Ok, so this post is going to be Fats 101..
- Fat consumption is important as the myelin sheath (coating around your nerves) is predominately made up of them
- Fats are also the basic building blocks of immune system chemicals
- It has been shown that people with MS have more saturated fats (bad fats) in their cell membranes than Polyunsaturated
- Hard cells are prone to degeneration (which is a key part in the progression of MS)
I am going to try to explain the main types and why they are so important in the diet of an MSer ie person with MS.
So first of all we have
1 Saturated fats
They are found mainly in animals, they are a long chain with a single bond, they have high melting points and are solid at room temperature
Someone eating a diet of predominately Saturated Fats will have cells that are hard and inflexible ie they are unable to adjust to an MS attack
2 Monounsaturated Fats
They are a long chain with a double bond, They are liquid at room temperature and as a result have lower melting points, they go cloudy when kept in the fridge. Example is Olive Oil. They are Omega 9’s.
They have a chain that has more than the double bond, they have the lowest melting points, they are liquid at room temperature and in the fridge, many of them are EFAs ie Essential Fatty Acids, the ones that the body can’t make itself. They are Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s.
Omega 3 = Fish and Flaxseed Oil
Promotes suppression of the immune system, this means that it can help when you are having an attack. Omega 3 has been shown to be as effective as steroids but to get the effect, large doses need to be taken
Omega 6 = Cooking oil eg Sunflower
It also promotes the inflammation response
Someone eating a diet of predominately polyunsaturated Fats will have cells that are soft and pliable ie they are able to adjust to an MS attack
So what this means is, if you are looking to try to take control of your MS symptoms and progression it would be wise to look at your Diet. Professor Swank found that MSers who had less than 15g of saturated Fat per day only had any attack on average every 10 to 20 years! Wow, these kind of results are why I embrace the diet 🙂 It may be painful and trying at times but I know it is helping me and keeping things under control…
My next post will be a recipe 🙂