Nutrient Composition Comparison between a Modified Paleolithic Diet for Multiple Sclerosis and the Recommended Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern

Nutrients. 2019 Mar 1;11(3):537. doi: 10.3390/nu11030537.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease that attacks the central nervous system. Evidence-based dietary guidelines do not exist for MS; the default advice is to follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). A modified Paleolithic Wahls Elimination (WahlsElim) diet promoted for MS excludes grains and dairy and encourages 9+ cups fruits and vegetables (F/V) and saturated fat for cooking. This study evaluated the nutritional adequacy of seven-day menus and modeled them with varying amounts of F/V for comparison with the DGA Healthy US-Style Eating Pattern (HEP) for ages 31⁻50 years. WahlsElim menus had low added sugar and glycemic index. Nutritional adequacy of the menus and modeled versions were similar to HEP for 17 vitamins and minerals (mean adequacy ratio ≥92%). Nutrient shortfalls for the modeled diet with 60% F/V were identical to HEP for vitamin D, iron (females), magnesium (marginally males), choline and potassium; this modeled diet was also low in dietary fiber and calcium but met vitamin E requirements while HEP did not. WahlsElim-prescribed supplements corrected vitamin D and magnesium shortfalls; careful selection of foods are needed to meet requirements of other shortfall nutrients and reduce saturated fat and sodium. Doctors should monitor nutritional status, supplement doses, and possible contraindications to high vitamin K intake in individuals following the WahlsElim diet.

Keywords: Paleolithic diet; Wahls Elimination diet; exemplary menus; multiple sclerosis; nutrient density; nutritional adequacy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Calcium, Dietary / analysis
  • Diet, Healthy / methods
  • Diet, Healthy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Diet, Paleolithic*
  • Dietary Fiber / analysis
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minerals / analysis
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diet therapy*
  • Nutrients / analysis*
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Nutrition Surveys*
  • Nutritive Value
  • Vegetables
  • Vitamins / analysis


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins