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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Diet that increases your risk of catching Covid

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Kuldeep Singh
Kuldeep is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. He writes about topics such as Apps, how to, tips and tricks, social network and covers the latest story from the ground. He stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. Always ready to review new products. Email: kuldeep (at) revyuh (dot) com

According to Professor Andrew Chan of the prestigious Harvard School of Medicine, what you eat could influence whether you become infected or not in the first place.

His line of thought is not unfounded; indeed, the concept is based on data from 1.1 million people. Participants in the COVID-19 symptoms study were asked to complete surveys on pre-pandemic and post-pandemic eating habits..

Using this data set, individuals were grouped into those with low, moderate or high-quality diets.

We found that people with the highest quality diet were less likely to catch COVID-19 compared with those that had the worst quality diet

said Chan.

And, impressively, they were significantly less likely to get severe COVID-19 disease and go to the hospital.

Outcomes were also independent of other COVID-19 risk factors, such as:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Underlying health conditions.

The pre-print study was discussed on a webinar led by Covid Symptom Study lead, Professor Tim Spector.

Other experts on the panel included Dr Sarah Berry – a reader at King’s College London – and Emily Leeming, a registered dietician.

When we are trying to alleviate disparities in health outcomes, we should be thinking about how we can improve people’s diet

Professor Spector said.

As for high-quality nutrition, Leeming explained what this would mean.

If we say you have a high-quality diet, usually we mean you have a diet that is diverse and well balanced

explained Leeming.

A high-quality diet should supply you “enough energy and nutrients to live an active, fulfilled life”.

Usually, this includes lots of plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Moreover, you need foods that nourish the microbes that live in your gut that support your immune system.

We need to be thinking about the foods we’re eating and our overall dietary patterns, not single nutrients

said Leeming.

People are encouraged to increase their intake of:

  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds.

In addition, it may be beneficial to add fermented foods into your diet, such as yoghurt or kefir.

These contain beneficial probiotic bacteria that can help support your gut health.

As for a low-quality diet – one that increases your risk of catching Covid and suffering from worse outcomes – what foods will be in that group?

Leeming’s answer is “ultra-processed foods”, such as packaged bread, breakfast cereals, chocolate and soft drinks.

One of the big problems with food processing is that you’re losing an essential component that confers health benefits to food – its structure

said Leeming.

When we remove that structure, people tend to eat more calories at a given sitting.

It also removes many of the beneficial compounds that are in foods that have favourable health effects.

Image Credit: Getty

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