Foods That Trigger Asthma Symptoms

glasses of a variety of winesBlackDoctor.org) — The sad truth is that some things that taste good to you aren’t good for you.

Obesity, heart conditions and diabetes are just a few negative effects that the foods we love can have on our health, but what about the effects that certain foods can have on those with asthma?

It is a little-known fact that certain foods can trigger asthma symptoms and even attacks. Although there is no conclusive evidence that diet and asthma are related, certain foods are known to activate asthma symptoms because they contain sulfites, a preservative used in certain foods, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Diet Triggers

Some of these trigger foods are:

• Beer
• Dried fruit
• Processed potatoes
• Shrimp
• Wine

In addition to such asthma triggers as sulfites in the diet, food allergies also may increase the risk of asthma attacks, although this is less common. Still, being alert to food allergies and any effects on your asthma is important, as this will allow you to best manage your condition. This is now more important than ever, as experts say food allergies appear to be on the rise, as do the severity of symptoms seen with food allergies. The increase in food allergies can be attributed to various factors, including eating more allergy-inducing foods, such as tree nuts, fish, milk, eggs and soy, eating out more often, and eating more processed food.

In addition to foods containing sulfites, common allergy-causing foods that may interfere with asthma management are:

• Corn
• Eggs
• Fish
• Milk
• Tree nuts
• Peanuts
• Shellfish
• Soy
• Wheat

The only treatment for a food allergy is to avoid the food. But it helps to think about what you can eat instead of what you can’t. The best advice for people who suffer from food allergies is to prepare food yourself and not rely on convenience or prepackaged food. This will also help steer you toward a healthier diet overall, as convenience and packaged items are often high in saturated fat and sugar, and low in vitamins and other nutrients. A well-balanced diet that is rich in fresh and wholesome foods is important to your overall health and to your asthma management as well. And don’t forget to drink enough water.

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9 Hot Tips For Summer Weight Loss

african american women on the beach(BlackDoctor.org) — It’s easy to cover up a few extra pounds with a chunky sweater. But when the temperatures—and the hemlines and shirt sleeves—rise, there’s just nowhere for the pudge to hide. Here are nine things that will help get you into summer shape without you ever having to break a sweat.

1. TURN OFF THE TV AND STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER

Multitasking while you eat means you won’t be as satisfied, a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found. Some of the study’s participants ate while playing computer solitaire, while others ate without distraction. The results? The game-players were worse at remembering what they had eaten—and felt significantly hungrier afterward.

2. DRINK WISELY

At the end of a hot day, it’s easy to down a few frozen margaritas or chilled sangrias just to stay cool. But that’s packing on hundreds of calories. If you want a cocktail, instead try tequila and seltzer on the rocks. When a drink doesn’t take like a Slurpee (we’re looking at you, frozen mango-strawber-rita!) you sip more slowly and take in far fewer calories, says nutritionist Stephen Gullo.

3. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

In a recent study, ten overweight volunteers went on a diet while sleeping 8.5 hours a night for two weeks and just 5.5 hours per night for another couple of weeks. (During the day, their diet and activity levels were exactly the same.) In both cases, the average weight loss was 6.5 pounds, but when the group slept less, they lost less fat (1.3 pounds versus 3 pounds), and felt hungrier.

4. EAT SPICY

Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, speeds metabolism, according to a recent study led by David Heber, a professor of medicine and director of the Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA. Participants received either placebo pills or flavorless capsaicin supplements daily for four weeks. The supplement group burned more fat for several hours after a meal, and they burned about 100 to 200 more calories per day, says Heber. Bonus: Spicy foods may trigger a feeling of fullness sooner than bland foods.

5. PLAN YOUR MEALS

Thinking through exactly what and when you’re going to eat your meals can make you more likely to stick to your diet goals, according to a study in Psychology and Health. In a study designed to encourage healthy eating, all participants ate more fruit for a week, but those who made a concrete plan, wrote it down, and visualized how they were going to carry out the action—when, where, and how they would buy, prepare, and eat fruit—ate twice as much fruit as those who simply tried harder.

6. SHOW SOME SKIN

As it gets warmer, don’t fight the urge to wear a micromini—the short skirt may help prevent you from indulging. “Studies show that women who wear loose-fitting clothes eat more,” says nutritionist Jana Klauer.

7. DON’T LET YOUR SHOES DO THE WORK

Think you can cut your regular mile walk in half because you’re wearing toning MBTs or Skechers? Not so fast. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse found no differences in heart rate, calories burned, or muscle activity when study participants wore them versus regular running shoes on a treadmill.

8. AVOID “DIET” FOODS SWEETENED WITH SUGAR ALCOHOLS

They can cause stomach bloating. (Look for “-ol” endings on ingredients, such as sorbitol.) And it’s not just food; even many sugar-free gums and breath mints contain the culprits.

9. DRINK COFFEE

Studies show that caffeine speeds up metabolism, as do coffee’s polyphenols. (Just remember that you can undo the effects if your coffee is covered in whipped cream and caramel.)