COPD and Nutritional Needs
There are many reasons why people with COPD benefit from a well-balanced, healthy diet. Good nutrition equips the body to fight infection. It gives you energy to breathe efficiently. Your body uses more energy to breathe—and function—than the body of someone who doesn’t have COPD. Eating nutritious foods helps you feel less tired, too.
Even so, the reality is that getting enough calories may be difficult. You may have a poor appetite. Meal planning and cooking may be burdensome. Or, you may simply feel too tired to eat. If you need help staying at an ideal weight or gaining weight, your health care provider and nutritionist may suggest a liquid supplement.
What is a liquid supplement?
This is a drink designed to give your diet a calorie boost. These drinks have a lot of calories and a high percentage of fat and protein.
When should I consume it?
Your provider can tell you how much you should use. He or she may recommend drinking supplements between meals. Don’t replace meals with these drinks. It’s best to get as many of your calories as possible from well-balanced meals. Also, don’t use supplements without first talking with your provider.
How will I choose one?
There are many options available. Different supplements are designed for different purposes, and ingredients differ. It’s not always easy to know which products to use. Some products on the market may actually be harmful, so be sure to choose one recommended by your provider. That will ensure that you use one that’s appropriate for someone who has COPD and for your individual nutritional needs.