In normal times a few doughnuts might be bad for our waistlines. Right now, they may also be a poor idea when it comes to our immunity to coronavirus. This may sound alarmist, but it is based on common sense and personal experience.
As part of my work, I did a self-experiment last year, wearing a continuous blood sugar monitor. I am not diabetic but wanted to learn about the response to high sugar foods. Over the course of a fortnight, I experimented with different sweet foods and also ‘white carbs’ like bagels, white bread, white rice and pasta and I had much more sugar than usual. There were some shocks, e.g. a single bagel sent my blood sugar to 8.4 and half a pizza pushed it up to 8.9, but more worrying was that in this short time my responses to sweet foods worsened. In the first week eating a scone and jam had little effect on my blood sugar, but by the end of the experiment the same snack pushed my blood sugar up to 12.6 which is in the diabetic range! A normal result would be around 5-7.
This is the reason for my concern. A single jam doughnut recently sent my blood sugar from 5.2 baseline up to 9.6. If I were to eat sweet foods like doughnuts regularly, I am convinced that my sugars would climb and my metabolism and immunity would suffer. Sugar increases our risk of diabetes, puts our weight up and causes inflammation. Chronic inflammation can wear out your immune system putting you more at risk of a severe attack of the coronavirus if you are unlucky enough to be infected. A single doughnut can have up to 500 calories and contain 3 teaspoons of sugar. Some have less, but my trials in the kitchen showed that it is not possible to make a healthy doughnut.
Author Dr Jackie Rose, a Nutritional Therapist heads up the Nutrition Clinic at Private GP Extra. Dr Rose is an experienced GP (recently retired from practice) who specialises in nutrition and has co-written a Healthy Eating Cook Book. Find out more here https://www.privategpextra.com/nutrition-private-gp-extra/