:01 am

A good source of protein from a vegetarian source would be Flax and Chia.

Some nutritional info about Flax:

Nutritional Benefits
Flaxseeds contain the following nutrients:
Lignans. Flaxseeds are one of the best plant sources for lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that may protect against certain types of cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer. Even the National Cancer Institute has identified its cancer-fighting potential.
Omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds are the best plant source of healthy omega-3's, which are also found in fish. Fifty grams of flaxseed has about the same amount of omega-3's as three pounds of salmon!
Fiber. Flaxseeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which keep the digestive system in tip-top shape.
Protein. Flaxseed is a complete protein source, meaning that it contains every amino acid that your body can't make on its own. It’s uncommon to find plant-based foods that are complete proteins, so flaxseed makes a great addition to vegetarian diets.

Chia also has tremendous health benefits, and Chia seeds contain about 20% protein, a higher percentage than found in many other grains such as wheat and rice

I consume both daily in smoothies.
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