Cystic fibrosis - nutritional considerations

If you have cystic fibrosis, it's important to eat specific foods and take the right supplements. Let's talk about cystic fibrosis diet.

So, why is your diet important?
Cystic fibrosis is a disease that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in your lungs and digestive tract. You need to eat high-calorie, high-protein foods throughout the day to maintain a normal weight because your disease makes it hard to get enough calories from the foods you eat.

How do you get the right diet?
First of all, you'll need to take a good multivitamin. Make sure it contains vitamins A, D, E, and K. You'll probably need to take pancreatic enzymes, too. These enzymes help your body absorb fat and protein.

A good practice is to eat whenever you are hungry. This probably means you'll need to eat several small meals a day. Keep a variety of nutritious snacks around. Try to snack on something every hour, like cheese and crackers, muffins, or trail mix. Make an effort to eat regularly, even if it's only a few bites. Nutritional supplement milkshakes are good to keep on hand.

Here's a recommended diet for someone with cystic fibrosis:
Add grated cheese to your meals. Drink whole milk. Use enriched milk in cooking. Eat peanut butter. Put it on bread, use it for a dip, and cook with it. Put a teaspoon of butter on hot foods. Dab sour cream or yogurt on vegetables. Eat breaded meat, chicken, and fish.

If you get the right balance of extra protein, fat, and calories, and take the right supplements, you can lead a much healthier life.

Cystic fibrosis - nutritional considerations

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 10/25/2011
  • Alan Greene, MD, Author and Practicing Pediatrician; also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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