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Parkinson's Disease Health Center

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Eating Right With Parkinson's Disease

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I Don't Feel like Eating, What Should I Do? continued...

Here are some tips to help you eat more at meals.

  • Drink beverages after a meal instead of before or during a meal so that you do not feel full before you begin eating.
  • Plan meals to include your favorite foods.
  • Try eating the high-calorie foods in your meal first.
  • Use your imagination to increase the variety of food you're eating.

Here are some tips to help you eat snacks.

  • Don't waste your energy eating foods that provide little or no nutritional value such as potato chips, candy bars, colas, and other snack foods.
  • Choose high-protein and high-calorie snacks. High calorie snacks include: ice cream, cookies, pudding, cheese, granola bars, custard, sandwiches, nachos with cheese, eggs, crackers with peanut butter, bagels with peanut butter or cream cheese, cereal with half and half, fruit or vegetables with dips, yogurt with granola, popcorn with margarine and parmesan cheese, or bread sticks with cheese sauce.

How Can I Make Eating More Enjoyable?

  • Make food preparation an easy task. Choose foods that are easy to prepare and eat.
  • Make eating a pleasurable experience, not a chore. For example, liven up your meals by using colorful place settings and play background music during meals.
  • Try not to eat alone. Invite a guest to share you meal or go out to dinner.
  • Use colorful garnishes such as parsley and red or yellow peppers to make food look more appealing and appetizing.

Maintaining Your Weight With Parkinson's Disease

Malnutrition and weight maintenance is often an issue for people with Parkinson's disease. Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy weight.

  • Weigh yourself once or twice a week, unless your doctor recommends weighing yourself more often. If you are taking diuretics or steroids, such as prednisone, you should weigh yourself daily.
  • If you have an unexplained weight gain or loss (2 pounds in one day or 5 pounds in one week), contact your doctor. He or she may want to modify your food or fluid intake to help manage your condition.

Here are some tips for gaining weight.

  • Ask your doctor about nutritional supplements. Sometimes supplements in the form of snacks, drinks (such as Ensure or Boost), or vitamins may be prescribed to eat between meals to help you increase your calories and get the right amount of nutrients every day. But, be sure to check with your doctor before making any dietary changes or before adding supplements to your diet. Some can be harmful or interfere with your medication.
  • Avoid low-fat or low-calorie products. (unless other dietary guidelines have been recommended). Use whole milk, whole milk cheese, and yogurt.

Here are some high-calorie recipes to try.

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