Food Categories

CARBOHYDRATES, FATS AND FIBRE

Carbohydrates: sugars in themselves do not interfere with prescribed medications, although they appear, in some cases, to affect their transport to the brain, as a result of increased secretion of insulin which reduces the level of circulating amino acids.

Fats: the intake of fats should be controlled, as they slow down gastric emptying and therefore prolong the absorption time of medication. In addition, a diet rich in saturated fats increases cholesterol and the risk of cerebrovascular disease. Monosaturated fats (olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (fish and dried fruit) are preferable because of their  protective role.

Fibre: this is a fundamental component of the diet of someone with Parkinson’s and at least 30-35 g of fibre should be eaten daily in order to reduce constipation. Fibre should preferably be insoluble (bran) as this speeds up gastric emptying and passage through the intestine.

WINE AND ALCOHOL

Unless your doctor has advised you not to drink alcohol, this can be consumed in moderation. Clearly, one or two glasses of wine are not harmful to adults, even those with Parkinson’s. Red wine is preferable given its higher content of resveratrol, a potent antioxidant that also boosts the levels of “good” cholesterol. In general, though, alcoholic beverages should be consumed with caution because they widen the blood vessels, in the same way that some prescribed medications do.

These suggestions are guidelines only. You should consult with your doctor before changing your diet, particularly with regards to the effects of diet on medication.