Swank Vs Wahls

I am reading Terry Wahls’ book on the treatment of autoimmune diseases with a high fat diet. I have adopted her mega veg/fruit intake and am aiming at 9 cups a day (3 green leafy veg, 3 bright colours and 3 sulfur-rich). I have also cut out all grains and legumes as well as started to eat meat again…following the Swank diet rules as described by Judy Graham in her book Multiple Sclerosis – A Self-Help Guide to its Management and which I summarise here.

I think that the high-fat content prescribed on the Wahls Protocol is too contradictory to the Swank low-fat diet. I am still awaiting a response from Dr Wahls on Twitter about the contradiction between high/low fat – but can see from her webpage that it will not come without money changing hands first.

I think that people with MS (or any illness for that matter) should help one another with their findings instead of charging others for the knowledge. Anyway – that is my view; Dr Wahls obviously has her own.

Roy Swank introduced his diet in 1948 and so many have benefited from following it ever since. In comparison, Wahls’ diet is quite new. Although a high-fat diet has helped her tremendously, according to Swank; following a low-fat diet is essential in order to stop the progression of MS. Seeing as Dr Wahls was unwilling to comment on the differences between the two diets, and given the greater time period covered by Swank’s research; I think it is safer to stick to Swank.

If there had never been a Swank or Wahls… there are still facts to support a low fat diet for the treatment of MS. The illness is most common in the wealthier countries of the world,  and less so in less affluent ones. The exception to this rule is Japan. What do the poorer countries of the world and Japan have in common? A diet less reliant on animal foods than the countries where MS is prevalent. The heavy consumption of animal fat in richer countries has a direct correlation with a higher incidence of MS.

I do however believe that you must believe 100% in whatever you decide to do to improve your health. The mind is our most powerful tool; what we believe is of utmost importance.

Dr Wahls’ book has been helpful nonetheless. It has reminded me of the importance of vegetables – I am eating LOTS more now by following the 9 cup rule. It has also encouraged me to give up all grains – not just gluten ones and I feel better as a result. I am still bloated and need to work out what in my diet is causing this, but I am feeling very positive about these new changes in my diet.

Finally Wahls has introduced me to the notion of nutritional ketosis which provides an explanation to why I feel better when I do not eat.



11 thoughts on “Swank Vs Wahls

  1. Hi, I have come to the same conclusion as you. I read somewhere that Dr Jelinek (who follows De Swank’s recommendations) thinks that Dr Wahl’s diet works because of the large quantities of vegetables she consumes. Her diet was very helpful in helping me remember to eat a large quantity of varied vegetables. I really want to go to the MS Gawler retreat in the Yarra Valley to help consolidate all Dr Jelinek’s tips to following Dr Swank’s diet. His book doesn’t give guidelines for the diet as well as Dr Wahls with hers. It’s just such a leap of faith to follow just one diet and I’ve noticed that the diet without the exercise and mindfulness is not enough to curb my symptoms. NST

    • Thank you for your comments.

      Judy Garner looks at Swank’s diet in detail – I highly recommend MS A Self Help Guide to its Management for a comprehensive guide to it. The only thing to be careful of is the recommendation of Evening Primrose Oil which is no longer considered useful – and of fish oil which is almost always rancid by the time it reaches supplement form. Starflower oil is a good replacement for this (Higher Nature).

      Dr Jelinek advocates the use of disease modifying drugs which I do not agree with – see link below for info on the trials carried out in the UK that have proven that these drugs do not work: https://msanotherway.wordpress.com/the-dangers-of-modern-medicine/ms-the-drugs-dont-work/

      I completely agree that exercise and mindfulness are essential components to the MS diet plan.

      • Judy Graham (not Garner) was the first book I chose in the bookshop when I was diagnosed in 1994. I’d dipped into the very few that were available back then and hers seemed the best option – it gave hope.

        I’m not entirely sure about Jelinek’s following of Swank? We all believe that OUR way of doing things is the best way but we all have to find our OWN way.

        Our brains (and myelin sheath) are made of fat and dietary fat is more related to THAT sort of fat in our body than extra weight type of fat, I think?

        Have a little of good fat: olive oil and coconut fat is what I’ve chosen.

        I don’t eat mammals (they carry viruses our mammalian bodies can pick up). So, it’s mostly oodles of veg, chicken, fish and not forgetting daily avocado. I asked Jelinek about his thoughts on coconut fat and he told me about the tiny tears in the BBB/brain connected to saturated fat in the diet.

        Life with minimal fat becomes a chore and, as you pointed out state of mind is everything when dealing with any condition. So I’ve created my own blend of WahlSwank. It may not be the best solution but I’ve decided it’s the best solution for me.

        All any of can do is find a path we can live with through the many opinions on offer.

      • Hi Daisy, thanks for your comment. Yep we do all believe our way is the best, and that is the thing isn’t it – we each need to find our own way. According to Graham it is the sat fat we need to avoid and so I follow her guidlines, based on Swank’s findings – and that is why I avoid sat fat. And yes it is all about finding your own way, I defo agree. I have a bit of a SwankWahls mix too I basically follow Swank and all the Wahls that fits in with Swank 🙂 I wish you luck with your journey, thanks for correcting my typo I will see to that now!

      • Well, I’m guessing you corrected the typo after thanking me for pointing it out at 20.47 on Thursday?

        Wishing you all the best on your journey too. Gosh, how Californian we’re all becoming?
        I wish you well 🙂

        Have you had a look on my site http://www.chronicalternatives.com? It’s not nearly as well organised as this one but I could always do with traffic?

  2. I intended to but I never found it, I assumed it would be on the Swank Wahls post but it wasn’t! So any ideas where it was that you spotted it? I will check your site out of course! Sorry I should have done that by now!

    • apologies – my wonky eyes? I’ve gone a bit slowly recently on the site but I think this is the piece I feel is my best work? http://www.chronicalternatives.co.uk/2015/12/micro-or-macro-which-is-important/ I’ve been getting a bit esoteric as I dig deeper into various coping mechanisms (not tribal poo though!)

      I was interviewed by New Pathways last year and the writer left the impression I’d done more than find out about the technology – the benefits of being an ex journo?

      Very strange about Graham’s name because after reading the post I had to find the book to check what it was!

      hey ho, one of those mysteries an MSer gets used to 🙂

  3. I’ve just joined a clinical trial that compares the Wahls Protocol to the Swank Diet. I’m currently in the 12 week “Normal Diet” phase. I’ve had my bloods drawn and taken a bunch of tests and filled out surveys and measured /reported my food intake. In a few weeks, I’ll be randomly assigned one of the diets. It will be interesting to see the results, both personally and as a member of the MS Community. Follow my progress at MsLabRat.org. (Today’s post is all about yoga, but I post about the diet study frequently.) There’s still room in the trial, if anyone is interested!

    • Wow, thank you so much for writing! I am still following the Swank diet and not keen to change it really but I am so interested in this relevant and exciting new trial and will be following you on your journey for sure!

  4. Can I just say it’s so refreshing to read that I’m not the only one put off my Dr. Wahls monetizing knowlege that could help others? She takes every opportunity to stage product tie-ins.
    That said, I just finished a clinical trial comparing her diet to the Swank Diet. At the moment, I’ve landed about where you are…I do think the one element the two diets have in common is ketosis. I’ll strive for that. https://mslabrat.org/2017/12/03/i-got-swanked-then-i-wahled-now-im-galled/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s