Weighing the Connection between White Food and Asthma

What color is the food you eat? If you suffer from asthma, it could really matter. That's why researchers stress that asthmatics steer clear of starchy white foods, which may make asthma symptoms worse over time. Although, it's probably not for the reasons you'd expect.

The Weighty Matter of Food and Asthma

When you think of the connection between food and asthma, you probably assume that it's an allergic reaction to foods that can spark breathing problems. While it's true that some additives in certain foods and drinks may worsen symptoms in people particularly sensitive to these types of chemicals, the problem with white food and asthma is of a different nature.

The fact is that white foods are usually high in carbohydrates and low in vitamins and minerals, putting people who eat large quantities of them at risk for having weight issues. Since obesity can be linked to a number of health problems, including the worsening of asthma, it can therefore lead to increased respiratory problems.

The "Asthma Diet"

You may have heard people talk of an "asthma diet," but in fact, doctors point out that there's no set menu of meals that people with asthma can eat to make their condition disappear. However, research has shown that when it comes to food and asthma, following a healthful eating plan can be a good idea. To this end, some experts recommend you exclude from your daily menu any simple carbohydrates, such as white rice, white bread, and white sugar. That's because the body quickly processes these starchy foods, leaving you feeling hungrier and encouraging you to eat more. This increases your likelihood of having a weight problem.

Other foods to avoid include those that are high calories and offer little nutritional value such as sugary drinks, sweets, baked goods, and processed foods.

Does Your Diet Measure Up?

On the other hand, smart foods that you should reach for on a daily basis include brown rice, whole wheat, and other healthy complex carbohydrates. These choices will satisfy you for longer and can help with weight and asthma control. It's also a good idea to keep your refrigerator stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Just remember that while eating right and maintaining a healthy weight can be helpful in managing your asthma, these steps won't make the condition disappear. You'll also need to continue following your asthma action plan, take steps to control your environment, and take your medication as directed.




Mayo Clinic