Foods to Avoid If You Have COPD

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and it’s the term used by those who are in the medical world to refer to various respiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

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Just like what the name says, COPD tends to stay around for a lifetime — there’s no available cure for it although there are medications, treatments and lifestyle and dietary changes that can help slow down the progression or keep the various unfavorable symptoms from worsening.

This article will focus on the dietary changes recommended for individuals who are battling COPD, in particular foods that they should considerably limit or totally avoid.

So if you are suffering from COPD or it is a family member or close friend of yours who is dealing with it, read on. Below you will come across some of the foods that should be avoided if COPD is around.

Processed Meats

Various processed meats such as bacon, ham, salami, pastrami, corned beef, sausages and hot dogs contain sodium nitrite, which is added to these products in order to extend their shelf lives.

According to health authorities, the said preservative can in fact worsen COPD symptoms and the respiratory issue itself.

Besides, it’s not just the aggravation of COPD that sodium nitrite can cause but so many other health-related concerns, too, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Salty Foods

Here’s one more very good reason why various processed meats are bad for anyone who is diagnosed with COPD: commonly, they are packed with sodium.

We all know that a diet that’s high in sodium can cause the body to retain a lot of water.

Being bloated is one of the few things that should be avoided at all costs by those who are suffering from COPD as it is something that can leave them having a really difficult time breathing.

Fried or Greasy Foods

Everyone is well-aware of the fact that foods that are fried or greasy are contraindicated for those who are battling acid reflux, obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

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Did you know that they are also bad for those who are suffering from COPD?

The stomach has a difficult time digesting anything that’s loaded with fat or grease, and this can lead to the formation of excess gas — having lots of gas in the stomach can apply unnecessary pressure on the lungs.

Cruciferous Vegetables

It’s no secret that cruciferous vegetables are very good at neutralizing poisonous substances in the gut and also fending off many different types of cancer.

Unfortunately, they are also notorious for causing a lot of intestinal gas — consuming them can lead to bloating.

Needless to say, anyone who has COPD should considerably minimize their consumption of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, radish and turnip although they are so good for the body.

Dairy Food Products

Even though they are excellent sources of muscle-building protein and bone-strengthening calcium, various dairy products are bad for people who are diagnosed with COPD.

That’s because dairy products can cause the intestines to produce lots of mucus, which is something that can cause bloating.

Milk, cheese, butter, buttermilk, ice cream and even gut-friendly yogurt should be avoided by someone with COPD in order to keep shortness of breath at bay.


Because it is carbonated, soda can cause the stomach to expand uncontrollably especially if it’s consumed excessively. It goes without saying that this can make it even more difficult for someone with COPD to breathe.

Soda also contains sugar, artificial colorings, flavorings and other ingredients that can trigger inflammation.

Experts highly recommend sticking to plenty of water especially for those who are battling asthma and chronic bronchitis. Sadly, sparkling water does not count as it’s carbonated.

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