Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Nutrition and COPD: What You Need to Know (Part 2)

Posted on: March 30th, 2015 by BrevardBlogger No Comments

Nutrition and COPD Part 2

Nutrition and COPD: What You Need to Know (Part 2)


In part one of this two-part blog post, we discussed the importance of good nutritional choices for people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Solid dietary habits can help these individuals maintain good energy levels and ideal weights, which can both aid in comfortable, efficient breathing.

Today in our blog post, Brevard Medical Equipment offers suggestions on foods to include and avoid in your diet, along with some nutritional tips that you might never have heard!

Tip #1: Control the sodium (salt) in your diet. High sodium intake can cause the body to retain too much water, which often makes breathing more difficult and uncomfortable. Here are some tips for reducing your sodium levels:

  • Remove the salt shaker from your table, and don’t add salt to foods when cooking.
  • Instead, try flavoring foods with herbs, spices, or salt-free seasoning blends.
  • Check food labels! Avoid foods that have more than 300 mg of sodium per serving.
  • Ask your doctor before using salt substitutes. Often, they contain ingredients that can be just as harmful as salt.


Tip #2: Include high-fiber foods in your diet. Fiber helps to move food along the digestive tract and control blood glucose levels, which can both affect your energy level. Some high-fiber ideas:

  • Vegetables and fruits
  • Legumes, which include dried peas, peanuts, alfalfa, and beans
  • Whole-grain foods, such as rolled oats, whole-wheat bread, brown rice pasta, and barley


Tip #3: Avoid overeating, and limit foods that have been linked with gas or bloating. Both conditions can make breathing uncomfortable. Such foods include:

  • Carbonated beverages, such as soda and sparkling water
  • Fried, greasy, or very spicy foods
  • Surprisingly, some produce is on this list, too! Examples are apples, avocados, melons, beans, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, and soybeans.


Finally, some interesting nutritional tips you might never have heard:

  • Always try to eat while sitting up – this will help take pressure off of your lungs and make meals more comfortable.
  • Try having five to six smaller meals a day, instead of the traditional three larger meals. Smaller meals don’t require your stomach to expand as much, reserving plenty of space for your lungs to expand and contract.
  • Try drinking your beverages after you’re finished eating. Drinking before or during a meal can make you feel full or bloated, which makes breathing uncomfortable.
  • Talk to your doctor before drinking alcohol. In addition to having no nutritional value, alcohol can slow your breathing and make it difficult to cough up mucus when necessary.


These tips are intended to provide information, but they are not meant to take the place of a doctor-supervised eating plan. Please talk with your doctor and/or nutritionist to create food guidelines specific to your condition and situation.


Thanks for letting Brevard Medical Equipment share these tips with you! And, as always, if we can be of any assistance, give our medical equipment experts a call at 321-453-3370. We’d be happy to chat with you.