Not just what you breathe, what you eat may also put you at risk of developing respiratory diseases. A recent study has found that consumption of burgers, oily and fried food, salted snacks, dry fruits and nuts may be associated with asthma.
The study asked 125 healthy individuals and asthmatics each were questioned about their food habits in a questionnaire with 80 food items under 12 food categories.
The consumption of fast foods – burger, pizza and toast – more than three times a week was significantly higher among asthmatics. So was the consumption of salted snacks (like potato chips, namkeen), fried snacks (like samosa, pakora), nuts and dry fruits (like almonds, cashew).
“The change from traditional to modern diet means that we are now consuming more preserved food, salt, refined sugar and saturated fat and less of fruits, vegetables, milk and dietary fibres. This modification in diet and lifestyle could be the reason for rise in prevalence of asthma, apart from environmental factors,” said Dr Raj Kumar, one of the authors of the paper that was published in Pneumonologia I Alergologia Polska.
Higher saturated fatty acids, trans-fatty acids, sodium, carbohydrates, sugar and preservatives in fried and junk food could be the reason there is a correlation between asthma and such food items, the study says.
“These food items are also known to lead to weight gain and obesity, which is a known risk factor for developing asthma,” said Dr Raj Kumar.
Other studies have already established an association of such food items with severe symptoms of wheeze, rhinitis and eczema.
On the other hand, the researchers found that consumption of non-vegetarian foods like egg, mutton fish, chicken and beef more than three times a week was high among the healthy individual. So was the consumption of cereals, milk, milk products, non-vegetarian food, fruits and fruit juices.