Should you avoid sugar when sick? (2023)

Table of Contents

Can sugar make you more sick?

Sugar promotes obesity, diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, skin aging, and a host of other ailments. It increases the risk of depression, rheumatoid arthritis, and kidney failure, just to name a few. And, concerning especially during cold and flu season, eating sugar suppresses the immune system.

Why does sugar make your cold worse?

For your immune system to properly fight off an infection, your immune cells need lots of vitamin C. The problem with sugar is that it looks similar to vitamin C. As a result, your immune cells sometime mistakenly take up the sugar rather than vitamin C, especially if there is an influx of sugar into your blood stream.

Does sugar make cough worse?

Similar to alcohol, sugar can also trigger inflammation. This can make the symptoms of cold including cough worse. Although it can be comforting, avoid sweets as much as possible.

Is it OK to eat unhealthy when sick?

And here's a more important solution: It's always important to eat well — especially when you're sick. Not eating when you're sick can inhibit your body's ability to heal itself. While you might crave junk foods while you're sick, they won't help your body heal either.

Is it OK to eat sweets when sick?

When you're sick, your immune system needs no distractions. That's why it's important to stay away from sugar, which causes inflammation. “This is not helpful when you want your body's energy to focus on your immune system working hard,” says Sarah Thacker, a holistic health coach and therapist based in New York City.

Does sugar worsen sore throat?

Inflammatory foods can often make your sore throat worse and delay your body's natural healing process. Sugary foods, fatty foods, acidic foods, and alcohol are some food groups to avoid when you have a sore throat.

Does sugar shut down immune system?

Studies have shown spikes in sugar intake suppress your immune system. When your immune system is compromised, you are more likely to get sick. If you eat a lot of foods and beverages high in sugar or refined carbohydrates, which the body processes as sugar, you may be reducing your body's ability to ward off disease.

What not to eat when sick with cold?

As far as what to avoid when you're sick, steer clear of foods that may fuel inflammation or stress your immune system. Those foods include refined sugar, processed foods (especially those with artificial ingredients), conventional dairy and meat, caffeine, and alcohol.

Is it OK to eat chocolate when sick?

Research has actually shown that 70% cacao could fight cold and flu symptoms! While chocolate can't cure all of the symptoms above, it has been shown to be an excellent way to soothe the throat and calm coughs. In addition, chocolate has been shown to prevent migraines and headaches.

Does sugar increase mucus?

Food to Avoid

Also, try to avoid refined sugar as it is pro-inflammatory and increases the production of mucus. Other foods to avoid include tomatoes (contain histamines), chocolate, cheese, gluten, and fruits like bananas, which can cause congestion.

Does sugar feed viruses?

Most infectious bacteria and viruses bind to sugars on the surface of our cells. Most of the viruses feed on sugar.

What foods should be avoided in cold and cough?

Down with cough and cold? Here are 4 foods you must completely avoid
  • Caffeinated beverages, alcohol and sugary drinks. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, black tea and alcoholic drinks can make you dehydrated. ...
  • Foods that are hard to chew and digest. ...
  • Candies and chocolates. ...
  • Mucus-creating foods.
May 4, 2021

Should I avoid sweets when I have cough?

If your cough is throaty and you know it will lead to a sore throat, keep the sweetness away. Bad bacteria in our throats tend to feed on sweets and other unhealthy food like the greasy dishes. Sweet food and drinks trigger the bacteria to eat them, further infecting the throat, which causes the itch.

Does eating sugar while sick make it worse?

Why it makes you feel worse: Eating refined sugar can temporarily suppress your white blood cells' ability to fight off bacteria, says Dr. Arthur. For a few hours after snacking on cookies, candy, or sugary cereal, your immune system is weaker.

Should I eat whatever I want when im sick?

You should try to keep up with a normal eating schedule; lessening your calorie intake when you are sick can cause your illness to last longer and your symptoms to worsen. No matter what kind of symptoms you have, you should always stay hydrated!

Do calories matter when you're sick?

If you are sick or undergoing cancer treatment, you may not feel like eating. But it is important to get enough protein and calories so you do not lose too much weight. Eating well can help you handle your illness and the side effects of treatment better.

How can I speed up my sick recovery?

These remedies might help you feel better:
  1. Stay hydrated. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration. ...
  2. Rest. Your body needs rest to heal.
  3. Soothe a sore throat. ...
  4. Combat stuffiness. ...
  5. Relieve pain. ...
  6. Sip warm liquids. ...
  7. Try honey. ...
  8. Add moisture to the air.

How do you get rid of a cold in 24 hours?

There is no way to get rid of a cold fast. A cold will usually go away on its own without treatment. However, a person may experience uncomfortable symptoms while they recover. People can take steps to aid recovery, such as getting plenty of rest.

What helps a weak body when sick?

Try adding these to your self-care regimen:
  1. Stay home and rest. Many viruses, including influenza, come on hard and fast. ...
  2. Hydrate and humidify. Drink more water, warm tea, or broth to increase your fluids. ...
  3. Treat your symptoms. ...
  4. Eat well. ...
  5. When to call the doctor.
May 15, 2020

Can eating sweets worsen cold?

In addition, eating lots of sweets can increase the number of inflammatory markers in the body, known as cytokines. Increased inflammation in the body can not only worsen symptoms of a cold, but it can also put you at risk of more serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

What makes colds worse?

Avoid salty foods, alcohol, coffee and sugary drinks, which can be dehydrating. Ice chips are another simple way to stay hydrated and calm a scratchy throat.

Why do I want sugar when I'm sick?

Why do I crave sugar when I'm sick? It's more a psychological trigger, as opposed to a biological necessity. Sugar destroys your immune system's functionality so it is not a natural urge. The feeling of reward, the dopamine release from sugar is what you want, or at least that's what your mind is telling you.

Does sugar help with cough?

Crystalline sugar placed on the tongue can inhibit hiccoughs, a respiratory reflex related to cough [18]. Further, sweet taste can induce analgesia [19–22].

Is candy OK for sore throat?

Having lozenges or hard candies—or anything that stimulates saliva production—will keep your throat moist. It's also important to drink plenty of fluids.”

Does sugar stop you from healing?

Constant high blood sugar levels can cause your wounds to heal slowly. It can also cause your wound to not heal. Monitor and control your blood sugar. This is one of the most important things you can do to heal your wound.

What foods trigger immune system?

Does an Immune-Boosting Diet Exist?
  • Probiotic foods include kefir, yogurt with live active cultures, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha tea, kimchi, and miso.
  • Prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, bananas, and seaweed.

What are signs of strong immune system?

What are the signs of a strong immune system?
  • You are following a healthy diet.
  • You have good gut health.
  • You like to drink water.
  • You recover well from colds and flu.
  • You sleep soundly.
  • You're up for a laugh!
Apr 7, 2021

What foods clear a cold?

Kale, broccoli, cranberries, green tea, red onions, blueberries: What do these have in common? All have an antioxidant called quercetin that may help you fight the common cold.

What foods make common cold worse?

What to avoid
  • Alcohol. This lowers your immune system and causes dehydration.
  • Caffeinated beverages. Items such as coffee, black tea, and soda can make you more dehydrated. ...
  • Processed foods. Whether from a fast food chain or made from a box, the more processed a food is, the fewer nutrients you'll get.

Is Gatorade good when you are sick?

Gatorade, because of its electrolyte content, helps to restore the lost electrolytes and keep a person hydrated, during intense activity. It can also replace electrolytes, during times of illness, such as stomach viruses.

What are the 10 foods you should not eat when you are sick?

10 foods dietitians say you should avoid when you're sick
  • Ditch the refined sugar. ...
  • Avoid alcohol at all costs. ...
  • Scale back on the caffeine. ...
  • Don't eat anything acidic. ...
  • Ditch the canned soup. ...
  • Avoid the saltines. ...
  • Say no to junk food. ...
  • Be careful with toast.
May 23, 2018

Is peanut butter good when sick?

Nuts. A lack of protein can make nausea feel even worse, so look to protein-packed foods, such as nuts — even peanut butter, as long as you're not allergic — that are easy to digest. They'll quickly replenish your depleted energy and help keep your nausea at bay.

Is it OK to eat pizza when sick?

Foods and beverages to avoid when you're sick

Dr. Besser says that greasy foods like pizza, french fries, or anything soaked in oil are harder to digest and not the best choice for someone with an upset stomach.

Does sugar make a sinus infection worse?

High sugar foods

A diet high in refined sugars, such as soda, candy, and baked goods (but not the natural sugars found in fruit!), may exacerbate sinusitis symptoms by increasing inflammation.

What foods get rid of phlegm?

Try consuming foods and drinks that contain lemon, ginger, and garlic. A 2018 survey found these may help treat colds, coughs, and excess mucus, though there isn't much research to back it up.
...
3. Consume respiratory health-promoting ingredients
  • licorice root.
  • ginseng.
  • berries.
  • echinacea.
  • pomegranate.

Why do bacteria like sugar?

To fuel growth and division, bacteria need to find their favorite food and be able to process (digest) it correctly. Like humans love to eat candies, one of the favorite food choices of bacteria is the simple sugar called glucose.

Does sugar feed a bacterial infection?

"Too much sugar in your system allows the bacteria or viruses to propagate much more because your initial innate system doesn't work as well. That's why diabetics, for example, have more infections," Dr. Michael Roizen, MD and COO of the Cleveland Clinic told CNET.

Does sugar make bacteria grow?

In addition, while it was shown that high sugar concentrations inhibit bacterial growth, very low concentrations show the opposite effect, that is, they stimulate bacterial growth, indicating that there is a threshold concentration upon which sugars cease to act as antimicrobial agents and become media instead.

What worsens cold and cough?

So can allergies, lack of sleep, stress, not eating properly, or being around someone who smokes. And smokers are more likely to catch colds than people who don't smoke. Their symptoms will probably be worse, last longer, and be more likely to lead to bronchitis or even pneumonia.

What makes cough worse?

A dry, indoor environment Dry air can aggravate an already irritated nose and throat, making your nighttime cough worse. To relieve a dry air cough, you can try a humidifier to put moisture back into the air and make it easier to breathe, but be sure to take proper care of the unit.

What should I eat when I have a cold and flu?

10 Foods to Eat When You Have the Flu
  • Ice Pops. 1/10. They can soothe your throat when it's sore, swollen, or dry. ...
  • Turkey Sandwich. 2/10. It has lean protein, a key part of a healthy diet. ...
  • Vegetable Juice. 3/10. ...
  • Chicken Soup. 4/10. ...
  • Garlic. 5/10. ...
  • Ginger. 6/10. ...
  • Hot Tea. 7/10. ...
  • Banana. 8/10.
Nov 18, 2022

Do cold drinks worsen a cold?

If you're trying to treat a cold or flu, drinking cold water might make your congestion feel worse. There are some health conditions that drinking cold water can aggravate. Research from 2001 linked drinking cold water with triggering migraine in people who already experience migraine.

Why do we crave carbs when sick?

' Carbohydrates are an important source of glucose and if your carbohydrate levels are low, your body and brain will lack energy and may take longer to recover from illness.

Why do we crave junk food when sick?

First, when you are ill your body will tend to seek out easy and fast sources of energy, and that means sugar and things that can quickly and easily be turned into sugar. In and of itself this is completely normal, it is how the body gains the energy needed to heal itself.

What is the best meal to eat when sick?

Although not super exciting, very plain and bland foods can help ease symptoms. Try pasta, dry cereals, oatmeal, bread and crackers. But bland doesn't mean you can't add protein or veggies into the mix if you're feeling up for it! Try eating rice and baked chicken breast or cheese and crackers.

What meal is good when sick?

Here are some of the best things you can eat when you have a cold or a cough: Broth – Try making (or buying!) a container of Bone Broth. It's the perfect nourishing food for when you aren't feeling well. Chicken Soup – Chicken soup is loaded with protein, veggies, and nourishing broth.

Does sugar make sore throat worse?

Inflammatory foods can often make your sore throat worse and delay your body's natural healing process. Sugary foods, fatty foods, acidic foods, and alcohol are some food groups to avoid when you have a sore throat.

Does sugar feed a cold?

When you're sick, your immune system needs no distractions. That's why it's important to stay away from sugar, which causes inflammation. “This is not helpful when you want your body's energy to focus on your immune system working hard,” says Sarah Thacker, a holistic health coach and therapist based in New York City.

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