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THE COVID DIET RISK

A low carb diet restricts sugar and starchy foods, such as sweets, grains, bread and pasta.
If you’re reading this article, you’ve got to be wondering: What possible connection could there be between a low carb diet and COVID-19? When it comes to COVID-19 , metabolic comorbodities are the #1 predictor of outcome to contracting COVID-19.
 
What are these comorbidities or “underlying conditions” that spell disaster for people who test positive for COVID-19?
The #1 risk factor is obesity. Others include:
Diabetes
Heart disease
Chronic kidney disease
Fatty Liver disease (or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)
 
What do they all have in common?
Here’s the answer: Insulin resistance
 
YUP..... sleep is the biggest predictor for obesity and insulin resistance. Getting a solid nights sleepis a HUGE indicator and signal for a healthy metabolism and a healthy immune system. A poor night's sleep can even affect cognitive function the next day! When you look at the profound impact sleep loss can have on all facets of life, it's important to acknowledge that it is a health problem. We know that night shift workers like nurses, janitors, or factory workers are highest risk for diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune conditions.
How to sleep better? Well exercise helps you sleep......AND a simple high protein, moderate fat, low-carb diet will give you more energy! Having more energy and not being sluggish during the day helps us sleep better in the evening. This is because when you have more energy during the day, it prevents your body from going into adrenaline mode just to get through the day. The problem with this is that adrenaline in your body in the evening (and even more if you reach for a sugary afternoon snack when your tired) will prevent your body from sleeping. Its a vicious cycle!
A moderate healthy diet with moderate exercise is exactly how functional medicine practitioners from the Scripps Institute in San Diego to Duke University in Durham* treat insulin resistance when they see it, and they see it constantly. If you are overweight or struggle with weight, make sure to check in with your doctor and get a full health assessement. You may have pre-diabetes and addressing this can also help with weight loss.
 
Were not talking extreme diets or keto diet here, we are talking about getting your insulin and blood sugar numbers down with healthy lifestyle habits. Waiting until the pandemic is in its second wave may not be the right time to do drastic diet changes as that can be added stress on your body and you may not have access to your low carb foods. So NOW is the time to start a stricter diet eliminating refined carbdohydrates and sugars.
 
So let’s do some coronavirus math. Six of the main conditions that put you at risk for dying are significantly benefited by a high-good fat low-carb diet. That’s in the published research.
 
So just to be clear, the very same diet that helps you lose weight, reverse or stall the progression of diabetes, and lower your risk for heart disease is the very same diet that will help you survive a challenge like COVID-19, because it will reduce the likelihood of having the very underlying conditions that spell disaster if you get the virus
 
How a Low Carb Diet supports Your Immune System
A low carb diet supports immunity in at least two ways. Low carb diets can help your body burn fat for energy instead of depending on food. This metabolism produces more energy (in the form of something called Adenosine Triphosphate—ATP—which is the “currency” of energy in the cell and is needed for every action you take, consciously or unconsciously, from blinking your eyes to moonwalking to mounting an immune system defense.
Another reason is less sugar and carbohydrates creates less inflammation and toxic by-products, helping your body run more effeciently and having more nutrients available. 
Those metabolic by-products (like free radicals) cause oxidative damage. We depend on our body’s store of antioxidants to put out the sugar-caused fires. Using the body’s antioxidants to clean up the damage of an unforced error like sugar consumption means you have less antioxidants left to fight off viral invaders and clean-up their damage.
(To understand how the whole country got the fat and sugar thing wrong, stream the excellent documentary Fat Fiction on Amazon.)
 
After all, your immune system exists—like the army—to be mobilized in case of emergency. Like the army, you want the immune system to fight its best fight. Neither army tanks nor human bodies run well on sugar.
Eat fat and you’ll build a metabolism that runs on it.
It’s a great way to get your immune system firing on all cylinders.
Often with insulin resistance we often use up important minerals like zinc and magnesium, essential for many other functions in the brain and immune system.
 
With COVID-19, a seccnd wave most likely is inevitable and some say we are already in it. Without vaccines or proper care, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to lower sugar intake, loose some weight and acheive a BMI of less than 30. Every point you lower yourself, your risk factors from COVID-19 drop 2 times.
 
Technically, any diet with less than 45% of daily calories from carbs could be considered low carb. IF YOU WANT TO LOOSE WEIGHT AND IF YOU ARE INSUIN RESISTANT, capping daily carb intake to 25% of calories or less is ideal. This is equal to 120-150 grams of carbohydrates or fewer on a 2,000 calorie diet
You should also be consuming 20-35 grams of fiber per day.  Fiber will also decrease the effects of sugar and insulin.  
 
How to avoid refined carbs

There are some easy ways to avoid refined carbs.

A person can make healthful decisions, such as eating fruit if they want something sweet and opting to eat brown rice or whole grain bread rather than white rice or bread.

It is also best to avoid adding sugar to food. Adding sugar to food does not boost its nutritional value.

When shopping, a person can check the labels to help them make healthful decisions.

Manufacturers use many different names for refined sugars, so people should check labels for the following ingredients:

For more information please call us about our 30 Day Metabolic Transformations or Beach Diet for support and healthy recipes to get on track! Or try to incorporate the 4 day Diabetic Plan below every week!

Day 1 (1,590 calories, 89 g carbs)
Day 2 (1,591 calories, 85 g carbs)
Day 3 (1,596 calories, 56 g carbs)
Day 4 (1480 calories, 65 g carbs)
 
 
Author
Cynthia Preston, ND

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