The Swank diet by Dr. Roy Swank is designed as a low fat diet to combat the debilitating condition multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system attacks the protective covering over your nerve cells. In time, this irreversible disorder may deteriorate your nerves completely, interrupting nerve signals between your brain cells and your body. Severe cases of MS may leave an individual physically and/or mentally handicapped for life. Dr. Roy treated MS patients for thirty-five years and used the Swank diet to treat symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, numbness, and vision problems.
While the Swank diet does not claim to reverse the damage caused by multiple sclerosis, it may help individuals live a healthier more active lifestyle. In some cases, it may even prevent rapid deterioration caused by MS by slowing down the inflammation and erosion of the nerve tissue.
The Swank diet recommends a low fat diet, which is very low in saturated (unhealthy) fats and polyunsaturated oils. Swank diet guidelines also dictate lowering your consumption of red meats and other fatty meats. A Swank diet menu is high in plant proteins, which includes vegetables and fruits. Dietary fiber from whole wheat and other whole grain products is part of the Swank diet.
Swank Diet Sample Menu
A low-fat diet such as the Swank diet may look difficult, but with a little discipline and dedication, patients suffering from MS can easily adopt it to relieve their painful symptoms. A Swank diet sample menu may contain some of these products:
- All dairy products must be non-fat, that is, they must contain no more than one gram of saturated fat per serving. Some of the dairy products included in the Swank diet are non-fat or skimmed milk, non-fat buttermilk, fat-free cheese, non-fat yogurt, cream cheese or cottage cheese, non-fat ice cream, and cooking sprays.
- Butter, margarine, lard, hydrogenated oils and oils containing polyunsaturated fats such as coconut or palm oil, cocoa butter, and so on should be avoided on the Swank diet.
- Swank diet recipes may include both egg white and yolk. While egg whites contain no fat, the yolks contain mostly saturated fat.
- The Swank diet completely forbids consumption of red meat in the first year of the diet. In the second year, the dieter maybe allowed to consume up to three ounces of red meat per week.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of the Swank diet. The diet recommends at least two servings of vegetables and fruits daily.
- Poultry without skin maybe consumed by dieters. Recommendations include four ounces of chicken or turkey per day. While seafood is part of the Swank diet, consuming fish with a high content of omega 3 fatty acids such as cod, tuna, halibut, mahi mahi and shell fish is recommended.
- Whole grains and cereals are part of the Swank diet. The Swank diet recommends whole wheat pasta, brown or white rice, multi grain and whole- grain breads. Oatmeal and oat bran also provide necessary dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes the excretion of toxins from the body.
- Packaged and processed foods are high in unsaturated fat and sodium content. They are forbidden in the Swank diet, unless their labels read less than one gram of saturated fat.
- Condiments, including sauces, spices and dressings maybe allowed unless they contain oil.
- Dieters may consume caffeinated beverages in moderation. Alcohol is limited to a glass of wine or cocktail per day.
The Swank diet also recommends the intake of vitamin supplements to cover any dietary gap from the diet. While the Swank diet may help to improve the health of patients suffering from MS, the diet should not be mistaken as a cure for this condition. Medical diagnosis and treatment of MS is essential to prevent nerve deterioration.