National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), conducted a study that states that too much of meat, salt and starch predisposes to respiratory problems.
"These are exceptional data on dietary habits," said NIEHS researcher Stephanie London, M.D., lead investigator on the study. "We are fortunate to have access to high quality dietary data from such a large number of participants to address the potential links with respiratory health."
The results appearing online in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine analyzed data to assess the usual dietary intake of 52,325 participants. Although the study was conducted within a Singaporean population, the dietary patterns are reflective of U.S. eating patterns. The study population consisted of men and women of Chinese ethnicity ranging in ages from 45 to 74 at enrollment.
"We were able to identify two distinct food patterns in our population," said Dr. London. "what we refer to as the 'meat-dim sum pattern' and the 'vegetable-fruit-soy pattern.'"
The meat-dim sum pattern contained 31 food items, predominantly pork, chicken, fish, noodle dishes, and preserved foods, as well as 11 snack items. The vegetable-fruit-soy pattern contained 32 foods, including 23 vegetables, 4 fruit items and five soyfood items.
"As researchers, we rarely look at the impact of dietary patterns on health. We typically look at vitamins and specific foods, but not how overall dietary patterns affect non-malignant respiratory diseases or symptoms," said Dr. London. "These data show us the important contribution that diet can have on the development of diseases, such as COPD. Choosing foods with less saturated fat, lower in refined starches and sodium content is probably a good idea."