The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) poses a significant threat to public health and the global economy. In this article, Cliff looks into how we can best reduce our risks of transmission while also staying healthy...
Originally posted at www.cliffharvey.com
Immunity is a BIG topic right now due to the emergence of COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus). The emergence of this new form of coronavirus also resulted in greater awareness of the public health implications of other seasonal illnesses like influenza, flu-like viruses, and the common cold (itself often caused by a form of coronavirus or rhinovirus) which result in significant numbers of hospitalisations and deaths every year.
Because there is a lot of concern (and quite rightly so) about the potential implications of COVID for public health, society, and the economy, there has been a lot of discussion online about how we might avoid the virus. This advice runs the gamut from sensible, through to ridiculous (ummm 5G causes COVID… yeah… OK…)
In a nutshell, when we’re talking about immunity, we’re referring to the actions of the immune system. This system is the body’s defence system (along with physical barriers like skin) and it protects us against pathogens (viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi) that can cause disease.
Note: If you’re currently feeling unwell or have any unexplained symptoms, please contact your medical doctor!
Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
Post by Emily White
You hear so much in the nutrition world about glycaemic index, insulin index and glycaemic load and how you should avoid particular foods that fit into certain categories. Just walk down the cereal isle in the supermarket and you will see an abundance of packaging boasting that this particular product is ‘low GI’ and therefore the healthy choice. With all this confusion about these different terms it’s worth having a think about what in fact they actually mean. Should we be putting a lifetime ban on foods that have a high glycaemic index and on the contrary; does a low glycaemic index food mean it is a great healthy option?
Post by Cliff Harvey
Due to the high-fat nature of a ketogenic or LCHF diet they have been considered to be potentially hazardous for those with cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Publicly available information (i.e. position statements and general patient information) from public health groups often include cautions against the use of VLCDs due to these perceived risks. Diabetes New Zealand states in their article on Low Carbohydrate Diets that “Eating more protein and fat may increase your risk of heart disease in the long term.” (1).
So are ketogenic diets dangerous for heart health?
By Cliff Harvey
Dietary guidelines for health are still heavily weighted (excuse the pun!) in favour of high-carbohydrate diets.
Nutrient Reference Values (NRV) for New Zealand and Australia for example state that the diet should contain a minimum of 45% of its calories from carbohydrate (1) and New Zealand Heart Foundation position statements on carbohydrate (currently being updated) suggest a range of 55%-65% caloric intake should be obtained from carbohydrate along with reducing intake of total and saturated fat (2).
Why is this the case?
Post by Cliff Harvey
The New Zealand Heart Foundation state that the “Tick Programme helps New Zealanders make healthier food choices” but evidence would suggest that many of the foods that sport the Heart Foundation’s Tick are exactly the type of foods that do not support making of better health.
By Cliff Harvey
Caveat emptor….let the patient beware
The honorific ‘Doctor’ carries with it a certain mystique. We tend to pay more attention to the opinion of someone with a doctorate…and rightly so. The years of study, research and application required to earn a doctorate deserve a certain level of respect, and anyone that has embarked on post-graduate study knows that it’s not an easy journey!
It is exactly this legitimacy that has promoted the drive towards ‘doctorisation’ in many professions, and has also spurred the proliferation of diploma mills and unaccredited colleges.
Post by Cliff Harvey ND
We've all been told time and time again that sodium (salt) is bad for us; that it's a cause of heart disease and stroke and that we should reduce our intake. The Dietitians NZ sodium fact sheet states: "Too much salt, and therefore sodium, can lead to more fluid being retained in the body. This means the heart is working harder, pumping more blood around the body, increasing pressure. High blood pressure increases the chance of having a heart attack or stroke, still two of the biggest killers in the Western world." and go on to say that "Reducing our salt intake by just a third, from around 9g (3460mg sodium) to the recommended maximum of 6g (2300mg sodium), could, in time, save over 900 Kiwi lives a year."
While this goal is admirable, the evidence seems to suggest that this isn't the case, and in fact not only is our current sodium intake safe and healthy, but reducing sodium too drastically could be related to several negative health outcomes.
Post by Professor Grant Schofield (AUT)
It's a food fight.
The time has finally come where a deep and important line needs to be drawn in the sand. No more throwing bad science and bad advice around. Stop!
The “food pyramid” guidelines are still alive (and well?) in New Zealand (see here). They are outdated, old school and quite simply wrong. Recently they were up for review…
Unfortunately, they came back more or less the same – saturated fat, and fat are bad for us ….blah blah blah.