According to many experts and studies, when we look at who is most vulnerable to Covid-19, we see that, besides the immune compromised and elderly, there is also a population with major metabolic risk factors. That means insulin resistance, high triglycerides, low HDL (good) cholesterol, obesity, hypertension, fatty liver, and gastrointestinal disorders. Poor metabolic health can promote a chronic inflammatory state in the body. It can also weaken the immune system through multiple mechanisms, including disrupting the gut biome.
One of the ways to prevent your body from becoming more susceptible to chronic diseases (including Covid-19) is to improve your metabolic health. Key factors in improving metabolic health include:
- Eating a nutrient dense diet full of vegetables, whole fruit, and healthy fats
- Avoiding excess alcohol and inflammatory foods such as added sugars, sweetened drinks, fried foods and refined grain-based carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta, cereal, baked goods)
- Exercising regularly, especially aerobic/cardio fitness
- Quitting smoking or vaping to reduce lung inflammation
- Practicing good sleep hygiene to optimize sleep
Getting your annual physical and bloodwork with your physician will help you determine your metabolic health and identify areas for improvement.
*Standard labs at a baseline should include a lipid panel, fasting blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, and complete metabolic panel including liver function tests)