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COPD-Friendly Foods You’ll Enjoy

12 Apr 2016
| Under COPD, Diet and Nutrition, Lifestyle | Posted by | 27 Comments
COPD-Friendly Foods You'll Enjoy

COPD-Friendly Foods You’ll Enjoy

For people with chronic lung disease, finding nutritious foods can be challenging and discouraging. Many people want to enjoy eating their favorite foods while following their specific diets, avoiding options which could trigger symptom flare-ups. To aid in healthier lung function, we previously discussed foods you might want to avoid, but fear not — we have compiled a list of COPD-friendly foods you’ll enjoy.

Cold Cuts

Companies such as Boar’s Head and Applegate Natural and Organic Meat don’t add nitrites or nitrates to their meats, so their products are healthier options than typical cold cuts. Both offer a variety of choices and are sold in most grocery stores, including Publix and Walmart.


While it is fine to use a small pinch of salt when you cook, eating too much salt could be a problem. However, you can season your food with a variety of herbs and spices, such as oregano, rosemary, basil, parsley, garlic, cayenne, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. They are easy to find in grocery stores, and they add great flavor to meals.

Dairy Products

For many people, dairy products are staple foods. Who doesn’t enjoy a grilled cheese, a glass of milk with a cookie, or a delicious lasagna? However, for many people, cheese and dairy products can make them sick or exacerbate symptoms.

For milk alternatives, you could try almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, or soy milk, all of which are available at local grocery stores. Brands such as Rice Dream, Almond Breeze, So Delicious and Silk offer tasty milk alternatives.

If you are craving some creamy, melty cheese, you can find dairy-free cheese at most local grocery stores and health food stores, such as Walmart and Whole Foods. Daiya offers a variety of cheese alternatives and pre-packaged meals, including slices, shreds, blocks, cream cheese style spreads, pizzas, cheesecake style desserts, and an alternative mac & cheese. Go Veggie also offers cheese alternatives with options such as grated toppings, blocks, shreds, and cream cheese-style spreads.


While cruciferous vegetables can cause gas and bloating, you can eat other veggies instead. Some of these easy to find foods include spinach, bell peppers, potatoes, carrots, and green beans.

Fried Foods

Fried foods can also cause gas and bloating, which can make breathing difficult. Perhaps you really enjoy eating fried foods, what can you do? Here are some options: try coating your chicken in flour or breadcrumbs and baking it in the oven or cut a potato into wedges, sprinkle with olive oil, lightly coat with herbs and spices, and bake it in the oven. Voila!


Water is the best choice for hydration, but sometimes you might want a little flavor. Instead of reaching for the sugary, carbonated drinks, try naturally-flavored water. You can easily infuse your water with fruit for flavor. Your lungs will thank you. Check out some recipes here.

With so many great alternatives, you can hopefully enjoy your favorite foods again. Remember that it’s important to ask your doctor before changing your diet. Healthy eating habits and trying alternative foods along with treatments such as stem cell therapy could improve your quality of life.

If you or a loved one has a progressive lung disease and want to learn more about treatment options, contact us or call (800) 729-3065.


  1. Lung Institute

    4 weeks ago


    Thank you for your comment and question. Any lifestyle changes, such as diet or giving up smoking, will have a benefit and make a difference no matter when you start this. That’s not to say the changes will be dramatic, but they will help the fight against COPD.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell therapy, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  2. coleen e kowalsk

    4 weeks ago

    At the age of 49 and in stage 4 COPD, will a new diet make much of a difference?

  3. Lung Institute

    6 months ago


    Thank you for contacting the Lung Institute. It is hard to say if COPD will progress to other stages. You are certainly doing the right thing to try and limit the progression.

    I would suggest you contact one of our patient coordinators and discuss with them. whether you might be a candidate for stem cell therapy. The patient coordinator telephone number is (855) 313-1149. We wish you the very best and look forward to speaking with you.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. Barbara Solomon

    6 months ago

    If you have COPD in the first stage and you take care of yourself. Go to your doctor, eat healthy, exercise and get the right amount of sleep will this disease still go to the next stage? Thank you, Barbara

  5. Tammy

    1 year ago

    Please consider getting tested for alpha 1 defficiency if you have copd and never smoked…test is free…trying to spread awareness

  6. Mary Lou

    1 year ago

    I am 85 and was diagnosed with COPD several years ago. I am well aware of the side affects of medication and was taking increased amounts until I started going to a naturalist Doctor. I was using more and more meds, nebs, , Symbicort, and albuterol inhalers . I was still having severe coughing sessions. My doctor put me on natural products and now two years later I go several days without coughing and only occasionally use nebs or inhalers. You have no idea how blessed I feel.

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  10. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Melissa,

    First and foremost, we extend our deepest sympathies to you and your family during this time. We’re so sorry to hear that your father is going this. Thank you for sharing your story with us. We wish you and your family the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  11. Melissa

    2 years ago

    My dad is in respiratory failure in the hospital right now and was diagnosed with COPD quite a few years ago. He is 75.We are begging for peace right now. I find little to no information on the hallucinations he’s having from the lack of oxygen and the doctors give him a death sentence one day, and then the next, he’s alert and seems relatively normal. Every bit of information I can find about respiratory failure is “wishy-washy” to say the least -vague, general. We know and have been told he isn’t going home. His CO2 level is at over 60%, even with constant oxygen through the BiPAP. Oxygen level was at 58% on Tuesday when he was readmitted and in the last two days, he’s become a shell of himself. This is horrible. He doesn’t know where he is half the time and yesterday wouldn’t even look at or talk to my mom — not like him at all. He’s mean, he tried to bite a nurse yesterday while she was attempting to get his mask (BiPAP) back on and he refused treatment yesterday at one point. He even signed a DNR yesterday morning. ..In reading the comments, I feel that I needed to share my story, although it may be very tough to read. COPD sucks. If you are diagnosed, take the diagnosis seriously. Please. Listen to the doctor, do what they say and know that I’m not saying this is a death sentence for all -but in this case, with my dad, it is. so, I shared. God bless.

  12. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Sonia,

    We’re sorry to hear that you’ve been going through such a difficult time with COPD. Because your doctor knows you and your health, it’s important to discuss your questions and concerns with him or her. He or she can discuss COPD stages with you as well as give you a recommendation for a pulmonologist in your area. In the meantime, feel free to read more about COPD stages here. Also, we would be happy to answer any questions you have regarding stem cell therapy, so feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  13. Sonia Hofmann

    2 years ago

    I had no idea the seriousness of my COPD….nor that it coulld be fatal..my quality of life now was becoming fustrating…dressing..reaching, using my arms..walking very short distances..I am on 2% oxygen while sleeping..have been lax using inhalers..not a very good patient until tjis last hospitalization….and reading this post..I am 77 and quit snoking 22 years ago…I am wondering what stage I possibly am in..I have emphysema also….what should I expect….I am trying to obtain an with a Pulmonary Dr in this area, I recently moved to..any thoughts?

  14. Janet m

    2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been diagnosed with copd and never smoked. I’ve been diagnosed after 35 years of smoking and I’m taking the meds , doing oxygen therapy but most of all I’m praying for healing. I believe if you have faith God will heal you. He never intended on His children getting sick. So embrace Him and ask for your healing only He can heal us. Doctors treat us but He heals. I’m a registered nurse who hasn’t given up on my faith, family or work. So don’t you either you have every right to be upset so fight for your life.

  15. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Denise,

    Unfortunately, at this time, Medicare and insurance companies do not cover treatment. It is typically a long process to get any new treatment covered. However, we are hopeful that treatment will be covered in the future. We would be happy to answer your questions and discuss stem cell treatment options with you one-on-one. Please contact us today by calling (855) 313-1149 to speak with one of our patient coordinators. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  16. Denise

    2 years ago

    I like a lot of people have Medicare and stem cell therapy is not covered.I also have affinity health plan with it I have copd,would be interested in it.

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  20. Cameron Kennerly

    2 years ago

    Hello David,

    Although stem cell therapy is not currently covered by insurance companies, we encourage you to reach out to one of our patient coordinators at (855) 313-1149 for more information on treatment, costs and alternative funding options. Their wealth of knowledge on the subject should be helpful in answering any and all questions.

    Happy Holidays David and we look forward to hearing from you,

    The Lung Institute

  21. David Nelson

    2 years ago

    I am interested in the stem cell program, but like a lot of people, it’s more than I can afford! Is there some kind of low interest financing or will this be an approved treatment under medicare? I would think with the large amt. of people with COPD, there would be better help, more programs, and more concern!!!!!!!!

  22. Carolyn Dunning

    2 years ago

    would be helpful for people to know that if they were a “preemie” baby that as they age, lung problems develop even if they never smoked. Happened to me and now that I am 74 am experiencing problems.

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  24. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Mary,

    Thank you for your comment and for sharing some of your story. We are sorry to hear that you and your husband are going through such a difficult time. Even though it can be frustrating, staying in contact with your doctors is important. However, you can learn more about the Lung Institute and possible treatment options by reading about stem cell basics. For more information and to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149.

    We wish you and your husband the best, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  25. mary

    2 years ago

    I try to read and study all I can about copd.my husband has stage four and I am trying my best to keep him going.he is really depressed and seems like he wants to give up.my self I feel that the drs.are not really doing much.Yes they have him on meds for the copd.but his visits are far apart. and if we call the drs office to ask if they can see him.they tell us have to make appointment. or go to er if to bad.and if he goes to Dr they want to vent him.then the drs.come in and act like that they are so mad because he’s on vent.well why did they not see him to start with. worn out,stressed out.

  26. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Aimee,

    We are sorry to hear you’re going through such a difficult time. COPD is a progressive form of lung disease, and it ranges from mild to severe. It can restrict airflow into and out of the lungs, making breathing difficult. While it can be difficult to do, finding the right doctor, right treatment plan, and right support system is important. Sometimes talking with a mental health professional can help with learning ways to cope. You can read some of our blog posts for more information, such as Staying Positive with Lung Disease. Please feel free to contact us at 1-855-313-1149 to speak privately and in more detail with one of our patient coordinators.

    We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  27. Aimee Chance

    2 years ago

    I’m so depressed, I feel like I want to die but I have to live for my kids..I NEVER smoked and thought I took good care of myself but I’ve been diagnosed with COPD. My doctor hasn’t told me NOW O’NEAL thing about copd, what it is, what kind I have, or how to take care of myself now..I’m looking for new doctor. .I’m really confused on what I’m supposed to do to live a better life.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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