Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common lung condition that develops over a long period of time in seniors. Although this health condition is not curable, aging adults can make certain dietary and lifestyle changes to keep its symptoms from progressing. Birmingham senior care experts discuss 5 senior-friendly meals and their impact on COPD symptoms.
1. Good: Whole Grains
Carbohydrates strain the lungs and force the body to produce additional carbon dioxide. Seniors with COPD and a high-calorie diet should eat whole grains to cut their carbs without reducing their total caloric intake. Quinoa, millet, and bulgur are all easy-to-cook, nutrient-dense grains.
2. Bad: Cured Meats
Even healthy adults should keep cured meat intake to a minimum. This type of meat contains nitrates to help preserve color and flavor. In larger doses, nitrates can cause the airways to inflame and make breathing more difficult. Aging adults with COPD should limit their intake of sausages, hot links, hot dogs, and deli meats.
3. Good: Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are an extremely important part of a senior’s diet. Instead of saturated fats from animal products, your loved one should try consuming monounsaturated fats from sources such as avocados, olive oil, and fish. This particular type of fat can reduce the risk of heart disease, boost blood lipid profile, and reduce cholesterol levels in the elderly.
4. Bad: Salty Foods
The occasional dash of salt in food should not be a problem, but consuming too much salt forces the body to retain water. When the body stores water, it can exacerbate many of the most common side effects of COPD. As an alternative to salting your loved one’s food, you can experiment with different herbs and spices.
5. Good: Beans
Beans are an excellent source of protein and contain a large amount of zinc. A recent study conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center found that zinc might help enhance COPD symptoms. If you decide to cook canned beans for your loved one, make sure to rinse them off to remove some of the sodium.
Family caregivers looking for healthy and nutritious diets for their loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our care services include grocery shopping and healthy meal preparation for seniors, and our team works around the clock to boost senior health and wellbeing. To learn more about our high-quality live-in, respite, Alzheimer’s, and dementia care, Birmingham families can call us at 616-243-0835.