One of the staple traditions of the holiday season is joining with friends and family to enjoy a lot of food. Unfortunately, much of the food we like to enjoy during the holidays is loaded with fat, sugar and other ingredients that are bad for your health. What’s worse is that when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), these foods make it more difficult for you to breathe.
Adding to your breathing difficulties when you have COPD is the last thing you need. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to enjoy tasty food during the holidays, though. To help you eat healthy during the holidays, here are some foods to avoid and some foods you should try if you or someone you know has COPD.
3 Holiday Foods to Avoid When You Have COPD
1. Green Bean Casserole — This holiday classic may taste delicious, but it comes with a high caloric cost. It’s also high in sodium and saturated fats, which increase your blood pressure. Higher blood pressure affects your breathing, so you’ll want to stay away from green bean casserole unless it contains low-fat and low-sodium ingredients.
2. Spinach Artichoke Dip — Spinach artichoke dip may sound healthy because it has 2 healthy leafy greens in its name. However, it contains other ingredients that are not so good for your health, namely, mayonnaise and sour cream. Not to mention that 1 of the primary ways people enjoy dip is with salty chips.
If you must have spinach artichoke dip, opt for Greek yogurt as a base instead of mayonnaise and sour cream. Also, use veggies like bell peppers or carrots to dip with.
3. Pecan Pie — This is blasphemy for some, but you really should avoid pecan pie if you have COPD. Its high amount of sugar and fat will have negative effects on your breathing. Instead, try pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie can be made without sugar, and pumpkin itself helps to support your immune system.
3 Holiday Foods to Try When You Have COPD
1. Holiday Mulled Wine — A nice warm cup of spiced wine is an excellent holiday treat. Be sure to use a dry red wine to keep this option as lung-healthy as possible. The spices cinnamon and cloves, which are great for supporting your immune system. Be careful to avoid recipes that are loaded with sugar or honey.
2. Keto Biscuits — It’s easy to go overboard on carbs during the holidays. While temptation is around every corner, it’s important to have a good option that will curb your craving. Keto biscuits are a delicious solution. Made with almond flour and cheese, these biscuits will fill you up and not let you down, unlike the carb-filled version.
3. Salmon With Green Beans and Walnuts — This dish makes an excellent holiday meal with a lovely presentation. Eating fish, like salmon, supports lung health. It contains a good dose of healthy fats, B vitamins, potassium and antioxidants. With the addition of green beans and walnuts, you also get the benefits of the vitamins, minerals and fats from green beans and walnuts. If you double the recipe given here, guests will be sure to be impressed.
Breathe Easier™ With the Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™ from Lung Health Institute
At Lung Health Institute, we want to help you improve your breathing when you have COPD, and we still want you to be able to enjoy delicious food. That’s why we came up with our nutrition-based treatment, the Anti-Inflammatory Initiative (AI2™).
AI2 offers nutritional guidance and other ways you can make changes in your daily life to help reduce inflammation in the lungs and improve your breathing. Would you like to find out how AI2 can help you Breathe Easier?
Contact a Lung Health Institute patient coordinator today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.