There has been much talk in the press about metabolic conditions increasing the risk of severe symptoms of Covid 19 and leading to the most severe clinical outcomes.
So what are metabolic conditions?
The main 2 metabolic conditions are diabetes and high blood pressure (which can lead to heart disease) and both conditions are related to chronic inflammation. People living with these conditions (but by no means all) may also be overweight and excess body fat can compromise our immune system, stopping it from working effectively. These 2 factors create the prefect storm, putting many at higher risk. You may think this does not affect you, but many people are living with early stages or low levels of these conditions and do not even realise it.
The major contributing factor to developing metabolic conditions, which lead to this perfect storm, is DIET, yes lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking, exercise, sleep and stress all play a part, but diet has the biggest impact.
The good news is that a change in Diet can reduce and even reverse these conditions and the factors leading to the STORM.
Here are my 5 top tips to reduce the risk of metabolic conditions:
- SWAP white refined carbohydrates to low glycaemic carbohydrates – here we are talking about swapping white for brown, eg brown rice, brown bread, whole wheat pasta etc. These are full of fibre and slow the release of sugars into the blood stream helping to stabilise blood sugars and the insulin response.
- SWAP refined sugar laden foods to naturally sweet fruits and vegetables and limited unrefined sugars eg coconut sugar or yacon syrup – these are more nutrient dense and also have less impact on our blood sugars and insulin response.
- SWAP shop bought processed foods to home cooked meals – many of the ingredients in process foods can have a toxic, damaging effect on the body over time which leads to inflammation. Meals cooked from scratch are more nourishing and freer from the damaging added ingredients in processed foods.
- Increase fruits and vegetables in a range of colours – they are full of micro nutrients eg vitamins and minerals, but even more importantly, plant compounds or phytochemicals that are full of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which help combat the damage free radicals cause which lead to chronic inflammation.
- Balance your plate – making sure you have a good source of quality protein, low glycaemic carbohydrates (which may come from root vegetables), leafy greens and healthy fats at each meal will ensure you stabilise your blood sugars and provide the body with everything it needs.
Along with these top tips I must also mention the importance of hydration. Every cell in the body needs fluid and our water intake helps to keep this in balance. It also helps us to digest, absorb and utilise our food and nutrients effectively.
So following some of these top tips will help ensure your diet is not causing destruction!