Posted by: Thixia | May 9, 2008

Swank Diet 1 of 3





All dairy products must be non-fat or contain no more than 1 gram of saturated fat per serving. The recommended daily amount is two (2) servings.


(1 cup = 1 serving)


·    Non-fat milk or skimmed milk

·    Evaporated skimmed milk

·    Powdered skimmed milk

·    Non-fat buttermilk (without butter bits added)

·    Non-fat or dry curd cottage cheese

·    Fat-free cheese

·    Non-fat sour cream

·    Non-fat yogurt

·    Non-fat ice cream

·    Cooking sprays


Products to be avoided are as follows:


·    Margarine

·    Butter

·    Shortening

·    Lard

·    Cocoa butter

·    Coconut oil

·    Palm oil

·    Hydrogenated oil

·    Imitation dairy products




The white of the egg contains no fat. The yolk contains 5 grams of mostly saturated fat. You are allowed three eggs per week, but no more than one per serving. One complete egg = 5 grams of saturated fat.


It is not necessary to count the small amount of fat or oil found in the grains, cereals, rice and pastas in your diet. The recommended daily amount is four (4) servings.


GRAINS & CEREALS.  You are encouraged to use whole-grain products as much as possible. Refined, un-enriched products provide very little, if any, vitamin source. All bread products are permissible. This includes white bread, whole wheat bread, sourdough bread, English muffins, bagels and all the other grain breads available. The natural grains provide bulk in the diet and aid in elimination. Although these products may contain a small amount of saturated fat, it has been accounted for in the body of the diet. Avoid items such as muffins containing an undesirable oil, pastry, cakes, pies or any other product made with hydrogenated palm or coconut oil, lard, butter, margarine, shortening or vegetable oil that is not defined.


Cold and hot cereals are permissible on the diet. The most economical are usually the ones with the least amount of saturated fat. Cheerios®, shredded wheat, Wheaties®, puffed rice and Grape Nuts® are almost fat-free and less expensive. Watch granola; it is usually high in fat. All hot cereals are permissible, e.g., Cream of Wheat®, Cream of Rice®, oatmeal, cornmeal and any other rich grain used for cereal.


PASTA & RICE.  Refined pastas and rice are permissible in any amount, but whole grain pastas are preferred.


CRACKERS.  Snack crackers containing no shortening, butter, margarine or processed oils are permissible. Rye-Krisp®, melba toast, matzo bread, non-fat saltines, fat-free graham crackers and non-fat tortilla chips are acceptable snacks. Avoid all commercially prepared chips and fancy crackers.


PASTRY.  Commercially-prepared pastry usually contains shortening, butter, margarine and/or processed oil. Therefore, you should avoid these foods.


Angel food cake does not contain egg yolks or shortening and can be used as an acceptable dessert.


COMMERCIALLY PREPARED FOOD.  Any boxed or canned food containing processed oil (hydrogenated), shortening or butter and exceeding 1 gram of saturated fat per serving is to be avoided. Some acceptable products are available. Read labels and be sure to check serving size.


CONDIMENTS.  With the exception of mayonnaise, condiments such as mustard, catsup, relish, barbeque sauces, taco sauces, sweet & sour sauces, herbs and spices are permissible in any amount. Mayonnaise contains unsaturated fatty acids (oil) and must be counted in your daily oil allotment.

2 tsp. mayonnaise or salad dressing, commercial = 1 tsp. oil

1 tsp. mayonnaise, homemade = 1 tsp. oil

1 Tbsp. “fat-free” mayonnaise = 1 tsp. oil

Fat-free salad dressings = zero (0) fat and oil


Swank Diet 2 of  3




Caffeine.  Caffeine-containing products increase nervousness and insomnia, as well as frequency and urgency to urinate. Therefore, it is necessary to limit these beverages to a maximum of 3 cups daily (can be combined). If an increase in symptoms occurs, do not consume caffeine.



1 cup coffee + 1 cup tea + 1 cup cola = 3 cups daily total.

3 cups coffee or 3 cups tea or 3 cups cola = 3 cups daily total.


In whatever way you decide to combine your caffeine, the daily amount must not exceed 3 cups.


Alcohol.  Most patients tend to be sensitive to alcoholic beverages. A glass of wine or a cocktail with the evening meal is permissible.





Nuts and seeds are good sources of natural oils as well as essential fatty acids. Commercial nut butters that are not hydrogenated or that you grind yourself at the health food store, also contain good sources of oil. Daily snacks of these foods help to maintain a good energy level. The following list is to be used to count your daily intake of oil:


2 tsp. peanut butter or other nut butters (old-fashioned, non-hydrogenated) = 1 tsp. oil

1/2 oz. (about 10) peanuts, almonds or cashews = 1 tsp. oil

1/3 oz. (about 10) any other kind of nuts (walnut and pecan halves, filberts, hazelnuts) = 1 tsp. oil

3 tsp. sunflower seeds = 1 tsp. oil

3 tsp. pumpkin kernels = 1 tsp. oil

1/3 oz. Energy Snack Mix = 1 tsp. oil (mix together almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds)





Recommended amount is two (2) fruits daily. All fruits are permissible in any amount. Fresh fruits are preferred since they contain the most nutrients, followed by frozen and then canned fruits.


The following fruits contain unsaturated fatty acids and must be counted in the daily oil allotment:

Avocados. 1/8 = 1 tsp. of unsaturated fat (oil) = 5 grams

Olives. 3 medium black = 1 tsp. of unsaturated fat (oil) = 5 grams

Olives. 6 medium green = 1 tsp. of unsaturated fat (oil) = 5 grams





Recommended amount is 2 cups daily. 1 cup = 1 serving. Vegetables provide the body with vitamins and minerals and are rich in essential fatty acids. You are encouraged to include a variety of vegetables in your daily diet.





The average serving is four (4) ounces.


Skinned, trimmed white chicken or turkey meat is permissible. Avoid processed meat products such as ground turkey and chicken, which may contain dark meat, skin and fat; luncheon meats made from pressed turkey and chicken; and canned turkey and chicken products. For ground turkey and chicken breast, grind it yourself or ask your butcher to prepare and grind it for you when the grinder is clean. This may cost a bit more.




All white fish is permissible in any amount:

Cod, abalone, halibut, snapper, smelt, flounder, sole, sturgeon, tuna canned in water, shark, mahi mahi, haddock, perch, pollack, etc.


All shellfish is permissible in any amount:

Clams, crab, lobster, oysters, scallops, shrimp. (For those patients with elevated cholesterol levels, shellfish should be eaten infrequently.)


Fatty fish contains unsaturated fatty acids and must be counted in your daily oil allowance. You are allowed 50 grams (10 tsp.) per day.



Tuna, canned in oil

     2 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)

Tuna, canned in oil, rinsed & drained

     3 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)

Salmon, Chinook

     1 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)

Salmon, Coho

     2 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)


     2 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)

Sardines, canned in oil

     1 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)


     1 oz. = 1 tsp. oil (5 grams)


Note:  I am starting a series on diets for healthy living.  I, myself, do not necessarily adhere to all or any of these diets.  I am merely presenting them to you so that you may be able to make an informed decision about your own diet.



  1. Thanks Bonnie, and it’s good to have the Swank diet to the fore again. Dr Swank’s results were REALLY impressive, with his patients who managed to stay on the diet having significantly less deterioration of their MS than the ones who didn’t keep to the diet. And that was over a period of 34 years! Only thing is, it is such a drastic diet that mu husband and I found it very hard to stick to. And then our MS specialist said that it has no effect and to “eat whatever you like” – so we lost motivation to stick to the diet.

  2. That is inspirational article. Never knew that opinions can be this varied. Thanks for every bit of devotion to put forward such helpful information here.

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