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What Not to Eat if You Have Asthma

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Ask a Doctor

I have had asthma for years, and recently I decided I’m going to take a more active role in my health. I’ve been working on losing weight and giving up bad habits, but I want to make sure I can avoid as much medication as possible. Are there diet tips for people with asthma? What foods should I avoid with asthma?

Doctor’s Response

There is no specific diet that will reduce or eliminate asthma symptoms. However, in some people, certain foods, food additives, or preservatives can be asthma triggers. Those people should avoid the foods that trigger their asthma symptoms.

Sulfites are a common food additive that can cause asthma attacks and allergic reactions in some people. Sulfites may be found in wine, potatoes (packaged), shrimp, dried fruits or vegetables, beer, pickle products, corn syrup, gelatin, canned vegetables, trail mixes, and instant teas.

If you have asthma food triggers, eat fresh, whole foods and read package labels carefully.

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Reviewed on 4/9/2019
Sources: References