Healthy eating for people with COPD

3) Weight loss/ Healthy Eating tips

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If you are trying to achieve a healthy diet and gradual weight loss you may wish to try the following:

  • Try to include protein foods with two meals per day e.g. meat, fish, eggs, beans etc for muscle strength.
  • Starchy carbohydrates should be included with all meals e.g. potatoes, bread, pasta, cereals, rice etc for energy.
  • Limit high energy foods e.g. cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, chips, fried foods, pies which are high in calories giving you a quick fix energy boost and none of the important nutrients you need.
  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, ideally five portions daily. Good source of essential vitamins and minerals to support your immune system. Fresh, tinned, frozen all count.
  • Dairy foods e.g. cheese, yoghurt and milk are encouraged up to three times per day for bone health (which can be affected in COPD due to medications). Try to choose low fat options where possible as lower calorie also.
  • Drink plenty fluids to keep you hydrated. Women should drink about 1.6 litres a day and men 2.0 litres.
    All drinks count, including hot drinks such as tea and coffee, but water, milk and fruit juices are the healthiest. It is best to avoid alcoholic drinks.
    ATry to avoid sugary, soft and fizzy drinks that can be high in added sugars. These can be high in calories and bad for teeth.


To lose weight you need to reduce or restrict the amount of calories in your diet and increase your exercise and activity level. You may need to eat a little more of some things and less of others.