What about dairy products?

Some people with lung conditions believe that milk increases mucus production. Scientific studies have not backed up this claim.

Milk can coat the back of the throat and make mucous secretions feel thicker. Rinsing the mouth with water or soda water after milky drinks can help prevent this.

Dairy foods are encouraged as they provide a rich source of calcium. Many people with lung conditions may require long-term steroid medication – this can increase the loss of calcium from the bones. The loss of calcium from the bones increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

To maintain your bone strength and protect against osteoporosis:

  • Ensure that your calcium intake is high (three to four serves of low-fat calcium rich foods each day).
  • Increase your intake of foods that are sources of vitamin D, which helps absorb dietary calcium. Sunlight helps to produce vitamin D in your skin; however, make sure you protect yourself from UV rays during the hottest part of the day. People in southern states may need more sun during winter. Check with your doctor.
  • Limit your intake of salt, caffeine and alcohol as these substances increase calcium excretion.