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6 Foods COPD Patients Should Skip

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an inflammatory lung disease. With symptoms like cough, excess mucus production, wheezing, and breathing difficulties, it causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. If a person is diagnosed with the condition, they may require dietary changes such as eating or avoiding select foods. So, here’s a list of six worst foods a person with COPD must avoid.

6 worst foods for COPD patients

1. Carbonated beverages
Carbonated beverages are rich in sugar and carbonation, while they are hollow where calories are concerned. Consuming such beverages can lead to an increase in weight and even bloating. It may not feel like much at the time, but the increased gas and bloating will amplify pressure on the lungs, leading to severe health conditions. Carbonated beverages can also cause dehydration.

2. Acidic foods and drinks
There is a ring of muscle, forming a valve, at the end of the esophagus. If this valve does not seal properly after food passes through it, acid from the stomach can move into the esophagus. It causes heartburn, which, if constant, can result in acid reflux. People with acid reflux are susceptible to increased exposure to lung diseases. Therefore, avoiding acidic foods and drinks like citrus foods, fruit juices, coffees, and spicy foods is another way to control COPD complications.

3. Dairy products
Milk is highly nutritious and has an abundance of calcium. However, it also contains casomorphin, a property of milk that can increase mucus in the intestines. During a flare-up, an individual with lung disease will notice an increase in mucus. While the research isn’t too clear, scientists have added casomorphin to respiratory cells to stimulate mucus production.

4. Cold cuts
Among other worst foods for COPD, cold cuts like bacon, ham, sausages, among others, often form part of a person’s daily diet. But, they contain additives known as nitrates, which help increase their shelf life. A study shows that such nitrates also aggravate the risk of hospital readmissions for someone who is affected by COPD.

5. Excessive salt
Salt adds the necessary flavor to foods, and a little bit of it is fine. But a person who consumes excess salt may be susceptible to health problems. That’s because the staple causes people to retain water in their bodies, eventually leading to breathing problems. One can always resort to substitutes like herbs and spices in the food instead of salt.

6. Fried foods
Fried foods are the main cause of several health problems, including diseases linked to COPD. They contain unhealthy fats, which can raise cholesterol levels, which, in turn, increases the risk for heart diseases. Consuming excessive fried foods can also result in weight gain, which will increase the pressure on the lungs. The increased pressure on the diaphragm can then lead to severe lung diseases.

Avoiding these foods is vital for those with COPD. However, it is recommended to speak to a doctor or a dietitian before making any changes to the diet.