6 Foods People with Asthma Should Avoid

Eating foods rich in magnesium and other nutrients can help keep asthma patients healthy.
6 Foods People with Asthma Should Avoid

Last update: 01 October, 2020

People with asthma should avoid several foods in order not to affect their health or decrease their well-being. To help these patients out, we analyze them below.

We should note that the list of foods we’ll discuss constitutes a guideline, not a norm. Therefore, you shouldn’t substitute it for what your doctor may indicate in consultation.

People with asthma should follow general and specific guidelines. In this sense, you must remember that, depending on various factors, the indications may vary from one case to another, since not all patients are the same.

Foods people with asthma should avoid

Although food isn’t the only way to control asthma, it’s clear that diet plays a key role in the daily life of asthma patients. In this sense, experts have observed that, by limiting the intake of certain foods and following a healthy diet, it’s possible to increase (and maintain) your well-being.

Here are the foods that people with asthma should avoid in general. Take note!

Saturated fats

Fried foods are not good for people with asthma

Sources of saturated fats are at the top of the list people with asthma should avoid. According to Mayo Clinic, it worsens the symptoms of asthma. This is because the immune system responds negatively when you consume them.

Saturated fats are in ultra-processed foods, pastries, red meat, and fried foods, as well as many industrial products.

You can opt for other types of fats. Wxperts recommend you eat omega-3 fatty acids. Just some of the foods you can find them are oily fish, flax seed, and walnuts. Lean protein sources are also a good choice for people with asthma. Skim milk, chicken breast, and legumes are some examples.

When you go shopping, check the labels to find foods that contain little or no saturated fats. Likewise, start steaming, baking, or grilling your foods instead of frying them.

Whole dairy products

Whole milk are high in fats. You should moderate your consumption to avoid worsening your asthma symptoms.

Just choose your dairy products intelligently. Instead of getting whole milk, pick up nonfat products and try substitutes once in a while. Have you tried almond milk or potato cheese, by any chance?

People often eat a lot of dairy products without realizing it, since it’s in all kinds of recipes and daily foods: creamy soups, stuffed pasta dishes, ice cream, lattes, smoothies, butter, etc.

As if that weren’t enough, the consistency and texture of milk products increase mucus production, and therefore increase congestion. This makes it hard to breathe freely during an asthma attack.

Red meat

We again come back to talking about saturated fats, because red meats are rich in them. While there are exceptions, like lamb, which is relatively lean, asthma is worsened by the saturated fats in beef and pork.

According to a study from the Nutrition journal, people who eat a lot of red meat are also more likely to develop asthma. Therefore, you should minimize its consumption (once a week, for example) and choose healthier options like chicken, turkey, or fish.

Citrus fruits and tomatoes

People with asthma should avoid citrus fruits

People with asthma should avoid citrus fruits and tomatoes. Both contain a lot of nutrients and fiber, which benefit your health, but they also have some components that can worsen asthma symptoms.

You don’t have to stop eating them overnight, but at least make an effort to lower your consumption. However, to know exactly what you must do, you should consult a doctor.

Salty foods

Excess sodium triggers kidney problems, obesity, and leg swelling. It can also have a negative impact on people with asthma, since sodium intake increases your immune response and can set off your symptoms.

Use little salt on your meals and avoid processed foods, like canned or instant soup, french fries, and other snacks. Don’t even keep the salt shaker on the table, and be sure to read the packaging of things you buy at the store because many contain “hidden sodium” (even sweets contain salt).

Trans fats

They’re formed by a process where hydrogen is incorporated into vegetable oil. They’re very harmful and increase your risk of cardiac diseases and diabetes, while possibly aggravating asthma symptoms.

Avoid all foods with trans fat, including margarine, fried foods from restaurants, and partially hydrogenated oils. These fats are also present in cookies and commercial baked goods, cakes, and cake mixes.

Instead, choose foods with “good fats” like (organic) olive or canola oil, flax seed, and nuts like almonds or walnuts. This may not only help reduce the severity of your asthma symptoms, but also protect you from many other illnesses.

This article may interest you: Consumption Habits that Lead to Obesity

Magnesium vs. asthma

Sources of magnesium.

We shouldn’t forget to mention magnesium-rich foods when we’re talking about good diet for people with asthma. This mineral is essential for relaxing your muscles and promoting respiratory system health. Magnesium is an anti-inflammatory and bronchodilatory.

You can find it in several foods, such as oats, wheat germ, evening primrose oil, dried fruits (pistachios, walnuts), seeds, legumes, and, of course, in various fruits and vegetables.

Doubts? Consult your doctor

Eating healthy is an excellent way to provide your body with everything it needs to stay healthy over time. Therefore, you shouldn’t only try to follow a diet according to your individual needs but also know what you should avoid, depending on your health, to avoid affecting your well-being.

Remember that, in case you have doubts about how to eat a balanced diet depending on your needs, consult your doctor and follow their recommendations. Additionally, you can consult a nutritionist.

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