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Good & Bad Foods for Older Adults with COPD

By , 9:00 am on

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is a medical condition that affects the lungs and makes muscles work harder to ensure breathing. Seniors with COPD should focus on their diet to keep their muscles working. Knowing what to eat and what to avoid can help them follow a COPD-friendly diet. 

Good Foods


Older adults with COPD need to eat more calories and consume more nutrients than the average person. Nuts and nut butters are some of the healthiest foods to meet their caloric needs. As a bonus, they are also packed with good fats to help protect your loved one’s heart. 

Chicken, Eggs, and Fish

Seniors with COPD may face protein deficiency, which can result in a loss of muscle mass. For this reason, many Bloomfield Township home care experts suggest adding eggs, fish, and chicken to a senior’s diet. If your loved one is a vegetarian or vegan, look for protein powders made from products like whey or soy. 

Broths and Non-Creamy Soups

Staying hydrated is important for seniors with COPD. When your loved one is hydrated, it is easier to loosen phlegm and cough up mucus. If your loved one has trouble drinking enough water, broths and non-creamy or non-dairy soups can boost his or her health. Just make sure the broths are not too rich in sodium. 

Bad Foods

Milk and Other Dairy Products 

Dairy products such as milk, ice cream, cheese, and butter can worsen COPD, as they lead to an increase in mucus production. Choose non-dairy alternatives, including almond milk, for your loved one. These alternatives often have as many vitamins and minerals as dairy products. 

Broccoli and Cauliflower 

Broccoli and cauliflower have plenty of nutrients, but they can make your aging loved one feel bloated and gassy. Excessive broccoli and cauliflower can also make breathing difficult for a senior with COPD. Cut back on these veggies and opt for cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, and spinach instead. 

Fried Foods

Fried foods may taste good, but excessive consumption can lead to weight gain as well as gas and bloating. They can also cause heartburn and acid reflux in aging adults with COPD who are already at higher risk for these issues. 

Preparing healthy and nutritious meals is important for keeping seniors healthy. At Home Care Assistance, our senior care plans can include medication reminders, healthy meal preparation, and social stimulation activities to boost physical and cognitive health in seniors and help relieve COPD symptoms. We also provide specialized Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia care for the elderly. To learn about our high-quality Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia caregivers in Bloomfield Township, call us today at 248.283.0835.