I often get asked questions about diet. What foods can I eat? What foods should I eat?
And one of the most common things I talk to people with Parkinson’s in particular, about is diet and food quality. When you already have a chronic disease like Parkinson’s or are at risk for something like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or diabetes based on your family history, then the food you eat takes on even more importance.
While WHAT you eat is important, it's probably more important to know more about the quality of the food you are eating. Just reading the label isn’t enough any more. It’s more important than ever to know more about the brands you purchase, how the food is grown, processed and delivered and how those decisions can affect your health in ways that you may never see on the label.
I am a big fan of “living - cultured foods” and how they can help your gut. In the last decade the yogurt section of the grocery store has exploded. There’s a lot to think about beyond flavor when selecting a yogurt. For instance, in the June 7, 2017 issue of Neurology, published a study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health showing that consuming three or more servings of low-fat dairy each day was associated with a higher risk of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. There have been many issues in the dairy industry over the decades that may have impacted these risks including the use of antibiotics and hormones in the cows. While much progress has been made, there may still be risks to eating too much dairy.
We recently started working with a plant-based foods company that makes a Pili nut yogurt called Lavva. Most non-dairy brands add gums, coloring agents, natural flavors and sugar to lower costs and expedite manufacturing. But they didn’t compromise. What I love about their yogurt is that they use only “real” ingredients, no gums or fillers that can damage your microbiome. The base of their yogurt is the Pili nut, which is high in healthy fats and a great addition for anyone on a Ketogenic Diet. Plus there is no added sugar. The sugars involved in the fermentation of this yogurt come from natural prebiotic ingredients like plantains. The founder of Lavva, Liz Fisher, shares my values and understanding of the importance of quality ingredients and not compromising quality for cost.
They recently launched a plant-based milk that also shuns the use of emulsifiers than are found in almost all plant milks. A December 2019 study published in the Wiley Nutrition Bulletin showed that emulsifiers and food additives are contributing to gut dysbiosis and metabolic disease.
So if you are looking for a healthy alternative to dairy, consider looking at Lavva’s products! A company, like us, that is looking to help you live your healthiest life every day.