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A Low-Carb Diet Can Help COPD Sufferers

Following a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), it is common for doctors to refer patients to a registered dietician to help improve eating habits. While a healthy diet cannot cure COPD, it can help stave off chest infections and other illnesses that can lead to hospitalizations. Healthy eating habits can also make people feel better.

Part of healthier eating for COPD sufferers is a diet low in carbohydrates, which can lower the production of carbon dioxide. Studies have shown that people with COPD who follow the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet have lower carbon dioxide output than those who followed a Mediterranean diet. Participants in the study also showed greater improvement in how they were feeling overall than those who ate a diet high in carbs.

Low-carb diets typically include high-protein foods such as grass-fed beef, pastured poultry, eggs and fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, and complex carbohydrates including oats, lentils and skin-on potatoes.

And, because potassium is essential in lung function, it is important to work in foods like avocados, tomatoes, bananas, and oranges. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that keep your body healthy — though some such as apples, apricots and peaches may lead to bloating or gas, which can give way to breathing problems for those with COPD.

It is a good idea to check with your physician before starting a new diet.

Read the full story on COPD nutrition tips.