Healthy dieting can make a big difference for people who've been diagnosed with COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Eating the right foods can help people maintain healthy body weights, which in turn results in more energy and a lower risk of harmful health complications. If you have COPD, your doctor might refer you to a dietitian or a dieting program. Read on for eight important COPD diet facts.
First, a balanced diet is best. Including lean, low-fat proteins, complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits and fresh produce promotes muscle growth and healthy digestion.
Second, potassium is key. Bananas, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, nuts and beets are great examples of foods with potassium. These foods are helpful for COPD patients who use diuretic medications.
Third, avoid consuming too much salt. Taking in too much sodium boosts water retention and can make breathing more difficult. Learn about ways to season your food that don't require the use of salt.
Fourth, avoid fruits and vegetables that might cause bloating. Apples, peaches and melons are examples of fruits more likely to cause gas; beans, corn, peas and leeks are vegetables known to do the same. Research fruits and vegetables that won't lead to bloating, which can contribute to breathing problems.
Fifth, try to minimize the consumption of dairy. For many people, dairy can cause a thickening of phlegm that leads to coughing and hard breathing. Dairy can also cause digestive problems while deterring people from exercise.
Sixth, watch out for caffeine. Don't load up on several cups of morning coffee. Also, watch out for soda, energy drinks or several kinds of chocolate candy.
Seventh, fried foods are not your friends. Deep-fried foods are more likely to cause both gas and indigestion, so stick with foods that are baked or grilled.
Eighth, don't use too much spice. Seasoning can be a great thing, but too much spice can cause gas, indigestion, bloating and discomfort. These feelings can also make sleeping more difficult.
If you've been diagnosed with COPD, talk to your doctor to learn more about how your dietary decisions can affect your treatment.