A healthy diet is a critical component in supporting the health of all people, including people living with interstitial lung disease (ILD). A healthy diet may help maintain a healthy weight and keep up energy levels. Being overweight may put extra pressure on the lungs and make it harder to breathe. Being underweight may lead to weakening of the muscles involved in breathing. People with ILD can often have a lack of appetite; however, it is important to still try to eat regularly and healthfully.
Speak with your healthcare team about any nutrition, digestion, or weight concerns or if you are unable to prepare your meals.
Simple Tips that May Help Improve Your Nutrition When Living with ILD
It’s important to work with your healthcare provider to find a nutrition plan that is appropriate for you. The tips below may also help:
- Try to focus your diet around foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and fish, and low-fat dairy
- Avoid a diet that’s high in saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars
- Try to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water
- Consider eating six to eight small dishes each day to avoid getting too full, which can make breathing more difficult
- Consider working with a registered dietitian who can assist you in managing your diet
Your healthcare team may be able to put you in contact with a registered dietitian, who can help you build an effective nutritional plan to support your health while living with ILD.
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*Lungs&You® does not provide medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider if you have specific questions about your health.