SARS-CoV-2 virus can make blood sugar control worse in the short-term and can throw people with diabetes into a very dangerous blood sugar state, says Dr Heather Moday, a board-certified allergist, immunologist and functional medicine physician. Doctors across the world have noticed that majority patients placed on ventilators, at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, had underlying health conditions like obesity and diabetes.
Moday says patients with diabetes are in a chronic low-grade inflammatory state. It taxes the body’s innate immune system, makes it slower to jump on pathogens when they enter the body. “When it comes to our immune system, what we eat matters a lot. And no ingredients is more detrimental to your immune health than sugar, especially during COVID,” she explained.
Consuming too much sugar in your diet an issue. It kicks off a vicious cycle of insulin resistance and obesity that drives up inflammatory cytokines, damaged blood vessels, and activates the immune system to repair those areas. Moday says this creates a major distraction for the immune system and paves the way for dangerous bacteria and viruses to slip through our body’s defenses.
She highlighted that even if one is not eating donuts, candies, cakes or cookies regularly, having too many simple carbs like bread, pasta, rice, cereal or even certain fruits and juices may be silently driving up their blood sugar. “People often forget or don’t realize that sugar is in ketchup, salad dressings and lattes, as well as in juice, yogurt, cereal and protein bars.”
People can protect their blood sugar health by cutting back on obvious sugars. “This means candy, soda, cake and those seasonal flavored lattes we all love. These food and drinks don’t provide any nutritional value, and they contain massive amounts of sugar,” Moday said. “Opt for dark chocolate, berries or another low-sugar treat. The occasional dessert is fine. But at the beginning, it’s important to get to a place where your blood sugar is stable and healthy.”
The experts highlights sugar as poison and fiber as the antidote. Besides keeping the digestion regular, fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into our bloodstream. Some of the foods that contain high amounts of fiber are black beans, lentils, oats, avocados, pears, buckwheat, barley, flaxseeds and raspberries.
Moday believes its best to choose the right carbs than low-carb. “Eating carbs in the form of vegetables, beans, whole fruits, nuts and seeds. These are all mineral and vitamin-rich foods.”