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Living with COPD

Eat well

A person uses a great deal of energy in the simple act of breathing. If your body is working too hard to breathe and you haven't been eating well, you'll get tired quickly. You'll have little energy left for chores. By eating well, you can enjoy a higher energy level, better lung function and ability to exercise, and a healthier weight.

Eating well means following Canada's Guide To Healthy Eating. No one food or food group contains all the nutrients a person needs. A person gets them all from enjoying a variety of foods. Choosing at least three of the four food groups at each meal and complementing the diet with healthy snacks will ensure a person is eating well.

General guidelines for healthy eating
  • Enjoy a variety of foods.
  • Emphasize cereals, breads, other grain products, vegetables and fruits.
  • Choose low-fat dairy products, lean meats and foods prepared with little or no fat.
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight by enjoying regular physical activity and healthy eating.
  • Limit salt, alcohol and caffeine.
If you get short of breath at mealtimes, you can:
  • eat small frequent meals throughout the day instead of three big meals
  • rest before eating
  • eat slowly and chew foods well
  • breathe evenly when chewing
  • take plenty of time to eat
  • reduce or avoid troublesome foods
If you don't have much of an appetite:
  • choose foods that will maximize calories in a small volume
  • don't dink fluids until after you're eaten
  • buy convenience foods or liquid meal preparations