Published: Feb. 12, 2010
Updated: June 6, 2012
Diet and nutrition are very important aspects of everyday care after a lung transplant.
Some of the medications that you are taking can cause an increase in your appetite, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or fluid retention. Now that you have had your transplant and your condition has improved, it is important to begin a low-salt, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet -- beneficial for everyone, but essential for you.
Dietary sodium, or salt, can cause you to retain fluid and contributes to high blood pressure. Reducing the amount of sodium in your diet will help to prevent these problems. You should never add salt to food at the table.
Reducing the overall amount of saturated fats and cholesterol in your diet is recommended in order to lower blood cholesterol levels.
Blood cholesterol levels can be lowered if polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable oil, are substituted for saturated fat (butter) in your diet. Even if your cholesterol level is normal, it is recommended that you decrease the fat content and the amount of cholesterol in your diet.
Cholesterol and saturated fats are found in foods that come from animals. It is therefore wise to decrease your intake of foods such as red meat, egg yolks, and high-fat dairy products.
Polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils, should be substituted for saturated fats whenever possible.
Prednisone, one of the medications you will take after your transplant, is often associated with an increase in the level of sugar in your blood. Therefore, it is recommended that you decrease the amount of concentrated sweets and sugars in your diet.
The goal of any good diet is to reach and maintain your ideal body weight. Your dietitian will help you determine your ideal body weight, and will counsel you to help you gain weight if you are underweight, or lose weight if you are overweight.
If you are already at your ideal body weight, a good diet (along with exercise) will help you to maintain it.
Alcohol intake should be limited to a rare cocktail or glass of wine only on special occasions. The medications you are taking will not react well with alcohol.
Avoid the following foods before and after lung transplant to maintain a healthy weight.
The following foods are nutritious foods that will give you the energy you need to sustain your health.