A diet plan for people affected by cystic fibrosis is comparatively easier as there are fewer restrictions. The one thing that needs to be monitored is that the diet is balanced in terms of calories, sugar, and unsaturated fat so that it does not go overboard than what is required for the body. However, as one grows older, all the cheese, calories, and sugar might not be ideal as the body goes through changes. Hence, more thought must go into planning a menu that is not only packed with calories, not too heavy on the tummy, and yet packed with the required nutrients.
With new treatment and medication, patients with cystic fibrosis can lead a healthier life. You have to be aware that as you grow older, there could be changes in the functioning of the pancreas and lungs. You are at high risk for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or EPI, where the body does not produce enzymes to digest the food you eat. The right food will help you maintain weight, and fight infections.
Here are some sample menus and foods to help manage cystic fibrosis:
- Cereal of your choice with full cream milk with and fresh fruit juice
- Bread (freshly baked bread from a bakery is always a good option) with nut butters or stuffing of your choice with coffee or milkshake
- Fried sausage, bacon and eggs, and juice
- Scrambled or fried eggs and juice
- Chocolate/zucchini/banana pancakes with nut butter
- French toast
- Oatmeal with full cream milk and fruits
- Baked beans on toast
- Omelet with spinach, mushroom, and onions
- Baked potato with cheese
- Baked beans with eggs (the way you like it)
- Sandwiches with meat/cheese/veggies
- Red rice and curry with vegetables/meat
- Sausage rolls
- Chicken/mushroom /noodle soup
- Cheese lasagna/pasta/baked macaroni and cheese
- Baked fish/chicken
- Spanish omelet
- Salads with chicken/veggies/shrimp/spinach/greens/cheese
- Beef taquitos
- Roast chicken/fish/meat
- Shepherd pie/vegetable/pumpkin pie for dessert
- Meatballs in gravy
- Vegetable/fish rolls
- Bowl of fruit/steamed veggies
- Dry Fruits/nuts/ seeds
- Yogurt with fruit
- Protein bars
- Rice cakes/cheese balls
- Caramelized banana and bread
Points to remember for adults with cystic fibrosis:
- Visit your dietician every time you visit your doctor.
- Restrict your alcohol intake so that it does not interfere with the functioning of your body.
- Aim to have three meals and three snacks. If you feel it is becoming heavy, you can eat smaller meals.
- 85% of adults are pancreatic insufficient where enough digestive enzymes are not produced. They should have supplements before every meal.
- Dehydration is another impact of cystic fibrosis. Drink as many fluids; this will help to keep you hydrated. Avoid fizzy drinks and increase your fiber intake.
- Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes (CFRD) is common and taking insulin injections twice or thrice a day is recommended. Please consult your doctor and your dietician. Do not take random insulin shots or make diet changes at random. This can have drastic consequences.
- Keep your pantry stocked with snacks so that if you are not able to eat or cook a meal for some reason, you can quickly eat suitable snacks. Do not skip a meal.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Keep yourself engaged in physical activity. This will help maintain lung strength. Ensure to you have salted drinks if you sweat too much.
Cystic Fibrosis is more manageable today with a proper diet. The impact can be felt in day-to-day life as one grows older. This can be managed with a positive attitude, by being disciplined, and proper medications.