Best Bet Diet discussion

A board to discuss various diet-centered approaches to treating or controlling Multiple Sclerosis, e.g., the Swank Diet
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Do you follow the Best Bet diet?

Post by hlm286 » Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:14 am

I'm curious as to how many people with MS try gluten, wheat, legume and dairy-free diets. I have started reducing all these foods but I find it challenging, and especially being pregnant I worry about not getting enough vitamins if I cut these food groups out.

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Post by Wonderfulworld » Sat Oct 24, 2009 11:01 am

I was on BBD for about 2 years.

I would agree with you about it being too challenging for pregnancy - I came off it with the last pregnancy (others were miscarriages) because I found it too limiting too.
I reallycan't imagine being on BBD and being pregnancy - it's hard enough just being pregnant. Because relapse rate reduces then, I think you are safer during pregnancy anyway MS-wise.

I am permanently on a gluten-free diet because I'm a diagnosed coeliac.

I think BBD is fine normally, so long as you're doing all the supplements - you probably can't take them during pregnancy. I neglected the supplements when I was on the BBD and I became very run down and deficient in Vit D, Calcium and Iron. I'd only go back on BBD if I had it all planned in advance and a good bit of time on my hands to do all the specific cooking and shopping.
Concussus Resurgo
RR-MS dx 1998 and Coeliac dx 2003
Tecfidera, Cymbalta, Baclofen.
EPO, Fish Oils, Vitamin D3 2000 IU, Magnesium, Multivitamin/mineral, Co-Enzyme Q10, Probiotics, Milk Thistle, Melatonin.

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Post by sewwhat » Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:01 pm

I am on the BBD and have noticed some improvements with numbness and tingling.
The diet is very challenging! I plan meals and do some of the cooking on Sundays, or I would just be a mess during the week when it gets too hectic.

I agree, the BBD is probably too severe to start while pregnant.
You can always start once the baby is born.
Congrats! btw :D

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Post by ElMarino » Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:42 pm

I was on the BBD for years, I took it very seriously, but I didn't feel that it was changing. I slowly relaxed the rules, starting with allowing legumes, then gluten. Long ago I began to avoid saturated fats again and I steer clear of dairy. I am not 100% sure that the dairy makes a difference but I am convinced that saturated fat aggrevates some of my symptoms..

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Post by jimmylegs » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:12 am

i'm not on the BBD because i disagree with some of the basic premise involved. i think if you react badly to certain foods, it's better to try to understand and correct that reaction than cut foods out altogether.
you need all the nutrition you can get in pregnancy. it's true that some of those BBD no-no foods (gluten for instance) are big zinc drains, so be aware of that because pregnancy is a big zinc drain too. zinc tends to be low in ms anyway. fixing a low zinc level can correct the low uric acid levels also seen in ms patients. optimal zinc levels in healthy controls is 18.2 umol/L.

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Post by hlm286 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:12 am

jimmylegs, what do you think about dairy? I've stopped having milk, yougurt and cheese but I drink enriched rice milk for calcium. Do you think its ok to reintroduce dairy?

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Post by jimmylegs » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:03 pm

hi hlm, short answer is YES but with precautions.
so from BB,
Foods that contain proteins which have the potential to cause autoimmune reactions. These are:
-All dairy products (e.g. milk, cheese, yoghurt)
-Foods containing gluten grains (e.g. wheat, rye or barley)
-Legumes (e.g. beans, soy, peanuts. peas)
-Any food that causes an allergic reaction as determined by a body reaction or a blood test. These foods can cause increased intestinal permeability (a leaky gut) and increased immune reactions. Candy, soft drinks and foods with a high sugar content. These foods alter the gut flora which in turn can cause a leaky gut and problematic immune reactions.

i would argue that if your immune system is regulated properly you should not have to worry about things that 'might' cause a reaction.
the grains and legumes need a lot of zinc to be digested, and it's the zinc depletion that in turn can cause the leaky gut, by loosening the tight junctions between the intestinal cells.
i agree with cutting the sugary stuff though!

here are a couple of relevant snippets that i posted for another TIMS member elsewhere recently:
Regulatory T cells curb unwanted immune responses and regulate responses to microflora and it is now clear that regulatory T cells play an important role in a number of chronic inflammatory diseases of the gut. First, regulatory T cells are crucial in controlling immune responses to gastric autoantigens and thus preventing autoimmune gastritis and pernicious anemia. Second, regulatory T cells may modulate the response to Helicobacter pylori, thus affecting the ability of the immune system to clear the pathogen and mediate damage to the gastric mucosa. Finally, regulatory T cells play an important role in preventing damaging inflammatory responses to commensal organisms in the lower gut, thus guarding against inflammatory bowel diseases. In the present review, we examine the actions of regulatory T cells in the gut and conclude that further understanding of regulatory T cell biology may lead to new therapeutic approaches to chronic gastrointestinal disease.
In several autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), a compromised regulatory T cell (Treg) function is believed to be critically involved in the disease process. In vitro, the biologically active metabolite of vitamin D has been shown to promote Treg development. A poor vitamin D status has been linked with MS incidence and MS disease activity
so, if your d3 level is around the 150s, and your zinc is up at 18.2, those two things at a minimum should help protect you from inflammatory food responses. and of course, having a good balanced diet - you can check out inflammation factors of different foods at
here's tomato for example: ... cts/2682/2


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Quinoa is my new comfort food!

Post by Ruthless67 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:35 am

I make 3 fresh cups of quinoa every morning and eat one cup at breakfast, then I try and incorporate the other two into my lunch and dinner. It really is my go-to-food. I like it hot or cold.
I've tried all three colors and I like the white the best for my morning cereal, it seems the creamiest to me. The red I prefer in my salads or as a side dish, it seems just slightly chewier to me with a hint of nutty taste. The black I didn't care for as much, but when added to things with a darker color it was good, such as in soup, or with beans etc.
Here's the way I make it and a link to a web site with it's nutritional info.

Quinoa ... e&dbid=143

A 1/2 cup serving has 11 grams of protein, contains all 8 essential amino acids, is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. I usually eat some at every meal. I cook up three cups of Quinoa in advance and refrigerate it, then I can just take out the amount I want.

Take a 1 cup of quinoa seeds and rinse in cold water, set aside, bring 2 cups of water to a boil then carefully put quinoa in water and bring back to a boil. Cover pot with lid and turn down to med-low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Now place a clean dishtowel over pan and put lid back on. Let is sit undisturbed for ten minutes. Then open and fluff with fork. This will make approximately 3 cups. The towel absorbs the rest of the excess moisture and really improves the texture.

For breakfast, my favorite is to take 1 cup of quinoa (22 grams of protein!)
heat it in the microwave and add 2 Tbls of unsweetened applesauce, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a few toasted diced pecans. It’s absolutely delicious! I add 1 piece of sprouted grain toast with almond butter, a cup of green tea and I’m good till lunch.

Lunch is a grilled turkey burger and a quinoa salad where I take 1 cup of cold quinoa, add diced cantaloupe and cucumber, then add a little mayonnaise. It’s really a refreshing lunch.

For dinner, I make what ever meat I want and vegetable then I have quinoa as my side dish instead of a carbohydrate. I like to heat it up and put a little meat drippings on it if I have any, if not, I have some awesome Amish butter I put on it. It’s just so darn good plain with butter, salt and fresh cracked pepper. When I don’t want it as my side dish and we are having a green salad I’ll just add a half cup of cold quinoa to my serving of salad and toss it in. Then put dressing on it and enjoy, it makes a very tasty addition and again adds more protein.

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Post by daverestonvirginia » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:08 am

I have been on the BBD for over three years now, with great results.

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Best Bet Diet

Post by SandyK » Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:22 pm

Can we eat pork and lamb on this diet? I haven't seen where the info says not to but I don't see any recipes for those two meats. Am I missing something? Thank you.

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Post by LR1234 » Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:33 pm

I do, as I feel much better when eating meat. However the only pork I ever eat is low fat bacon, and I eat organic Lamb and try to avoid the fatty bits

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Post by Talltree11 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:44 am

I have been on BBD for a while and love quinoa. Just had leftovers form last night; roasted veg- parsips/carrots/sweet pot/celery/onion etc sprinkle with cumin ( or chilli for a bit of umph) seeds and s&p. Cooked quinoa the added to finished roasted Good for breakfast too as previous post suggested. :lol:

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sprouted quinoa

Post by shye » Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:20 pm

another great way to make quinoa is the soak it overnight, then drain, and let sit for a day--it sprouts, and cooks much faster and has a sweeter taste (and anything sprouted has more nourishment).

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Post by Rebecca » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:11 pm

I started with Swank and then made some adjustments to follow Jelinek's recommendations a bit more closely. I swear by healthy eating. It is the best thing every for MS.

The Best Bet Diet wouldn't work for me. I really like lentils and beans. I feel better when I eat them and they have lots of nutrients. I think some may be intolerant to them, however, and in that case they need to be avoided.

I do avoid dairy and gluten because I have irritable bowel and they make that problem worse.

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Post by Julia » Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:12 am

I was planning on starting the Best Bet Diet in January. Trying to research before making any major changes.

My questions is what is the best way to start; should I dive in eliminating all three major categories (legumes, dairy, gluten) as well as limiting my sugar and sat fat intake or should I slowly start by eliminating one at a time?

I am not the best cook and I am worried that diving in might be too limiting and I will just fall out of it because I will be hungry.

Please note that I already ate fairly healthy (although pasta, cheese, and bread were some of my favorites) before my diagnosis in Nov and that I am a long distance runner (for as long as I can :wink: ) and I get hungry very easily.

Everyone talks about finding out what your body reacts too and eliminating those items. I have had IBS for 8 years and have never really found triggers, is this normal?

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