Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us

May 2024

7 Tips for Good Nutrition with COPD

By regularly practicing certain eating habits, you can improve your breathing, gain more energy, maintain your weight, and help fight off infections. Here are seven essential tips for eating well and feeling better with COPD:

1. Eat a variety of foods each day. Try to eat from these food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, and protein. Many of these foods are also high in fiber, which helps move food through your digestive tract. Avoid foods such as sweets and chips that provide little nutritional value.

2. Eat 4 to 6 smaller meals each day instead of 3 larger ones. Smaller meals help the diaphragm move freely, which makes breathing easier. If you find that you’re too tired to eat late in the day, eat more food in the morning. Try to sit up straight when eating to reduce the pressure on your lungs.

3. Limit salt intake. Eating too much salt can cause swelling, which may increase blood pressure. This can lead to reduced blood flow to the lungs. Instead of salt, use herbs or spices to flavor your food.

4. Drink plenty of fluids. Having enough water every day can benefit your health in many ways. Adequate fluid intake helps your body remove waste and keeps mucus thin and easier to cough up. Talk with your provider about how much water you should drink.

5. Avoid foods that cause bloating. They may make breathing more difficult. Limit your intake of things that affect you. This may include carbonated beverages, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bran, and dairy products.

6. Monitor your weight. Being underweight or overweight can cause health complications. Ask your healthcare provider what weight is right for you. Your provider or dietitian may recommend a specific diet. If you find that you’re either gaining or losing weight while you’re following this diet, talk with your provider.

7. Eat slower. Take smaller bites and chew your food slowly. Try putting your utensils down between bites to practice deep breathing exercises.

Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your current eating routine.



Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals, MPH, BSN, RN
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2023
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Contact Our Health Professionals
Follow Us
The health content and information on this site is made possible through the generous support of the Haspel Education Fund.
StayWell Disclaimer