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Eating sausages and ham has a negative impact on asthma
Our diet often affects our health. For this reason, poor nutrition can trigger or exacerbate illnesses. Researchers have now found that consuming processed meat appears to worsen symptoms of asthma.
Scientists at Paul Brousse Hospital found in an investigation that consuming sausage, salami, and ham leads to worsening symptoms of asthma. The doctors published their results in the journal "BMJ Thorax".
Four servings of processed meat a week affect the symptoms of asthma
If you consume more than four servings of processed meat a week, this increases your risk of asthma, the experts explain. For the study, the scientists examined almost 1,000 subjects from France.
The preservative nitrite appears to trigger the increased risk of asthma
The researchers suspect that a preservative in the processed meat leads to an increased risk of asthma. This substance, called nitrite, is found in sausages, salami and ham, for example. However, the connection has not yet been fully checked and further investigations are necessary, say the experts. Processed meat has previously been linked to the development of cancer.
Do not consume more than 70 grams of processed red meat a day
Instead of worrying about the type of food, people should simply eat a healthy and varied diet, the scientists explain. The doctors advise that people should not eat more than 70 grams of red and processed meat a day.
Doctors observed the participants over a period of ten years
The French study on food and health spanned the period from 2003 to 2013. About half of the study participants suffered from asthma. The rest of the controls had no history of asthma. The experts examined typical asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath and wheezing, associated with the ingestion of cured meat.
Biggest negative effects on consumers of four servings of meat per week
If people have already had asthma, increasing meat consumption will worsen lung symptoms, the experts say. The greatest deterioration was seen in people who eat more than four servings of processed meat a week. This corresponds to about eight slices of ham or four sausages.
Many factors in a person's life affect the risk of asthma
In their study, the experts emphasized that the investigation could not prove whether the cause of the deterioration was definitely due to the diet. There are also many other factors in a person's life that can worsen the symptoms of asthma. The researchers tried to take into account the most obvious factors, such as obesity, but the link between processed meat and worsening asthma persisted.
Proper nutrition to relieve asthma symptoms
Although certain foods can trigger allergies in some people, there is no specific nutritional advice to manage asthma symptoms, the doctors explain. For most people with asthma, advice on healthy eating is similar to that of everyone else. Those affected must absolutely follow a balanced diet and this should contain a lot of fresh and unprocessed food as well as little sugar, salt and saturated fatty acids, the researchers emphasize. (as)