A complete Parkinson’s diet guide
When living with Parkinson’s, diet can help you stay healthy and may help with some of the symptoms. Eating a healthy diet will lead you to not only feel better but will also lead to more likely living a longer and more full life.
Before we get started it is important to say that the only evidence-based diets that are shown to be good for Parkinson’s are general healthy diets that work for everyone regardless of Parkinson’s. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets out there, which is why we recommend it to those with Parkinson’s.
So, with that said here are some tips and foods you should consider including in your diet if you have Parkinson’s.
PFNCA recommends a Mediterranean diet for those with Parkinson’s disease because it is generally considered to be one of the healthiest diets you can follow. This diet is based on food that was traditionally eaten in Italy, Greece, and other Mediterranean countries.
This diet can be summarized into three categories: foods you should eat (Often, Moderately, and Rarely).
Foods that should be OFTEN incorporated into your Parkinson’s Diet
Below is a list of foods you should try to incorporate into your diet as often as you can:
- Whole Grains
- Olive Oil
- Plant based foods
Foods that should be Moderately incorporated into your Parkinson’s Diet
Below is a list of foods that could also be added moderately into your diet and some could be added daily.
- Chicken / Turkey
Foods that should be Rarely incorporated into your Parkinson’s Diet
These foods should rarely make it onto your plate and should be reserved for special occasions.
- Red meat
- Sweets like cookies or candy
Foods and fad diets to avoid with Parkinson’s
While eating a Mediterranean diet can help with Parkinson’s, you need to make sure you are also avoiding the foods and fad diets that are detrimental to your health and may exacerbate your Parkinson’s symptoms.
Below is a list of some foods you should avoid eating or limit the amount you eat for Parkinson’s:
- Foods high in saturated fats
- Processed foods
- Large amounts of protein
- Iron may reduce the amount of PD medication being absorbed
- High citrus juices like orange juice
- Sugary foods and drinks
- Large amounts of alcohol
- Hard to chew foods
Fad diets to avoid or be skeptical of:
There are many fad diets out there that someone with Parkinson’s should be skeptical of such as the Caveman diet, Carnivore diet, Whole30 diet and many more. While these new diets claim to be the best thing since sliced bread many of them are unsustainable and not healthy for you in the long run.
Something else to watch out for are diets specific for Parkinson’s. That’s right, you are reading a Parkinson’s diet blog warning you of the dangers of Parkinson’s specific diets. We do this because there is a lot of small studies out their claiming a specific food or nutrient will help with your Parkinson’s while the truth is there really isn’t any strong evidence for any of it. Worse yet, some of these foods or nutrients when taken in excess quantities can do more harm than good. The only real evidence-based diets that are shown to be good for Parkinson’s are general healthy diets that work for everyone regardless of Parkinson’s. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets out there, which is why we recommend it to those with Parkinson’s.
*In the past this blog has recommended specific healthy nutrients or foods for Parkinson’s, we have since updated the blog to better reflect scientific consensus
A Healthy Parkinson’s diet.
While the Mediterranean diet may help people with Parkinson’s, it is important to remember that you need to focus on your whole diet and not just a small part of it. Eating healthy in general and making smart dietary decisions is what will make the difference for your overall health and well-being.
A few healthy diet tips are below:
- Reduce sugar intake
- Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and grains
- Eat foods high in fiber
- Drink lots of water
- Avoid consuming saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Consume alcohol in moderation.
- Talk to your doctor about setting up the best diet for you.
Our complete Parkinson’s diet guide should help you on your way to setting up your Parkinson’s diet to live a healthier life. As always, each individual is different so, please contact your doctor and discuss with them before making any dietary changes.
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