Many chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients also suffer from muscle wasting, known as atrophy. While exercise is the best way to conserve muscle mass, it’s critical that patients get enough of the basic muscle building blocks in their diet. After all, you can’t build something from nothing.
The minimum daily protein intake should be 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. For a 150 pound person, this equals about 102 gram of protein a day. Of course, medical providers may use a different formula depending on individual cases, and their advice should always be followed.
Protein is the primary component of muscle tissue and is readily available in a variety of different foods. Some of the best are listed below.
Low Fat Dairy
Dairy products contain milk proteins that lead to strong muscles. Moreover, they provide essential vitamin D. Just be certain to choose low fat varieties. Cheese, 2% milk, cottage cheese, salad dressings, and yogurt are all great choices.
When baked or grilled, never fried, chicken is a healthy source of protein. The skinless kind avoids bad fats and still tastes great. For extra variety, try combining it with a grilled vegetable medley and add a little cumin for seasoning.
The fat in fatty fish is actually very healthy. The omega fatty acids provided by fish such as tuna, salmon, and sardines are essential for cardiovascular and nervous system health. When baked or grilled with a little olive oil, these fish make for a healthy protein source. Lemon juice and cilantro almost always go great with fatty fish and add extra flavor.
Despite their reputation, sardines can actually be quite delicious. Try them lightly salted and served with a tomato and cilantro chutney.
These are available conveniently prepackaged and come in a variety of delicious flavors. They are an excellent way to get enough protein and stave off muscle loss. Be certain to choose a brand without much added sugar. Follow the package directions or a physician’s advice as to how many to consume per day.
Nuts are an excellent source of protein and calories. COPD patient can benefit by adding a wide range of nut butters or nut butter mixtures to their diets. Peanut, almond, walnut, cashew, hazelnut, and macadamia nut butters are all excellent options. Try them on whole grain bread or as a spread for a grilled chicken dish.
There are 1,001 ways to prepare eggs and they all provide a high-protein food. For a convenient way of getting the protein without the cholesterol, try prepackaged egg whites or egg substitutes.
Protein powder is an efficient way to increase protein intake by preparing protein shakes or smoothies at home. Protein powder is available in many flavors and is a healthy choice when added to 2% milk. For added protein and a delicious treat, add a tablespoon of peanut butter and half a banana to a home-made protein shake.