Parkinson's Disease and Nutrition

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Most people with Parkinson's disease can eat the same healthy, balanced diet recommended for anyone. This includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, legumes, poultry, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products.

Protein may interfere with how your body absorbs levodopa. This can make the effects of the medicine less predictable. It may be helpful to spread your protein intake evenly throughout the day. It is also recommended that you take your levodopa 30 minutes before or 1 hour after you eat a protein meal or snack. If that doesn't help, your doctor may have other suggestions.

Follow your doctor's advice on diet and medicine. Protein is an important part of your diet. Don't change the total amount of protein you eat without the help of a dietitian or doctor.

Symptoms of Parkinson's disease and side effects of medicines used to treat the disease can change your appetite and ability to eat. Nutrition also can be affected by mood, dementia, chewing and swallowing problems, tremors, not being able to move, and not being active. It can also be affected by changes in smell and taste. Ask your doctor or a dietitian for help if you have questions about nutrition.


Current as of: December 20, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.