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Why is it helpful to avoid salt when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

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Salt (sodium) makes your body retain water, which increases swelling. This makes breathing more difficult. To reduce your salt intake, try to:

  • Read food labels and choose foods with fewer than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving.
  • Use no-salt spices.
  • Avoid adding salt while cooking.

From: COPD and Your Diet WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: Cleveland Clinic: "Nutritional Guidelines for People With COPD." American Association for Respiratory Care: "Eating Right: Tips for the COPD Patient." National Institutes of Health: "A Meaty, Salty, Starchy Diet May Impact Chronic Lung Disease." Medscape: "Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Improve Lung Function in COPD." University of Alabama: "Nutrition and COPD."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on November 20, 2017

SOURCES: Cleveland Clinic: "Nutritional Guidelines for People With COPD." American Association for Respiratory Care: "Eating Right: Tips for the COPD Patient." National Institutes of Health: "A Meaty, Salty, Starchy Diet May Impact Chronic Lung Disease." Medscape: "Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Improve Lung Function in COPD." University of Alabama: "Nutrition and COPD."

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on November 20, 2017

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What foods and drinks should you avoid if you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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