Have You Come Across Advice That Those With Parkinsons Should Avoid Too Much Refined Sugar Or Perhaps Youre Aware Of New Research Linking Diabetes And The Condition We Go Behind The Headlines To Find Out What Is Actually Going On
Over the last decade, a war on sugar has started. In March 2016 the government announced that a tax on sugary soft drinks would be introduced in the UK from 2018. At the same time, we’ve seen a gradual increase in messaging that healthy eating, particularly limiting your intake of sugar, is essential for a healthy body.
The main aim of this war is to curb a growing obesity pandemic. And while it’s too early to draw any conclusions about these initiatives on the patterns of obesity in the UK, studies have suggested that simply reducing the sugar content of sweetened beverages by 40% over five years could result in roughly half a million fewer obese adults. As our collective national waistline shrinks, the hope is we will also see a reduction in a range of health conditions from heart problems to cancer, diabetes to osteoarthritis.
If Youve Already Been Diagnosed With Parkinsons The Health Of Your Gut Still Matters
Studies in mice have found that the composition of the gut microbiome significantly impacted motor symptoms . In the largest study of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and Parkinson’s, researchers found SIBO was present in 25% of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s and independently predicted worse motor function .
Constipation- likely due to slowed gut motility in combination with gut dysbiosis and poor dietary habits – is a non-motor symptom that has been reported up to 20 years before a Parkinson’s diagnosis , and can significantly decrease the effectiveness of Parkinson’s medications.
Dietitians Speech Pathologists And Mental Health Experts Can Help Too
Talking to a registered dietitian can help you make changes to your diet — for example, by learning how to use thickening liquids or soften solid foods.
If swallowing continues to be a problem, a speech-language pathologist may be able to help you find ways to make swallowing easier.
“A speech pathologist who is also a swallow therapist can do a swallow study, a test during which you try different foods and they monitor how you swallow using an X-ray machine,” Subramanian explains. “Food aspiration, or when food gets into your lungs, can be a problem with Parkinson’s disease, so the swallow study can identify problem foods and your doctors can recommend changes and diet modifications to make eating safer.”
Finally, as anxiety or depression are common in people with Parkinson’s and can suppress appetite, it’s important to recognize symptoms associated with these behavioral health conditions and seek out treatment if needed.
If You Want To Lower Your Risk For Parkinsons Drop The Cookie
We are hearing more and more about Parkinson’s disease, Especially lately after the death of Robin Williams. It has been estimated that as many as 1 million Americans now carry this diagnosis, And to put it into perspective, this is a number that is larger than the combined number of people suffering from multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and ALS.
An incredible 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s each year, and it is a disease for which there is no meaningful treatment. Certainly, there are medications that are used fairly effectively to reduce the symptoms of this disease, like tremor and rigidity. But again, as stated, there is no meaningful treatment available now or in the foreseeable future.
Having said that, it makes very good sense therefore, to explore the notion of prevention as it relates to Parkinson’s disease. It is in this context that we take a look at a recent publication in the journal, Diabetes Care. In this report, 1565 Parkinson’s patients were evaluated and it was determined that the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease was an astounding 40% higher among diabetic patients compared to those without diabetes.
Food is fundamental.
I Am Underweight Or Losing Too Much Weight What Should I Do
If you are underweight or have difficulty putting weight on, it may be because of the side effects of Parkinson’s medication or difficulties with chewing or swallowing.
Weight loss is caused by your body using more calories than you’re consuming. This may be due to increased movement caused by tremors or dyskinesia. It may also be due to practical problems, such as food shopping, preparation or keeping your food hot while you’re eating.
You may find the following tips useful:
- Make the most of adding extras to foods, such as extra cream, butter, oil or honey where you can. These will make the food more energy-dense and tasty.
- Try to have 3 meals a day and 2 to 3 snacks between your meals. It’s important to try to eat every 2 to 3 hours during the day.
- Instead of snacks, try having a milkshake, malted drink or smoothie. These may be used to supplement your usual diet. But, if you find you are replacing your meals with these, it is important to seek help from a dietitian.
If you are finding it difficult to maintain your weight or reach a healthy weight, your GP, specialist or Parkinson’s nurse can refer you to a dietitian.
They may recommend tailored changes to your diet and special high-calorie products that are available on prescription.
How A Parkinsons Spoon Can Make Eating And Drinking Easier
Parkinson’s disease symptoms like tremor, joint stiffness, or difficulty swallowing may make eating certain foods challenging. Try consulting an occupational therapist, who can recommend assistive devices that will make eating and drinking easier, says Subramanian.
One option: Use a “Parkinson’s spoon.” This popular device is designed to make mealtime easier for people with Parkinson’s disease. There are different products available, but all of them are eating utensils that have been equipped with a special design or technology that helps stabilize them as you eat.
Foods Containing Nutrients That People May Be Deficient In
Some research suggests that people with Parkinson’s often have certain nutrient deficiencies, including deficiencies in iron, vitamin B1, vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D.
The above study points out that some of these deficiencies may be associated with neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, which are key factors in Parkinson’s.
Therefore, people with Parkinson’s may wish to consume more of the following foods.
Foods containing iron
The following foods are good sources of iron:
- certain fortified foods
Eat Plenty Of Protein But Not With Levodopa Medications
If you’re taking a levodopa medication, your doctor may tell you to avoid protein when taking your meds. Both animal and plant protein can interfere with the absorption of levodopa medications.
But you should still eat plenty of protein. Just be strategic with the timing. “Don’t take levodopa medications with meals,” Dr. Gostkowski says. “It’s best to take it on an empty stomach — either 30 minutes before your meal or an hour after eating.”
If you get nauseous from the medication, eat a small amount of starchy food with it, such as crackers. Make sure whatever you eat with your medicine doesn’t have protein. “It’s a misunderstanding that people with Parkinson’s should avoid protein,” Dr. Gostkowski says. “You definitely need protein in your diet. Just don’t eat it when you’re taking your levodopa medication.”
What Are The Best Foods To Eat For Parkinsons Disease
If you had a healthy diet before being diagnosed with Parkinson’s, there’s a good chance you don’t have to overhaul your eating habits very much. But there are a few additional considerations you should be aware of.
The Parkinson’s Foundation recommends eating a diet that’s full of grains like brown rice and breads; vegetables; fruits, including berries and sliced apples; and lean protein like beans. Collectively, these foods provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and complex carbohydrates to help you lower your intake of fat and maintain a healthy weight while giving your body the nutrients it needs.
“The Mediterranean Diet has become popular in Parkinson’s disease, and we recommend it to a lot of our patients,” Subramanian says. “We also recommend the Mind Diet, which is low in salt and is designed to improve brain function. Generally, it’s best to avoid processed foods and foods with artificial or simple sugars. Try to stay as much as you can in a whole-food and plant-based diet.”
In addition, following the guidelines established by the US Department of Agriculture MyPlate program will enable you to have a balanced diet that provides your body with the energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber it needs for good health. For example, eating meals rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamins D and K can help strengthen bones, which is especially important given that Parkinson’s disease can increase your risk of bone-thinning.
- Certain nuts, like almonds
Introduction To Eating Right With Parkinson’s Disease
While there is no special diet required for people with Parkinson’s disease, eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet is extremely beneficial. With the proper diet, our bodies work more efficiently, we have more energy, and Parkinson’s disease medications will work properly.
This article addresses the basics of good nutrition. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any dietary changes. A registered dietitian can provide in-depth nutrition education, tailor these general guidelines to meet your needs, and help you create and follow a personal meal plan.
Managing Parkinsons: What To Eat And What Not To Eat
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic illness that affects the section of brain responsible for movement. This central nervous system disorder generally affects muscle control and balance, causing a person to lose control over certain body functions. Each year in the U.S., approximately 60,000 people are diagnosed with PD. The condition develops when nerve cells in the brain do not produce sufficient amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s pleasure centers. People with PD often experience unique nutritional challenges. Learn more about Parkinson’s disease and how altering your diet can help you better manage your symptoms.
Maintaining A Nutritious Diet For Parkinsons Disease
While you already know that proper nutrition is important for overall health and functioning, a well-maintained and balanced diet for Parkinson’s disease is a must in order to help manage symptoms. In addition to motor symptoms, people with PD may develop symptoms that make it hard to eat, such as difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, and reduced gastric mobility. Medications used to treat PD can also cause unfavorable symptoms, such as nausea, dry mouth, appetite loss, vomiting, and fatigue.
Ideally, people with PD should increase their fiber intake to avoid symptoms such as dehydration and constipation, while boosting their energy levels. Maintaining a balanced diet for Parkinson’s disease that includes foods from all food groups including vegetables, fruit, grains, dairy, and grains is key. It is also important for individuals with PD to drink plenty of water – at least 51 ounces a day. In addition to loading up on fiber-rich foods like apples, broccoli, peas, whole-grain breads, and cereals, PD sufferers should cut down on salt, sugar, and saturated fats from dairy and meat. If you drink alcohol, ask your doctor about how it could affect the effectiveness of your medications.
Incorporate Low Glycemic Index Foods Into Your Diet
Reduce your intake of high GI foods in favor of whole fruits, vegetables, legumes and minimally processed grains. Try substituting brown rice for white, steel-cut oatmeal for instant and beans for potatoes. Or, if you’re having a high GI food – say, cornflakes or instant oatmeal – throw in a handful of berries to reduce its glycemic load.
How Does Parkinsons Disease Change The Way You Eat
If you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you may have noticed some changes in your appetite and eating habits, says Dr. Subramanian.
For example, some of your prescription medications may work best on an empty stomach, but they may also cause nausea in some people when taken without food.
“We advise people to take their medication about an hour before meals, if possible, to avoid any protein interaction,” Subramanian says. Eating protein-rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, and beans too close to the time you take medications can interfere with how the body processes some medications prescribed to treat Parkinson’s disease, which may cause them to work less quickly or less effectively.
If you experience nausea after taking your medication on an empty stomach, your doctor may recommend eating a small, light snack like crackers or applesauce before taking your pills.
Subramanian also notes that loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss are a major concern for people with Parkinson’s disease. This may be caused by symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, decreased ability to taste or smell, nausea side effects from medications, or movement problems that make it difficult to eat.
To address these issues, the Parkinson’s Foundation recommends:
Craving Tip #5: Resolve Micronutrient Inadequacies
Sometimes, micronutrient deficiencies can lead to sugar cravings. Here are a few supplements have been shown to help with reducing those urges to run for the brownies:
High-quality probiotics or probiotic-containing foods
Remember that this does not mean you can never have refined sugar, it just means that we want to limit when possible to boost your brain health. Every now and again, sugar can be good for the soul!
Try to make small baby step goals to reduce your sugar intake this week. For example, if you have 2 scoops of ice cream every night, try to have 1 scoop every day instead. What is your goal for the week? Tell us in the comments below.
Cravings Tip #6: Swap In Healthier Dessert Options
You’ll never be completely free from cravings. You are human after all!
This is why it’s a good idea to have some healthier alternatives prepared for when you need a sweet fix.
Indulge in a healthy amount, enjoy the experience, and then make sure your next meal follows the PP+FF formula from tip #1 above.
Here are two recipes to try instead of reaching for that tub of ice cream or plate of brownies.
What Exactly Is The 7:1 Diet And How Is It Planned
The 7:1 diet balances carbohydrate and protein, allowing for 7 parts carbohydrate for one part protein. Each meal and snack is planned in this ratio for best results. The total number of grams of protein from each of the food items to be eaten at the meal is calculated. This is determined by reading the food labels or consulting lists of protein content of foods. Based on the amount of protein at that meal, the number of grams of carbohydrate needed is calculated. For example, if 10 grams of protein is included at breakfast, 7 times that amount or 70 grams of carbohydrate needs to be included at breakfast as well.
Protein is found in a wide variety of foods. Foods highest in protein include milk and other dairy products and meats . But even starchy foods such as breads, dried beans or peas, grains and cereals have protein which needs to be accounted for. They are, however, relatively high in carbohydrate.
Foods high in carbohydrate and low in protein include fruits and juices, sugar and syrups, sorbet and sherberts, soda and other sweetened beverages. These can be added to your meals to help shift the balance to 7:1. A rule of thumb is to keep meat and dairy portions small and fruit/juice and starch servings large to help improve your ratio.
Who Can Give Me Advice On Diet And Eating Problems
Depending on the country you live in your doctor may be able to refer you to any of the following specialists to give advice on diet or eating problems.
- A dietitian can provide advice on all aspects of nutrition and diet. They will advise on maintaining a healthy diet to suit your needs and symptoms, bearing in mind the medications you take
- A speech and languagetherapist will be able to help you with swallowing problems and strategies to overcome these, as well as speech difficulties. They can also help eliminate any other possible causes of swallowing problems
- An occupational therapist will be able to look at ideas and equipment to make food preparation and mealtimes easier .Simple changes to your kitchen and dining area can make all the difference, for example:
- adding grab rails to help you move around safely
- moving the position of equipment so that food preparation tools are grouped together so you don’t need to move around as much
- buying a blender, microwave or small chopper, for example, to ease preparation and reduce the amount of time spent manually preparing food.
Craving Tip #3: Seek Out Support Instead Of Sugar
Stress increases cortisol levels, which will send you straight for the ice cream! A Parkinson’s diagnosis can be very stressful, making it even more important to have support to get you through the tougher days.
It is so important to have a support system – whether that be friends, family, and/or a good psychologist. Stuffing your feelings and frustrations down will only lead to more sugar cravings and feeling worse overall.
If your support network is lacking, make sure you have at least one stress-reducing strategy in your daily routine, such as meditation, journaling, art, prayer, deep breathing, or yoga.
Learn More About How Nutrition Affects Parkinsons
A diet that’s rich in whole grains, lean protein, and fibrous fruits and vegetables is useful for fighting fatigue and may also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, all of which help you live well today with Parkinson’s.
How have you found different foods affect your energy levels? Consider logging your diet and making notes about how you feel after eating and between meals. Let your experiences help guide you to make healthy modifications to your diet.
Disturbing Reasons Why Sugar Is Bad For Your Body
Sugar is one of the most important parts of anyone’s diet. We use it every time while eating or drinking. Sugar is one of the most common components for our food as well. Sugar is sweet but too much sugar can be a bad bitter for your life! A lot of research has proven that sugar can be the cause of many important diseases for both children and adults. It contributes to many diseases that cannot all be treated for and the best way to avoid such illnesses is to take precautions. There are about one hundred and fifty, a bit more or a bit less, problems caused by the intake of sugar on excessive bases. One of the most common ones includes Diabetes that is untreatable and one has to live with it throughout. Others are Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
1.Sugar can cause cancer in both men and women such as Pancreatic, Kidney Cell, Stomach, Breast, Lung, Prostate, Ovarian, Biliary Tract, Gastric, Gall Bladder etc.
2.On most cases, it is said that Sugar can be much more addictive than Cocaine. This addiction can cause a person to do many things such as on the basis it causes mood disorders most common within children.
3.The use of sugar can make people hyperactive and cause them to exercise more which burns more and more of their calories away and if not replaced by a proper diet it can cause a person to become ill which in turn makes a person immune system weak making them subjected to cold, flues, sneezing etc.
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Constipation And Hydration In Parkinsons Disease
As Parkinson’s disease can cause constipation, the Parkinson’s Foundation recommends a diet featuring 20 to 25 grams of daily fiber to maintain bowel health.
“It’s really important for overall health to keep bowels moving,” Subramanian says. “We recommend a diet with a lot of vegetables and as much fiber as you can take. Foods that are high in prebiotics, including fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchee, can also help.”
Some Parkinson’s disease medications don’t work as well when taken with fermented foods, however, so check with your doctor before incorporating them into your diet.
Proper hydration is also important for everyone, including people who have Parkinson’s disease. Try to drink six to eight glasses of water a day and take your medications with a full glass of water, the Parkinson’s Foundation notes. It may help your body break down the medication more efficiently.
“Hydration helps with blood pressure and constipation,” Subramanian notes. “We recommend our Parkinson’s patients drink 40 ounces of water a day. That’s just water, not coffee or tea or other drinks. This can also help improve digestion.”
If drinking water leads to urinary urgency, try eating foods with a high water content like celery, butternut squash, grapefruit, strawberries, and watermelon instead.
Dietary Intake Of The Parkinson’s Disease Cohort
Impulse Control Disorders
Mean energy intake was significantly greater for PD patients who reported an impulse control disorder compared to those without , after adjusting for age, sex and PD duration . This was mainly attributable to increased consumption of carbohydrates , increased total sugar intake and increased consumption of total fibre by PD patients with an impulse control disorder. Linear regression modelling validated that the increased carbohydrate and total sugar consumption in impulse control disorder patients persisted after controlling for patient age, sex and PD duration . PD patients with an impulse control disorder also consumed greater amounts of a variety of vitamins and minerals, as outlined in Supplementary Table 1. When micronutrient intake was assessed per 1,000 kJ energy intake, PD patients with an impulse control disorder compared to PD patients without an impulse control disorder consumed more potassium , more beta carotene and more vitamin C .
PD patients who were depressed , consumed more added sugars compared to those who were not depressed , after controlling for patient age, sex and PD duration . Interestingly, depressed PD patients consumed less alcohol than those who did not report depression , after controlling for patient age, sex and PD duration .
Chronic Pain and Other Clinical Features
Dietary and Clinical Correlations
Foods That Naturally Increase The Dopamine Level
Dopamine is the chemical in our brain that plays a major role in our memory, balancing mood, regulating cognition, attention, and learning. For Parkinson’s patients, there is a deficiency of dopamine. Therefore the main medicine used for this treatment is levodopa which forms dopamine after crossing the blood-brain barrier.
There are few foods that also help to boost the dopamine level in the brain. Needless to say, these foods draw special attention to Parkinson’s patient diet. Try to include these in your daily diet.
Table 7: Simple Indian foods that improve dopamine level naturally
|1-2 bananas, as a part of meal or in between meal|
NOTE- These foods generally interfere with the absorption of medicine levodopa. Therefore try to keep at least a gap of an hour before taking levodopa.
Craving Tip #1: Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced
The first and most important thing is to keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the day. If you have dips in your blood sugar, sugar and refined carb cravings will come in full force. To boost your brain health and keep your blood sugar stable, remember this equation:
PP + FF
Having these macronutrients balanced at your meals and snacks will keep the sugar cravings at bay and boost your brain health.
Protein: Protein is essential building blocks of neurotransmitters. Some examples include wild-caught fish, beans, eggs, tofu, tempeh, hemp seeds, and leafy green veggies.
Phytonutrients: Phytonutrients are essential for protecting our brains from oxidative stress. Phytonutrients are the colors in fruits and veggies. The more color the better, since phytonutrients work better in combination!
Fiber: Fiber is essential for feeding the good gut bacteria that help you create neurotransmitters and is wonderful for keeping your blood sugar stable. Fiber can be found in whole grains, fruits, veggies, and seeds.
Fat: Fat has gotten a bad reputation, but it is crucial to boosting your brain health and keeping your blood sugar stable! Some examples of healthy fats include butter, ghee, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, egg yolks, nuts, seeds, and avocado.
Try to include all four for your meals and at least two for your snacks.
Foods Containing Saturated Fat And Cholesterol
Some studies suggest that dietary fat intake may increase the risk of Parkinson’s.
Although having a higher intake of cholesterol can elevate a person’s Parkinson’s risk, having a higher intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids may reduce the risk.
Therefore, a person with Parkinson’s may wish to reduce their intake of cholesterol to help control the symptoms of the condition. They may also wish to reduce the amount of saturated fat in their diet.
However, further studies are required to explore the link between dietary fat and Parkinson’s.
The Latest In Nutrition And Parkinsons Disease
Eating well can help you take control of your health. In fact, choosing to eat healthy foods can improve your Parkinson’s disease symptoms. And some research suggests that sound nutritional choices could have disease-modifying effects, meaning that they could potentially slow PD progression. Changing your eating habits can be a challenge, but there are many small adjustments you can make to your diet that will add up to big benefits. Learning about them is the first step.
The following article is based on the latest research and a Parkinson’s Foundation Expert Briefings about nutrition, hosted by John E. Duda, M.D., from Philadelphia VA Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education & Clinical Center .
The Effects Of A High Sugar Diet On The Brain
With Halloween coming up, it may be tempting to give into those sugar cravings, but research shows that eating too much sugar can be more harmful than we think. Excessive sugar consumption can lead to memory deficiencies, sugar addiction, and overall health deficiencies.
Excessive sugar consumption is harmful to brain health, and can lead to memory deficiencies, sugar addiction, and decline in overall health. To keep your brain healthy, consume sugar in moderation and within the recommended guidelines. If you are concerned about too much sugar affecting your health, talk with your doctor or a medical professional. If you are a neurology patient and are looking for a neurologist that incorporates a holistic approach to medicine, then visit Dr. James Francesconi’s webpage to find out more about how he uses a holistic approach to treating neurological disorders.
Alcohol And Its Effects On Parkinsons Disease
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the active element in beer, wine, and liquor is ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, which is known colloquially as alcohol.
In 2013, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health has shown that 52.2% people over 12 years of age in America were current alcohol users, 6.3% of the population over 12 are a heavy drinker and 10.9% had driven a car under influence of alcohol . Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. It is a highly lipid soluble and can cross the blood-brain-barrier. After that, it acts on the receptor level, particularly the GABA and Glutamate. Here it acts by slowing down the movement and speech. But the pleasurable effects produced by alcohol are brought about by its action at a Dopamine receptor level. A casual drinker may suffer from a loss of memory even after a few drinks .
One study has shown that heavy drinking contributes to involuntary body movements such as akathisia . Several other studies have demonstrated that acute alcohol intoxication and withdrawal may provoke transient Parkinsonian movements particularly, akathisia, dystonia, cogwheeling, tremor, wide-based gait and bradykinesia. These symptoms were diminished following abstinence from alcohol . Animal studies have demonstrated impaired striatal dopaminergic function during severe ethanol intoxication or withdrawal. Thus chronic alcoholism may exacerbate or uncover the sign-symptoms of latent Parkinson’s disease .
Can You Drink Alcohol With Parkinsons Disease
Parkinson’s disease refers to a progressive type of disorder present in nervous system of patients. It affects physical movements and develops in a gradual manner. Sometimes, it begins with a few barely noticeable tremors in only one hand. However, while tremor constitutes a common sign associated with Parkinson’s disease, disorder commonly causes slow body movement or stiffness.
During the initial stages of the problem, you only deal with no or very little expression or your arms may not be able to swing properly while you walk. Alternatively, your speech may become slur or soft. However, symptoms of the disease become worse as the condition progresses with time.
Is Diet Enough To Keep Parkinsons In Control
NO, basic exercise even if with assistance, daily 20 minutes exposure to sunlight, and listening to music are the three basic things to do on daily basis. It is proved that they help to improve the dopamine level in the brain.
Good sleep is also one of the ways to uplift mood. However, most Parkinson’s patients struggle to get a good deep sleep.
Foods To Avoid In A Parkinsons Disease Diet
If your goal is to maintain overall health with Parkinson’s disease — and it should be — you should avoid or reduce your intake of some of the same potentially harmful foods as people without the condition.
For example, a diet with lots of sugar can add too many calories and provide your body with too few nutrients. It can also contribute to tooth decay and increase your risk of diabetes.
In addition, foods high in salt and sodium content can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, some of the saltiest foods in typical diets include:
- Breads and rolls
- Cold cuts and cured meats
- Burritos and tacos
“Most of our patients have problems with low blood pressure, due to issues with autonomic nervous system function in Parkinson’s disease,” Subramanian adds. “So in some cases, we recommend a little extra salt in the diet, or even energy drinks, to boost blood pressure.”
Either way, you should check with your doctor about taking appropriate dietary steps to manage blood pressure along with Parkinson’s disease.
Also limit foods high in calories and fat, particularly saturated and trans fat, which can increase your risk of heart problems as well as certain types of cancer and make it more difficult for you maintain a healthy weight.