- There is no one diet that can protect you against COVID-19.
- But new research suggests that the keto diet may help mitigate the risks of getting infected with the coronavirus.
- Among the many benefits of the keto diet includes aiding weight loss, cholesterol and high blood pressure control and managing obesity-related complications.
As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the globe, people have taken countless ways to boost their immunity and prevent risks of contracting the virus. While most healthy strategies work in boosting the body’s vital functions and raise your odds of fighting illnesses, not one can guarantee ample protection against COVID-19.
However, researchers in a new study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine contend that the ketogenic diet may be a helpful tool in cutting down some of the most critical risk factors linked to COVID-19 severity.
The reason behind this is twofold, says Dr. Massimiliano Caprio, study lead author and professor at San Raffaele Roma Open University.
First, the keto diet, which involves the body using fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates, has been proven to be an effective tool for rapid weight loss, fat loss and lowering obesity complications such as diabetes.
Second, ketosis produces ketone bodies, which have been shown to effectively reduce inflammation and regulate the immune system. This may help hinder the “cytokine storm” related to the most severe and deadly COVID-19 cases.
Taking all that into account, here are five reasons why adopting the keto diet may be your best defense in your fight against COVID-19 and its serious complications.
1. Keto can help you lose weight quickly.
Obesity is in itself a risk factor for various conditions connected to the deadly cases of COVID-19. According to Dr. Caprio and his team, excess weight can interfere with breathing as well as drive chronic inflammation which can weaken immune response and damage cardiovascular function.
By following the keto diet, people with obesity can quickly lose a considerable amount of weight, thereby “allowing for a rapid risk reduction of all severe clinical outcomes,” says Dr. Caprio.
2. Keto can regulate your blood sugar.
Raised high blood sugar levels is one of the most accurate indicators of COVID-19-related respiratory infection even without a diabetes diagnosis. One study cited in Dr. Caprio’s research suggests that high blood sugar can actually make you more vulnerable to the coronavirus. But practicing the keto diet, which is very effective for blood sugar control, can help you reverse that risk.
3. Your blood pressure could be reduced to a healthier range.
Hypertension or high blood pressure can up your risk of dying from COVID-19 twofold, according to studies. But risks can be lowered swiftly by losing a significant amount of weight with the keto diet.
4. Keto can mitigate your risk for metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome refers to the combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, which when occurring simultaneously, puts you at greater risk of getting heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other conditions that affect the blood vessels.
People with metabolic syndrome who get infected with the coronavirus are noted in a recent study to be at a much higher risk for severe illness and death compared to their counterparts. The keto diet, according to Dr. Caprio, is an effective tool for rapidly overturning all the conditions that comprise metabolic syndrome.
5. Keto can promote immune response.
When battling COVID-19, the immune response can be a double-edged sword. Meaning, it doesn’t only attack the virus but the body’s own cells as well. The medical term for this is “cytokine storm” which is characterized by elevated blood levels of an immune system protein called cytokines.
Due to the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects of ketone bodies, a cytokine storm can be hindered, says Dr. Caprio.
While some scientists have proposed ketone supplementation to COVID-19 patients, Dr. Caprio and colleagues suggested that a more effective strategy would be embracing the keto diet as a precautionary measure for those at risk for severe COVID-19.
Source: Eat This, Not That!