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COPD: Keeping Your Diet Healthy


Table of Contents


Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.   COPD: Keeping Your Diet Healthy

If you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may have little appetite or feel too tired to prepare and eat meals. But eating regularly and eating healthy foods is important because food:

You can take simple steps to be sure you eat healthy foods on a regular basis. But because people with COPD often have other health problems that may restrict the foods they can eat, always talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian before making changes in your diet.

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  What effect does COPD have on eating?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Why is it important to eat regularly and eat healthy foods if you have COPD?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Tips for eating with COPD
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Where to go from here

What? - What is the medical information or key concepts related to the action?  What effect does COPD have on eating?

COPD may make eating more difficult, especially if you:

Test Your Knowledge

  1. COPD does not affect your eating habits.

    1. True

      This answer is incorrect.

      COPD affects your eating habits in many ways. You may not have the energy to prepare or cook meals, or you may have no interest in food, take medicines that reduce your appetite, or find it difficult to eat because you are short of breath.

    2. False

      This answer is correct.

      COPD affects your eating habits in many ways. You may not have the energy to prepare or cook meals, or you may have no interest in food, take medicines that reduce your appetite, or find it difficult to eat because you are short of breath.


Why? - Why the action is important?  Why is it important to eat regularly and eat healthy foods if you have COPD?

If you have COPD, eating regularly and eating healthy foods is important because:

Test Your Knowledge

  1. Eating regularly and eating healthy foods can help prevent lung infections in people who have COPD.

    1. True

      This answer is correct.

      Eating healthy foods regularly keeps your immune system strong. A healthy immune system makes it easier to avoid and fight infections.

    2. False

      This answer is incorrect.

      Eating healthy foods regularly keeps your immune system strong. A healthy immune system makes it easier to avoid and fight infections.


How? - Learn the steps involved in taking action.  Tips for eating with COPD

People with COPD often have trouble preparing foods and eating. The following tips can make eating easier and help you get necessary nutrition. But if you have other health problems that may restrict the foods you can eat, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian before making changes in your diet.

Make eating easier

Avoid shortness of breath while eating

Eat healthy foods

Test Your Knowledge

  1. If you have COPD, what you eat is not as important as how much you eat.

    1. True

      This answer is incorrect.

      If you have COPD, you need to eat enough food and make good food choices. Some foods may make it more difficult to breathe because they produce gas and bloat the abdomen. Other foods, such as candy bars or soft drinks, can fill you up without providing good nutrition.

    2. False

      This answer is correct.

      If you have COPD, you need to eat enough food and make good food choices. Some foods may make it more difficult to breathe because they produce gas and bloat the abdomen. Other foods, such as candy bars or soft drinks, can fill you up without providing good nutrition.


Where? - Other resources and organizations that can help you take action.  Where to go from here

If you have COPD and are worried about your weight, see your doctor or a registered dietitian. He or she can help you plan a healthful diet.

If you are eating regularly and are losing weight, see your doctor.

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition. COPD: Avoiding Weight Loss

For more information about healthy eating and nutrition, see the topics:

Credits for COPD: Keeping Your Diet Healthy

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
Last Revised February 19, 2013

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