We’ve all experienced fear and not having a sense of control. With COVID-19, it’s been nearly 2 years of fear of the unknown.
Now that the Christmas and holiday period are fast approaching, we need to ensure that we do everything we can to maintain our health and immune function and keep those near and dear to us safe.
The best protection includes vaccination, minimising infection risk and being proactive with our health and immune function. We’ve heard a lot about the first two but not much media coverage about the importance of good health and a good immune function. This means doing the daily things that make you less vulnerable (more resilient) in case you get infected one day.
Data suggests that co-morbidities (excess weight, excess waistline, metabolic dysfunction, pre-diabetes, diabetes, high-blood pressure, heart disease etc) seem to increase vulnerability to a worse outcome including higher mortality rate from any virus (including the flu).
You can reduce these risks with targeted, healthy lifestyle changes at any age. Sometimes people have these co-morbidities and don’t know as they could be asymptomatic. This means they feel healthy, but aren’t. They are at higher risk but don’t know it.
Is being overweight or obese a risk? Maybe or maybe not! Read news story Can weight loss help protect against Covid-19?
Want to know if your weight is an added risk? Here’s a BMI calculator.
Although some studies have ‘associated’ increased risk from carrying excess weight (especially around the waist), it may not be the excess weight that increases the risk, but the condition that is associated with extra weight – insulin resistance. Even relatively slim people can have insulin resistance. It’s also called pre-diabetes as it can lead to diabetes.
Insulin resistance is closely correlated with having a waistline that’s over 50% of your height. Divide your height by 2. Now measure your waist. If your waist is greater than half your height, you may have insulin resistance but your doctor never tested for it.
You can have normal blood sugar but have chronically high insulin. Insulin Resistance is not a glucose disease. It is an insulin disease.
As insulin resistance is mainly caused by food choices over many years (not your genes), the most effective solution is to correct your food choices, specifically your carbohydrate load. The fact is that your current body may not be able to get away with the food choices you got away with when you were 20 years younger.
The trick is to learn what is your body’s unique carbohydrate tolerance and what that means in everyday fresh foods that you and your family like. The Healthy Inspirations program is the only one that does this. It’s one of our program goals.
Update – New Paper – 6th August 2020
“While most clinicians are aware of the concept of insulin resistance, it is never measured in routine clinical practice and is at most an abstract, intangible and academic consideration.”
Source: paper in Frontiers in Public Health. Coronavirus and Obesity: Could Insulin Resistance Mediate the Severity of Covid-19 Infection?
“…if an association between insulin resistance and COVID-19 severity was established, the next step would be to determine whether strategies to enhance insulin sensitivity acutely (such as carbohydrate restriction) could improve prognosis.” To see paper click HERE.
Here’s the good news!
You may be able to reduce your risks within weeks with some specific healthy lifestyle modifications. The Dietary Defence Plan has four steps:
- Get some daily sunshine. This can help maintain optimal vitamin D levels. Low vitamin D has been noticed amongst people suffering COVID-19. If you can’t get out in the sunshine regularly consider Vitamin D3 supplementation or ask your doctor to measure your Vitamin D level. Optimising your nutrition has a synergistic effect with sunshine exposure.
- Reduce your carbohydrate load. Avoid or significantly reduce processed foods, especially processed carbohydrates and vegetable (seed) oils. Some ‘healthy foods’ can trigger elevated blood sugar and elevated insulin levels in many people. Did you know that two thin slices of wholemeal bread has the same carbohydrate load as six teaspoons of sugar? We’re all different when it comes to how our bodies respond to foods.
- Prioritise protein in all meals and snacks. Protein-based (very low carb) snacks like shakes can be helpful in your weight loss journey. They stave off hunger making dietary control so much easier. Whereas, carb-based snacks like fruit or muffins can be problematic as they will increase insulin demand.
- Re-build the insulin sensitivity of your muscles with specific exercise. Include some strength-based exercises like our circuit to strengthen your skeletal (load-bearing) muscles. They are your body’s sugar sinks and help stabilise your blood sugar.
If you have any health questions, or feel unwell, please call your doctor or local hospital straight away and get tested.
Why not make 2022 the year for looking after your weight and your health. If you would like some help, complete the form below and we’ll be in touch to get you started.