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A balanced, nutritious diet is important in Parkinson’s.

Many people with Parkinson’s disease lose weight because of poor appetite and inadequate food intake. Others who take levodopa may find that protein interferes with the dose of their medications taken immediately before, during or after the meal.

When it comes to nutrition, what matters most?

  • Eat a balanced diet with all of the daily nutritional requirements
  • Maintain bone health
  • Maintain bowel regularity
  • Balance medications and food
  • Adjust nutritional priorities for your situation and stage of disease
  • If you progressively lose weight for no clear reason you should bring this symptom to the attention of your physician, and undergo a careful and thorough medical evaluation.
  • Extra fresh fruits and vegetables provide fiber that will help or prevent constipation.
  • Limiting protein intake or staggering the levodopa dosing to avoid conflicts with meals can help solve this problem.
  • Take your medications before mealtimes on an empty stomach. For people who have swallowing difficulties, a diet of soft foods may be recommended.
  • Drink plenty of fluids during the day to keep hydrated, which helps to prevent constipation.

Related Resources from the PD Resource List

Nutrition and PD
Category: Nutrition
Resource Type: PD ExpertBriefings
Publication Date: 2015
Author: Heather Zwickey, Ph.D.
Publisher: Parkinson's Disease Foundation
Cost: Free
Toll Free: (800) 457-6676
Associated URL:
Address: 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509
City: New York Zip: 10018
Language: English
State: New York
This webinar discusses important issues and tips related to nutrition and Parkinson's disease.

American Dietetic Association (ADA)
Category: Nutrition
Resource Type: Websites
Toll Free: (800) 877-1600
Associated URL:
Language: English
This organization maintains a national directory of registered dietitians that a person living with PD may find helpful.

View all Resources Related to Nutrition and Parkinson's