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Avoid these foods to manage multiple sclerosis

Avoid these foods to manage multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is a condition that affects the functioning of the central nervous system. Although it might not seem obvious, the food you eat can be a trigger for the symptoms of this condition. Therefore, being aware of the foods to avoid when diagnosed with this condition is critical in managing it effectively and preventing it from worsening. Listed below are some foods you should avoid if you have been diagnosed with this condition.

Saturated fats

This type is mostly found in animal products such as full-fat dairy items, although it can also be found in food items containing coconut or palm oil. These fats can raise bad or LDL cholesterol levels increasing your risk of heart disease. According to a study, if you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, then you are already at a higher risk for developing various heart problems. Therefore, avoiding these unhealthy fats might be a good idea, and opt for healthier alternatives.

Trans fats

This is another type of fat best avoided by those with multiple sclerosis. It is mostly found in baked goods such as pies, cookies, and other packaged food items. Trans fats can trigger or increase inflammation in the blood vessels, which can cause heart problems. When checking packaged food labels, look for terms such as shortening and partially hydrogenated oil.


Milk, especially cow’s milk, contains saturated fat and proteins that can affect the health of individuals with MS. The proteins in milk, in some cases, could stimulate the immune cells, which could result in the formation of lesions. According to research studies, avoiding or limiting the consumption of milk can help relieve MS symptoms. Although, you should ensure that you get sufficient protein, Vitamin D, and calcium from other food sources.


Sugar is most often listed at the top among the foods to avoid to manage various health conditions effectively. Hence, it should also be avoided if you have multiple sclerosis. Excessive consumption of sugar in the form of sweets and desserts can lead to an increase in weight which would, in turn, result in more pressure being exerted on the joints. This can cause mobility issues and interfere with daily activities. Being overweight can also worsen the symptoms of fatigue in those with MS. The crash that occurs with the overconsumption of sugar can also affect mood and cause brain fog in patients with this condition.

Refined grains

Food items such as potatoes and white rice, pasta, and bread can cause your blood glucose levels to increase very quickly. These spikes in blood glucose levels could damage the myelin sheath that covers the neural cells. This can result in triggering symptoms of conditions that result in neural dysfunction such as MS. Hence, opt for whole grain products as a healthy alternative.


According to an article published in Nature Neuroscience, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis could get triggered or worsen due to the consumption of large amounts of salt. Hence, it might be best to limit the amount of salt you use even to season your food. You can choose spices such as pepper instead. Also, avoid consuming canned products and deli meats that could be high in sodium and choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.

Processed foods

Processed foods could contain additives, preservatives, and other ingredients that help to increase their shelf-life or to make them more visually appealing and tasty. These additives can impact the functioning of the immune system. Optimum functioning of the immune system is necessary to slow down the progression of MS. Hence, as much as possible, avoid processed and packaged food items and opt for fresh produce.

Numerous health conditions can be effectively managed through the food you eat, and MS is one of them. Be mindful of these and other food items that could trigger symptoms or worsen your condition and try to avoid them as much as possible.

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