Peanuts, shellfish and dairy are just a few common food allergies that may trigger asthma attacks, but in addition to watching out for the foods they eat, people with food allergies should also be mindful of the oils they cook their foods in.
Researchers from Northwestern University found that gamma-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E, is linked to reduced lung function and a higher incidence of lung disease in the U.S. These gamma-tocopherols can be found in soybean (vegetable), corn and canola oils.
“Considering the rate of affected people we found in this study, there could be 4.5 million individuals in the U.S. with reduced lung function as a result of their high gamma-tocopherol consumption,” said Joan Cook-Mills, the study’s lead author, in a press statement.
On the other hand, alpha-tocopherol – the “good” vitamin E – lessens lung inflammation says Joan Cook-Mills, the study’s lead author.
“People in countries that consume olive and sunflower oil have the lowest rate of asthma and those that consume soybean, corn and canola oil have the highest rate of asthma,” Cook-Mills said.
“When people consume alpha-tocopherol, which is rich in olive oil and sunflower oil, their lung function is better.”
For your cooking and baking try using more olive, safflower and sunflower oils and help yourself breathe a little easier.