Diet plays a crucial role in your health and well-being. That stands truer for people living with conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD has adverse effects on a person’s lungs, weight, and overall health. Patients with COPD need to be aware of their diet and make mindful choices regarding the same. It is equally important to choose right and stay healthy. Here is a list of some common diet mistakes for patients with COPD to be aware of:
- Consumption of foods that cause gas
The accumulation of gas in the stomach and intestines can cause mild to severe discomfort. The feeling, in turn, causes breathing difficulty. Various beans, legumes, vegetables, carbonated beverages, and spicy food cause gas build-up or bloating.
- Consumption of junk
Consuming fried and greasy food is a definitive no-no when it comes to COPD. Packaged and greasy food only adds to the strain to your system, as they can cause indigestion. Moreover, all junk food hardly provides any nutritional benefits and only adds to the empty calories you consume. It is better to avoid such food to the best of your ability and replace it with healthier and wholesome snacking options.
- Portion matters
One of the most common diet mistakes for COPD patients to avoid is to consume large meals. For a COPD patient, eating can be just as exhausting as climbing a flight of stairs. It becomes essential that you break down your meals into small portions to be consumed throughout the day, which helps prevent shortness of breath, maintain weight, and form a steady and constant supply of nutrients to the body.
- Protein power
Protein plays a vital role in the body’s wear and tear. For a COPD patient, consuming an adequate amount of protein is crucial. While dairy is a significant source of protein, it can result in the build-up of phlegm, which is to be avoided in COPD. If it affects your phlegm production and causes difficulty in breathing, you can opt for other protein sources like nut butter and lean meat. It is important to remember that the amount and source of protein have equal importance and can be discussed with your nutritionist.
- Watch the salt
The amount of salt you consume can directly affect your health. The major component of salt is sodium, which is responsible for water retention. Not monitoring salt or sodium intake is a common diet mistake for patients with COPD. The higher the levels of sodium in the bloodstream, the higher is the water retention levels. Therefore, to avoid experiencing breathing difficulties because of it, it is advised to reduce the amount of salt being added to the food. Avoiding packaged and junk food is an easy route to minimize salt consumption. Alternatively, replace the salt you top off your salads and sandwiches with unsalted herbs for some natural flavors.