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Fall 2010 Volume 6, Issue 2
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Six Tips for Good Nutrition with COPD
By regularly practicing certain eating habits, you can improve your breathing. It will also help you gain more energy, maintain your weight and help fght of respiratory infections. Here are six essential tips for eating well and feeling better with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
1. Eat from these food groups every day: fruits, vegetables, cereals and grains, dairy products and protein. Many of these foods are also high in fber. Fiber helps move food through your digestive tract. Avoid foods such as sweets and chips that don’t provide many nutrients.
2. Eat fve to six small meals each day instead of three large ones. Large meals fll the stomach, crowd the diaphragm and make breathing difcult. Three small meals with light snacks in between will help you get the calories you need and keep up your energy.
3. Limit salt intake. Eating too much salt causes your body to hold extra water and makes it hard to breathe. Instead of salt, use herbs or spices to favor your food.
4. Drink plenty of fuids. Choose cafeine-free drinks. Cafeine acts as a diuretic, something that can make your body get rid of fuids like water. You need to make sure your body has enough fuids, so drink when you’re thirsty. Fluids help the body process food better and keep mucus thin and easier to cough up.
5. Avoid foods that cause bloating. Don’t drink too many carbonated beverages or eat a lot of
fried or heavily spiced foods. Fruits and vegetables, like apples, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage, can also cause bloating.
6. Monitor your weight. Being underweight can leave you weak and tired. Being overweight causes your heart and lungs to work harder, making breathing more difcult. Ask your doctor or dietitian what your goal weight is and how many calories you need each day.
Always consult with your doctor before making any changes to your current eating routine.
Find tasty, low-salt recipes on My Health Zone. It’s FREE to members in HAP’s HealthTrack program. Log in at hap.org and link to Healthy Living . Under Tools and Resources click on My Health Zone. You’ll fnd recipes in the Diet and Nutrition Zone.