Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) say they feel better when they eat healthy. But what does that mean for someone with MS?

Healthy Eating and MS

A healthy and balanced diet combined with daily exercise may help improve MS symptoms — for example, they could lift fatigue, maintain regular bowel and bladder functions, improve the health of skin, bones, teeth and gums, strengthen the heart, and improve muscle strength and flexibility. A healthy diet also helps control weight gain and reduce the risk of heart diseases and osteoporosis.

There’s no evidence supporting one specific diet, but there are potential benefits in several. People with MS should consult with their personal physicians before starting a diet that best meets their individual needs and preferences.

Foods to eat with MS

A balanced diet includes the major food groups, which proteins, which help growth and tissue repair; carbohydrates for energy; fats, which provide essential fatty acids and help absorb vitamins; fiber for a healthy digestion; vitamins and minerals, which are needed for different cell processes; and plenty of fluids because water helps transport nutrients to every cell in the body.

A balanced diet for people with MS should include:

  • Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, sardines and lake trout;
  • Skinless chicken or turkey and lean meats trimmed of visible fat;
  • Beans, lentils, soy and nuts;
  • Fruit and vegetables, five a day;
  • Whole-grain products, three to four servings a day;
  • Use butter substitutes and oils from vegetables, seeds and fish.

Foods to avoid with MS

Some foods should be avoided by people with MS, including:

  • Foods high in saturated fat, such as red meat, butter, cheese, and other full-fat dairy products;
  • Caffeine and alcohol should be used in moderation.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.