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Coping With COPD: Following the Recommended Nutritional Guidelines

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one way patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients can take control of their health. By following the recommended guidelines provided in the food pyramid, patients can get the most nutrition out of the calories they eat, including the nutrients the body needs to perform, maintain wellness and fight disease.

These guidelines recommend that you:

·         Make fruits, vegetables and whole grains the foundation of meals

·         Eat plenty of calcium-rich foods

·         Limit your intake of saturated and trans fat, with total fat intake kept moderate

·         Restrict consumption of sugar and salt

·         Eat moderate portions

·         Consume alcohol in moderation

In addition to providing your body with the nutrients it needs to operate at optimal levels, following recommended nutritional guidelines can also reduce your risk of obesity—a problem that may worsen symptoms related to COPD.  An overabundance of fat tissue impairs the breathing process. Increased body mass index (BMI) is also associated with a number of other respiratory problems, including a reduction in various pulmonary functions. Obesity in COPD patients is also related to a decrease in both exercise tolerance and quality of life.

Maintaining a healthy weight can provide significant, symptomatic improvements. By following the recommended nutritional guidelines and participating in moderate activity as permitted by your doctors, your body will be well-equipped to promote health, reduce stress and take control of your COPD.

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