Processed meat is once again in the spotlight as experts now believe that eating just four ham sandwiches a week could DOUBLE the risk of an asthma attack.
A study of nearly 1,000 adults found that a regular intake of processed meats like ham, bacon or sausages can worsen the condition as they are rich in nitrates that can inflame the airways.
And people who ate four portions a week – like those who have ham sandwiches for lunch – were 76% more like to suffer worsening asthma symptoms compared to those who ate less, according to the results.
The study of 971 adults, led by Paul Brousse Hospital and published in the journal Thorax, was conducted over a period of at least six years.
It found that half of those who suffered from asthma at the start and ate at least four portions of processed meat a week had seen no change in symptoms – with one in five people saying their symptoms had worsened.
Conversely, around one in four said their symptoms had improved over the same period.
Those with worsening symptoms was least in those eating one or less portion of meat every week.
Other factors like smoking, age and levels of exercise made people more like to suffer worsening conditions when combined with regular processed meat consumption.
While the results were not definitive proof that processed meat could damage health the study did conclude that it could be a possibility.
It stated: “This research extends the deleterious effect of cured meat on health, and the effect of diet on asthma in adults.”
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