When the first wave of Covid hit the US, it became clear that the majority of patients on ventilators had a variety of basic conditions. Among them are metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes, both have been Strong growth in the US via The role of the past year.
One question that puzzled people at the start of the pandemic was: Why does diabetes make it harder to fight respiratory viruses?
First, we know that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can make blood sugar control worse in the short term and potentially put people with diabetes into a low sugar state. blood is very dangerous, from research. It does this by binding itself to receptors found on the beta cells of the pancreas, which produce insulin.
As an allergist and immunologist, I often tell my patients that having diabetes means you have low-grade chronic inflammation, which taxes the immune system. the body’s natural fluids and makes it slower to attack pathogens as they enter the body.
When it comes to our immune system, what we eat matters a lot. And no ingredient is more harmful to your immune health than sugar, especially during Covid.
When you have high blood sugar – caused by many factors, but the biggest cause is consuming too much of it in your diet – it starts a vicious cycle of insulin resistance and obesity. increase cytokines that cause inflammation, damage blood vessels, and trigger the immune system to repair those areas.
This creates a great distraction for the immune system and opens the way for dangerous bacteria and viruses to bypass our body’s defenses.
If you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, this sounds like bad news. But it’s not; Type 2 diabetes is not necessarily permanent.
Eliminating excess sugar from your diet can not only help end this cycle, but it can also reverse it completely. Reducing your sugar intake is one of the most effective ways to improve your immune system.
You may be thinking: I’m really not a sweet person, so I don’t need to worry about this!
But even if you don’t eat donuts, candy, cakes, or cookies often, having too many simple carbs like bread, pasta, rice, cereal, or even some fruit and juice can silently raise your blood sugar.
People often forget – or don’t realize – that sugar is in ketchup, salad dressings and coffee drinks, as well as in juices, yogurts, cereals and protein bars.
I’m all about preventative care, especially when it comes to a dangerous disease like diabetes, and recommend that the first step you take in your nutrition journey – regardless of age – is to love Ask your doctor to do it fasting hemogoblin A1c test, even if your fasting blood sugar is normal.
The Hemogoblin A1c test measures average blood sugar levels over the previous three months, so even if your blood sugar is normal on the day you see your doctor, the test can detect underlying problems.
Once you have an idea of where you stand on the blood glucose spectrum, take the steps below for better health:
1. Cut down on sugar obviously.
This means candies, soft drinks, cakes and seasonal flavored lattes we all love. These foods and drinks do not provide any nutritional value and they contain large amounts of sugar.
Instead, choose dark chocolate, berries, or another low-sugar treat. I’m not saying you have to get rid of all sugary foods forever. Desserts are fine once in a while! But in the first place, it’s important that you go where your blood sugar is stable and healthy.
2. Read the label.
Now’s the time to check the added sugar in every item in your pantry – and I mean everything, even those advertised as “low sugar” or “healthy”.
The average American consumes about 17 teaspoons (71 grams) of added sugar per day, but American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and nine teaspoons (36 grams) for men.
Remember we still get our natural sugars from fruits, vegetables and whole grains, so we’re definitely not missing out!
3. Eat plenty of fiber.
If sugar is the poison, then fiber is the antidote. Not only does fiber keep your digestion regular, but it also helps slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, helping to protect you from sugar spikes.
Lack of fiber is another reason sodas, juices and sugary coffee drinks are so detrimental to your health. They contain a lot of sugar and don’t have the same glycemic-protective fiber as fresh, whole plant foods.
Some of my favorite high-fiber foods are black beans and lentils, steel-cut oats, avocados, buckwheat, pears, raspberries, barley, and flaxseeds.
4. Choose nutrients over calories.
Instead of worrying about cutting calories, focus on adding more nutrient-dense foods to your diet, with plenty of protein and healthy fats.
You don’t have to follow a low-carb diet, just choose the “right” carbs. In fact, eating carbs in the form of vegetables, beans, whole fruits, nuts and seeds — all foods rich in minerals and vitamins — is a great way to stave off hunger.
There are several apps to help you track your consumption. I ask all of my patients to record their intake for several days to see how much sugar, fiber, and other nutrients they are actually getting. It is usually very easy to open the eyes.
Dr. Heather Moday is a board-certified allergist, immunologist, and functional medicine physician. She is also the author of “Immune Breakthrough: Your personalized plan to balance your immune system, optimize health, and build lifelong resilience. “Follow her on Instagram @theimmunityMD and Facebook.
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