Skip to Content

7 Day COPD Diet Meal Plan (PDF & Menu)

If you have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the likelihood is that you need to improve your diet.

Although diet cannot cure COPD, it can help reduce and manage infections that cause hospitalizations by controlling weight and preserving strength.

This article will cover everything you need to know about following a COPD diet plan and give you a sample 7 day plan to follow that contains daily meals and a shopping list.

You can jump straight into the 7 day pdf of the plan here.

View 7 Day COPD Diet Plan

Nutritional Guidelines for a COPD Diet

As well as eating a generally balanced diet, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Eat Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates contain long chins of sugar molecules that take longer for your body to break down. This means energy is released more slowly.

This is important as it means you don’t get sugar spikes. Eating foods that spike your blood sugar can cause health concerns and contribute to being overweight.

Complex carbohydrates are also high in fiber, which can help blood sugar management and improve digestive function.

Fiber may also delay stomach emptying, make the stomach expand and promote the release of satiety hormones (12). These factors can help with weight loss.

Complex carbohydrate foods include:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and lentils

Eat More Healthy Fats

Include unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

Studies show that they may reduce your risk of heart disease, especially when replacing saturated fats (3456).

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, are particularly healthy. 

Healthy fats to consume include:

  • Olive oil
  • Fatty fish like salmon and tuna
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocados

Eat Protein-Rich Foods

Lean, high-quality protein sources are important for a range of factors. Many studies also show that eating good amounts of protein can help increase muscle mass and strength (78).

This is particularly important in people suffering with COPD as the disease can result in a loss of muscle and fat mass due to a complex process called pulmonary cachexia

Lean protein sources include poultry, fish, legumes, beans and eggs. These foods contain less saturated fat compared to red meats.

Eating more saturated fat can raise cholesterol. Higher levels of cholesterol are linked with conditions like heart disease, which is why it is generally recommended to lower your intake or consume healthy unsaturated fats instead.

Potassium-rich foods

Potassium is important in lung function and potassium deficiencies can cause issues with breathing.

Many foods are high in potassium, including:

  • Avocados
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Watermelon
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Butternut squash
  • Dried apricots
  • Beets
  • Fish

Can a Low Carb Diet Help COPD?

In general, how nutrition can be used to manage lung disease has not been well-researched.

However, we recommended reading this article on how low carb diets can affect a range of factors influencing COPD, such as inflammation, high blood glucose asthma.

Quoting from that article,

Numerous studies have documented the effects of low carb diets improving lung function in patients with lung disease, both in acute and chronic disease states. In addition, the anti-inflammatory and glucose-lowering effects of eating low carbohydrate diets have been well-documented. This could translate into fewer bacterial infections in the lungs, fewer exacerbations, and improved outcomes.

For patients with limited ventilatory reserve, even a small improvement in lung function may be clinically relevant.

What’s the Best Diet for COPD?

This diet plan will combine both the Mediterranean diet and its researched benefits with the benefits of a lower carbohydrate plan. This will still include plenty of complex carbohydrates.

Many experts recommend choosing a Mediterranean diet to follow both because of how healthy it is and how sustainable it is to follow over the long-term. US News ranked it as the number 1 diet.

Many credible organizations suggest following a Mediterranean diet for longevity and health. These include:

Many studies find very positive feedback from people following the Mediterranean diet across a number of different health markers. We’ve listed some studies alongside the health conditions below.

  • Lower risk of cardiovascular events, coronary heart disease,  (910)
  • Lower risk of coronary heart disease (1112)
  • Lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (13)
  • Lower risk of breast cancer (14)
  • Lower risk of obesity (15)
  • Better cognitive function (16)

Foods to Eat on a COPD Diet

These follow similar foods found in the Mediterranean diet. The bulk of your diet should consist of the following:

  • Fruits – such as apples, avocados and berries
  • Vegetables – particularly cruciferous vegtables and leafy greens
  • Whole grains – such as whole grain bread, brown rice and oatmeal
  • Nuts and seeds – such as almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds
  • Legumes – such as beans and chickpeas
  • Fatty fish – fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel
  • Low-fat dairy – such as milk and yogurt
  • Lean proteins – such as poultry, fish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – for cooking

Foods to Limit on a COPD Diet

  • Junk foods: fast food and potato chips
  • Refined carbohydrates: white bread, pasta, crackers, flour tortillas, biscuits
  • Fried foods: french fries, donuts, fried meats
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, tea with added sugar, sports drinks
  • Processed meats: bacon, canned meat, salami, sausages
  • Trans fats: vegetable oil and margarine

7 Day COPD Diet Meal Plan

In the meal plan are recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

BreakfastLunchDinner
MondayBasil & Spinach ScrambleMixed Bean Salad Salmon Harrisa Yogurt
TuesdaySardines on ToastPanzanella SaladGreek Salad Omelette
WednesdayBerry SmoothieTomato & Watermelon SaladGrilled Aubergine Slices with Hummus
ThursdayBasil & Spinach ScrambleGreek SaladChicken & Peach Fusion
FridaySardines on ToastCarrot, Orange & Avocado SaladSpicy Tomato Baked Eggs
SaturdayBerry SmoothieTomato & Feta OmeletteMoussaka
SundayBasil & Spinach ScrambleMoussaka (leftovers)Chicken & Avocado Salad

Snacks are recommended between meal times. Some great snacks include:

  • A handful of nuts or seeds
  • A piece of fruit
  • Carrots or baby carrots
  • Berries or grapes

View 7 Day COPD Diet Plan

Day 1: Monday

Breakfast: Basil & Spinach ScrambleBasil and Spinach Scramble

Nutrition

  • Calories – 294
  • Protein – 16g
  • Carbs – 8g
  • Fat – 24g

Prep & cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • 60ml milk
  • handful basil, chopped
  • 200g baby spinach
  • black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the tomatoes. While they are cooking, beat the eggs in a jug and add the milk, black pepper, and basil.
  2. Remove the tomatoes from the pan and place on the plates. Add the oil, spinach and egg mixture to the pan, stirring occasionally until the eggs scramble. Once set, add to the plates and serve.

Lunch: Mixed Bean Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 240
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 22g
  • Fat – 12g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 145g jar artichoke heart in oil
  • ½ tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 200g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 150g pack tomatoes, quartered
  • Handful Kalamata black olives
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Drain the jar of artichokes, reserving 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add the oil, sun-dried tomato paste and vinegar and stir until smooth. Season to taste.
  2. Chop the artichokes and tip into a bowl. Add the cannellini beans, tomatoes, olives, spring onions and half of the feta cheese. Stir in the artichoke oil mixture and tip into a serving bowl. Crumble over the remaining feta cheese, then serve.

Dinner: Salmon Harissa Yogurt

Nutrition

  • Calories – 485
  • Protein – 48g
  • Carbs – 34g
  • Fat – 12g

Prep & cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 50g couscous
  • 2 tbsp sultanas
  • small bunch coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus a pinch
  • 200ml hot vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 170g Greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill. Put the couscous, sultanas, most of the coriander, 1 tsp cinnamon & seasoning into a bowl. Pour over hot vegetable stock and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Mix together cinnamon, honey & oil. Put salmon on a baking tray, spread over the honey mixture and season. Cook under grill for 8 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, swirl together the harissa and yogurt. Fluff up the couscous with a fork and serve with the fish and yogurt. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander.

View 7 Day COPD Diet Plan

Day 2: Tuesday

Breakfast: Sardines on Toast

Nutrition

  • Calories – 269
  • Protein – 15g
  • Carbs – 22g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep & cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, chopped and deseeded
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 x 120g cans of sardines in olive oil
  • 2 slices of brown bread
  • small bunch of parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, cook onions for a few minutes before adding the garlic, red chilli and lemon zest.
  2. Add sardines and heat for a few minutes until warm.
  3. Toast the bread. Add parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice to the sardines. Divide between toast before serving.

Lunch: Panzanella Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 452
  • Protein – 6g
  • Carbs – 37g
  • Fat – 25g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 400g tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado, stoned, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 slices of brown bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • small handful basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Chop the tomatoes and put them in a bowl. Season well and add the garlic, capers, avocado and onion. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, tear the bread into chunks and place in a bowl. Drizzle over half of the olive oil and half of the vinegar. When ready to serve, scatter tomatoes and basil leaves and drizzle with remaining oil and vinegar. Stir before serving.

Dinner: Greek Salad OmeletteGreek Salad Omelette

Nutrition

  • Calories – 369
  • Protein – 15g
  • Carbs – 10g
  • Fat – 21g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 4 eggs
  • handful of parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 100g cherry tomato,
  • handful black olives
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill to high. Whisk the eggs in a bowl with the chopped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat the oil in a frying pan, then fry the onion over a high heat for about 4 minutes until they start to brown. Add the tomatoes and olives and cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium & add the eggs, cooking them for about 2 minutes, stirring until they begin to set. Add feta, then place the pan under the grill for 5-6 minutes until the omelette is golden. Cut into wedges and serve.

View 7 Day COPD Diet Plan

Day 3: Wednesday

Breakfast: Berry Smoothie

Nutrition

  • Calories – 207
  • Protein – 15g
  • Carbs – 27g
  • Fat – 4g

Prep & cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 250g frozen berries
  • 250g Greek yogurt
  • 50ml milk
  • 15g porridge oats
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)

Instructions

  1. Whizz berries, yogurt and milk together until smooth. Stir through porridge oats and pour into glasses. Serve with a drizzle of honey.

Lunch: Tomato and Watermelon SaladWatermelon & Tomato Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 177
  • Protein – 5g
  • Carbs – 13g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep time + cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 120g tomatoes, chopped
  • 250g watermelon, cut into chunks
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. For the dressing, Mix the oil, vinegar, chilli flakes and mint and then season.
  2. Put the tomatoes and watermelon into a bowl. Pour over the dressing, add the feta, then serve.

Dinner: Grilled Aubergine Slices with Hummus

Nutrition

  • Calories – 552
  • Protein – 17g
  • Carbs – 49g
  • Fat – 37g

Prep & cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 slices brown bread
  • 150g hummus
  • 50g walnuts, toasted
  • 40g parsley, leaves chopped
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • juice ½ lemon

Instructions

  1. Lay aubergine on baking sheet. Add olive oil, then season. Grill for 15 minutes, turning twice until cooked through. Whiz bread into crumbs.
  2. Spread hummus on aubergine slices. Tip breadcrumbs onto a plate, then press the hummus side of the aubergine into the crumbs to coat. Grill again, crumbside up, for 3 minutes. until golden.
  3. Add walnuts, parsley & tomatoes in a bowl, season, then add lemon juice. Serve with salad.

View 7 Day COPD Diet Plan

Day 4: Thursday

Breakfast: Basil and Spinach Scramble

Lunch: Greek Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 273
  • Protein – 6g
  • Carbs – 14g
  • Fat – 24g

Prep & cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 120g tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded, then roughly chopped
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 16 Kalamata olives
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and lightly season.
  2. Serve with wholemeal bread (optional)

Dinner: Chicken & Peach Fusion

Nutrition

  • Calories – 384
  • Protein – 26g
  • Carbs – 20g
  • Fat – 22g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 200g chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 ripe peaches, stoned and cut into quarters
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tbsp clear honey
  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped
  • 55g bag herb salad
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled
  • Broccoli/green beans to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat a frying pan. Place the chicken in ½ tbsp of oil, and season. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Add to a plate.
  2. Place peach slices in ½ tbsp oil with black pepper. Grill for 1-2 minutes each side.
  3. Mix the remaining olive oil, vinegar, honey and chilli. Toss with the salad leaves. Arrange the chicken with the peach slices on top and scatter with feta before serving.

View 7 Day COPD Diet Plan

Day 5: Friday

Breakfast: Sardines on Toast

Lunch: Carrot, Orange & Avocado

Nutrition

  • Calories – 177
  • Protein – 5g
  • Carbs – 13g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep time + cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 orange, plus zest and juice of 1
  • 2 carrots, halved lengthways and sliced with a peeler
  • 35g bag rocket (arugula)
  • 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cut the segments from 1 of the oranges and put in a bowl with the carrots, rocket and avocado. Whisk together the orange juice, zest and oil. Toss through the salad, and season.

Dinner: Spicy Tomato Baked Eggs

Nutrition

  • Calories – 417
  • Protein – 19g
  • Carbs – 45g
  • Fat – 17g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded & chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • small bunch coriander, stalks and leaves chopped separately
  • 800g can cherry tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • brown bread, to serve

View 7 Day COPD Diet Plan

Day 6: Saturday

Breakfast: Berry Smoothie

Lunch: Tomato & Feta Omelette

Nutrition

  • Calories – 320
  • Protein – 19g
  • Carbs – 21g
  • Fat – 20g

Prep & cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled
  • mixed salad leaves, to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the eggs and cook, swirling them occasionally. After a few minutes, scatter the feta and tomatoes. Cook for another minute before serving.

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan with a lid, then cook the onions, chili, garlic and coriander stalks for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, then simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Using the back of a large spoon, make 4 dips in the sauce, then crack an egg into each one. Put a lid on the pan, then cook over a low heat for 6-8 mins, until the eggs are done to your liking. Scatter with the coriander leaves and serve with bread.

Dinner: Moussaka

Nutrition

  • Calories – 457
  • Protein – 36g
  • Carbs – 18g
  • Fat – 24g

Prep time + cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 aubergine
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g pack feta cheese, crumbled
  • Fresh mint
  • Brown bread, to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add the mince and fry for 3-4 minutes until browned.
  2. Tip the tomatoes into the pan and stir in the tomato purée and cinnamon, then season. Leave the mince to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the aubergine half way through.
  3. Sprinkle the feta and dried mint over the mince. Serve with toasted bread.

View 7 Day COPD Diet Plan

Day 7: Sunday

Breakfast: Basil and Spinach Scramble

Lunch: Moussaka (leftovers)

Dinner: Chicken & Avocado Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories -396
  • Protein – 31g
  • Carbs – 15g
  • Fat – 26g

Prep time + cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 2 skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tsp olive oil (1 for the salad)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 120g tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Heat grill to medium. Rub the chicken with 1 tsp of the olive oil and the paprika. Cook for 4-5 minutes each side until lightly charred and cooked through.
  2. Mix the salad ingredients together, season and add the rest of the oil. Thickly slice the chicken and serve with the salad.

COPD Diet Shopping List

This shopping list corresponds exactly to the 7-day COPD diet plan, serving 2 people. No snacks are included.

7 Day Low Carb Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

Get the full PDF of the meal plan and shopping list here.

View 7 Day COPD Diet Plan

Life after the meal plan

Find more recipes on our site

Your journey doesn’t end after 7 days of healthy Mediterranean low carb recipes. It’s about finding recipes that can become staples in your household and creating eating habits that actually last.

We’ve got plenty of recipes online already. Just use the search function on our home page if you’re looking for a specific ingredient or check out our recipe page. Start stacking out your kitchen and you’ll have a routine you can follow in no time.

Disclosure

We would like to take a moment to note that this post is for information purposes only. It does not claim to provide medical advice or to be able to treat any medical condition. It makes no claims in respect to weight loss, either in terms of the amount or rate at which weight loss could be achieved. If you have any concerns regarding your health please contact your medical practitioner before making changes.