Macronutrients

Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats

These are the major energy sources of food. A perfect balance between these three components is required. Total calories required, should be distributed in following pattern.

  • Carbohydrates-50-65%
  • Proteins-15-20%
  • Fats- 20-30%

Protein intake plays an important role in the management of COPD. The amount of protein required is dependent on specific lung disease, oxygen therapy, medications and the individual’s weight. Sufficient amount of protein i.e. 1.0-1.5 gm/kg body weight is recommended.

Patients of chronic pulmonary disorders are prone to malnutrition due to the following reasons

  • Their appetite is reduced.
  • They are unable to swallow food properly due to persistent cough.

Malnutrition affects the immune system (predisposing to infections), working of lung muscles and electrolyte balance.

Micronutrients

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant and also regulates the immunological reactions (wound healing). The requirement of this vitamin is high for COPD patients (especially smokers).
  • Minerals like Calcium and Potassium are required in sufficient amounts. Good sources of calcium are milk , milk products and vegetables. Potassium can be obtained from fruits, meat, dairy products, pulses and vegetables.