Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common breathing disorder that can occur in anyone. The tissues in the back of the mouth or tongue create an obstruction while sleeping that causes frequent breathing disturbances. It can cause several complications for your psychological and physical health that can be potentially life-threatening. Many factors can trigger symptoms, like your diet. Here are 4 foods you should avoid if you have sleep apnea.
1. Sugars and Starches
Sugars and starches are bad for your health and waistline. They can cause weight gain, which is a contributing factor to sleep apnea. Obesity and a large neck circumference increase the risk of OSA.
Eating nutritious foods with limited sugars and starches can help you maintain a healthy weight. Besides watching what you eat, exercise regularly to avoid unwanted weight gain.
Moderate or heavy alcohol consumption can increase the occurrence of sleep apnea episodes. Alcohol can also make each disruption last longer, depleting your body of oxygen. Healthcare professionals recommend moderating your alcohol consumption and stop drinking at least 4 hours before bedtime.
3. High-Fat Meats
High-fat meats contribute to obesity. It’s better to eat lean meats, like chicken and turkey.
Bananas are a great source of potassium, magnesium, and many other nutrients, but they can also increase mucus production. It’s best to skip eating bananas too close to bedtime.
Foods That Aid Sleep Apnea
Many foods can aid your sleep apnea symptoms. Here are the best foods to add to your plate to breathe better:
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Low-Fat Dairy Products
- Plant-Based Oils
- Whole Grains
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Treating Sleep Apnea
A healthy diet can improve your sleep apnea symptoms, but it’s not a substitute for treatment. You have multiple options to treat OSA, like:
- CPAP: A CPAP machine delivers gentle air pressure through a mask worn over the mouth or nose to stop breathing disturbances.
- Oral Appliance: An oral appliance is a custom-fit device that moves your tongue and jaw into better positions to prevent obstructions in your airway. It’s a comfortable alternative to a CPAP for patients with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea.
Complying with your treatment plan and practicing a healthy lifestyle can improve your breathing and sleep quality. You can feel your best by making a few easy dietary changes.
About Dr. William C. Poe V
Dr. Poe earned his dental degree from USC Dental School and has pursued advanced training in many specialties, like cosmetic dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry, and sleep apnea. He is a reputable dentist for high-quality care using the latest advancements in dentistry. Dr. Poe is affiliated with several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Request an appointment through his website or call (562) 280-2119.