When you have COPD, your body burns many more calories due to increased work of breathing. While much is made of the need to lose weight, we forget about those who are losing too much weight, muscle mass and strength. About 1 in 4 people with COPD are underweight, and this makes it more likely that their immune system won’t work properly. Eating more protein and getting more calories from nutrient-rich foods are good ways to prevent excessive weight loss. Here are some tips:
- Eat healthy fats. Because of the way fats are digested, they don’t tax the respiratory system like other foods can. Toss a salad in olive oil instead of having plain steamed veggies.
- Eggs and lean meats are full of protein. Eggs are easy to cook, which is a big benefit for those who find that cooking takes too much energy. Marinate a lean cut of meat in a vinaigrette and make a stir fry cooking with oil.
- Dairy can add calories and calcium to your diet. Add a slice of cheese to pastas, casseroles and sandwiches or add mixed powdered milk into recipes. Don’t go overboard.
- Nuts are a concentrated source of healthy fats. They add calories and have antioxidants (to fight inflammation). Toss into salads or make your own favorite snack by adding some dried fruit to a handful.
- Dessert? You Bet! Enjoy eating, even if it is a struggle at times, by allowing yourself to indulge in sweets you love. Cakes and ice cream are usually made with eggs and/or milk so you’ll be getting added protein and fats. Make sure to balance these treats with more healthful food, though.
- Milkshakes and smoothies can be a good choice as a supplement to your meals, but make sure they have protein, fiber and fat. You can find these already prepared and canned for a quick snack during the day. Look here for recipes- http://theindianspot.com/healthy-weight-gain/