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Are You Eating a Healthy Diet?

2 Mar 2016
| Under Diet and Nutrition, Disease Education, Medical, Tips | Posted by | 16 Comments
Are you eating a healthy diet?

Taking medications according to schedule, getting enough exercise, and following doctor’s orders are imperatives for people with chronic lung disease, but there is another, often overlooked question regarding self-care—Are You Eating a Healthy Diet? It’s possible to think of what we eat as separate from treating lung disease. In fact, diet is as important as any other aspect of treatment.

Why Does a Healthy Diet Matter?

Why Does a Healthy Diet Matter?

Diet can affect breathing. The American Lung Association confirms it. Since the body converts food to energy, it’s best to eat nutritious foods. A balanced diet also helps maintain a healthy weight, which is especially important for people with lung disease. Many people with lung diseases are either overweight or underweight. Extra weight makes all the vital organs work harder, especially the heart and lungs.

The American Lung Association reports that COPD sufferers burn 10 times as many calories from breathing as compared to people with healthy lungs. This is called a hyper-metabolic state, or a state of increased metabolic rate, and it can lead to anorexia and malnutrition. Being overweight forces the heart and lungs to work harder than they should, but being underweight can sap energy and make you feel poorly. The key is balance.

4 Easy Tips for Eating a Healthy Diet

Try Smaller Meals.

Try Smaller Meals

The old standard is three meals per day. However, newer research has shown that eating 4 to 6 small meals per day can be beneficial. Aim for about 300 calories for each of these meals. Regular small meals may also improve breathing, since less food means less pressure on the diaphragm—in other words, less respiratory discomfort.

Aim For Balance.

Aim for Balance

The three main sources of energy from food are carbohydrates, protein and fat. The body metabolizes each of these sources differently. Metabolizing fat produces the least amount of carbon dioxide for the amount of oxygen used. For people seeking easier breathing, a diet lower in carbohydrates and higher in fat can help. But not so fast–think healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, peanut butter and avocado. Diet plans usually have a good mix of these types of foods. Avoid sodium, which contributes to inflammation and higher blood pressure. Incorporate vitamin D, commonly found in fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, and eel, to promote healthy bones.

Add Protein.

Add Protein

There is more to protein than boneless, skinless chicken breast. Protein-rich foods include fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds. Protein plays an essential role in protecting and maintaining the body.

Consult A Professional.

Consult a Professional

Some medicines for lung disease have side effects and may react with nutrients. There is so much advice available on diet that many people don’t know where to begin. We recommend speaking with your pulmonologist, who may recommend a visit to a registered dietician experienced with the dietary needs of lung disease patients. Healthy eating is essential to disease management.

People diagnosed with degenerative lung disease have to be especially aware of their lifestyle choices, including what they eat. Try to get plenty of fruits and vegetables along with high-protein foods such as, fish, eggs, meat and soy. Drinking plenty of water can help thin mucus and phlegm, making it easier to expel by coughing. If you can’t seem to eat enough calories, liquid supplements may help. Of course, talk with your doctor about which foods will be best for you.

Degenerative lung diseases currently can’t be cured, but they can be effectively treated. Early diagnosis and timely treatment are crucial to helping control symptoms of lung disease. There are different treatments available to help, including stem cell therapy. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a chronic lung disease, contact us at the Lung Institute or call (800) 729-3065 to speak with a patient coordinator.




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  5. PB

    3 weeks ago

    Dear Else,

    First and foremost, we’re sorry to hear about the challenges you have been facing with pulmonary effusions. Because your doctor knows you and your health well, it’s very important to talk with you doctor about any changes you are noticing to your overall health, lung health and any new or worsening symptoms. Your doctor will be able to best guide you, and you and your doctor can work together to develop a treatment plan that is right for you. We wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  6. Else Gamboa

    3 weeks ago

    Hi how to use ACV i have a pholmunary effusion on 2014 its already treated but this year 2016 i got cough 2 weeks already im woried bcuz maybe may illness is comingback. Plss. Help me… i dont have money to take to hospital in the second time… thankssss…

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  13. sh

    2 months ago

    Hello Lexy,

    First and foremost, we’d like to thank you for your comment. We’re sorry to hear about your recent health struggles, confusing diagnoses and unfortunate side effects with your prescription medication. Regarding your sputum, if you have any form of excessive build up, we invite you to see our article on clearing the lungs at https://lunginstitute.com/blog/clear-lungs-5-easy-steps/. If you have any other questions, or just want to share your progress, please reach back out to us.

    Thanks again and be well!

    -The Lung Institute

  14. lexy b

    2 months ago

    I went to have my xray and the result is this…THERE IS A MINUTE ROUND OPACITY SUPERIMPOSED ON THE RIGHT 5TH ANTERIOR RIB. REST OF THE LUNGS ARE CLEAR. HEART IS NOT ENLARGED. LUNG VASCULARITY IS NORMAL. LUNG ROOTS,DIAPHRAGM AND CHEST BONES ARE REMARKABLE. TRACHEA IS IN MIDLINE. CONCLUSION: GRANULOMA VS BONE ISLAND. SUGGEST RIGHT LATERAL VIEW FOR FURTHER EVALUATION. My doctor said that I will take my medicines QUADTAB. But upon taking my med something unusual happened to me. I feel tired. nausea, and my eyes turn yellow. she told me to stop my med. she recommended me to take laboratory test for my liver profile and the result is normal. I have my sputum test too if I have tuberculosis but the result is negative. I am so worried what I am going to do. thanks.

  15. sh

    8 months ago

    Hello, Carolyn. Thank you for reading our blog. As always, we recommend consulting your pulmonologist before making any major changes in diet or exercise. Apple cider may help relieve some symptoms, but is obviously not a cure-all. The Lung Institute specializes in providing stem cell therapy for lung disease patients such as yourself. If you’d like to discuss whether you are a candidate for such treatment, please give us a call at (855) 313-1149 to speak with one of our patient coordinators.

    Best Regards,
    The Lung Institute

  16. carolyn hayton

    8 months ago

    i have copd and was diagnosed with it in 2009 since then i have been in the hospital twice cause if it . i try to stay healthy. i have managed to stay out of the hospital for two years. but i have noticed it getting worse because of the shortness of breathe and coughing i would like to try this applr cider vinagar treatment please advise me

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