It might seem that how we eat does not matter much, but it does. Especially with ataxia. What we eat is very important. Swallowing problems are not uncommon in ataxia. But there is a lot you can do to help yourself. 1. Identify the foods and the type of food that is bad for your throat For many people these are either thin drinks (like water) or dry food (like a dry cake). In my case these are spices – pepper, chilli, or dry sprinkles – made of cinnamon, cocoa or powdered sugar. My mom had trouble eating cold food.