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Food Choices/Needs for People with COPD
Fluids- You need at least 6 glasses a day to keep your mucus thin thus easier to cough up. NOTE: If you have another, or additional medical problem, i.e. heart problem or if you're on a diuretic, fluid retention, you should always check with your Dr. first)
You need fruit, vegetables, dairy products , pasta, rice, legumes, high fiber foods.
You can't beat Canada's Food Guide to help you choose what you need! Food choices for Metis, Inuit and First Nations is also available at their site and includes the guide in 10 languages. Just click on the banner below.
You need more protein and unsaturated fat. If you're underweight you can add liquid nutritional supplements like "Boost" which you can get with "added calories". NOTE: Do not replace meals with liquid supplements. You need both.
You're after protein and "high calorie" foods and snacks but not empty calories aka "junk food".
Underweight? (And unless you've been given dietary restrictions,)
Forget using Skim Milk; go for Whole Milk; (but not the whole cow!)
And there's nothing like a toasted sesame seed bagel with cream cheese!
Ice Cream, yogurt, cheese.... Go HIGH TEST!
And go ahead...... have some Nachos!
Casseroles Pasta Heck; ADD Meatballs!
The foods you once thought "sinfully fattening" in the past, never tasted so GOOD!
And while you're at it.......
Reduce your salt and use MORE herbs and spice
Note: You may also want to choose a vitamin supplement such as Vitamin C and/or B complex and D but again, speak with your Dr. first.
Foods COPDer's Should Try to Avoid
This is actually trial and error for many. Gas producing foods can make your breathing sooooo uncomfortable thus taking away the enjoyment of your meals. No enjoyment, or if you have discomfort, means you may eat less = weight loss. Bloating causes pressure against your diaphragm, this in turn causes more shortness of breath. Additionally; eating too much at once can do the same thing. And it's not just food; but fluids as well!
Also, if you have trouble eating 3 meals a day; try to eat 6 smaller ones.
Not everyone will be hampered by the same foods but for the most part;
Try to Avoid
- greasy foods
- heavy spices
- beans (kidney & navy)
- some wheat and dairy products
- carbonated beverages
But again; trial and error is going to be the key for "you" as an individual.
Limit your salt. It will cause you to retain fluids thus interfering with your breathing. After all; with those expanded lungs there's only so much room in there. Remember; processed foods like packaged meat slices, canned soups or bacon can have a lot of salt. Go for the low salt varieties at the very least.
Avoid "wolfing your food down" or "inhaling it"; otherwise YOU WILL pay for it. Pace yourself. Take your time, eat slowly, savour the meal. Years ago you may have been taught that you should chew your food 10 times before swallowing....perhaps there was something to be said for that!
Note: If you use oxygen, wear it during your meals. You use more just in the process of eating and digesting.
But, but, but ... "I can't eat much".......
This page was last Updated March 23, 2010