What David Kessler, M.D., Means For Biden’s COVID-19 Task Force

It took public officials months to start talking about food and nutrition when it comes to preventing severe cases of COVID-19, and the topic still remains buried within the CDC’s guidelines. (While they have a useful “Food and Coronavirus” page, it’s entirely left out of their “Prevent Getting Sick” section.) But make no mistake: Your meals have much to do with your metabolic health, which—as we explained above—has ripple effects for how your body tackles this virus. According to Kessler, it’s time to bring food to the forefront of the conversation.

From what he’s told us, there are two important to-do’s for optimal health: eliminate “fast carbs” and introduce foods that lower your LDL levels. 

First up, fast carbs: These are your ultra-processed foods, Kessler explains. They’re considered “fast,” because your body digests them quickly in the upper GI tract. As a result, you become hungry again, sometimes irritable, as you ride along the unforgiving blood sugar roller coaster. As you may know, blood sugar spikes and crashes have their own consequences. Namely, body fat, hypertension, high blood pressure, and diabetes—aka, underlying conditions to watch out for during COVID. He recommends swapping in “slow carbs,” which are digested in the lower region of the GI tract (that’s where your satiety hormones are released, so you’ll stay fuller for longer). “They include vegetables, legumes, and also certain resistant starches or slowly digestible starches,” he notes. 

As for lowering LDL? According to Kessler, a plant-based diet is “the most dramatic way to get LDL down.” That’s not to say you’ve got to cut the animal products cold turkey, but emphasizing nutritious plants is a fast track to healthy LDL levels.

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