How to Follow a Healthy Diet While Sheltering in Place?
- The COVID-19 lockdown turned things upside down for people, businesses, and government agencies around the world. Almost everything is being refined in order to either avoid contracting the virus or stay strong in fighting the virus.
- Avoiding virus contraction is only possible when we take preventative measures daily, like maintaining good hygiene, avoiding direct contact with sick people, hand washing, and more.
- Also, we have to consume a healthy diet since it leads to strengthening our body’s ability in preventing, fighting, and recovering from such viruses and other infections.
A Lifelong Care
- The Lockdown has reduced our body movements and professional commitments and this is the reason most people are indulging in unhealthy food consumption.
- We have to understand that a good diet is not only essential for staying strong against coronavirus but against any other disease like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and more.
The Age Group Factor
Although every age group needs to consume a healthy diet, it varies greatly as per the age group.
- For babies, a healthy diet comprises breastfeeding for the initial six months, followed by nutritious and other healthy foods to complement breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or more.
- For young and adult people, consuming a balanced diet is vital for proper growth and development, along with maintaining the same.
- When it comes to elderly, eating the right diet helps them in maintaining and living a healthy and active life.
So, let us dig deeper into the same and know what all needs to be included and excluded from our diet while staying indoors.
Tips to Ensure a Healthy Diet While Sheltering in Place
1. Consume a mix of food, including vegetables and fruits
- Daily consume a variety of wholegrains such as rice, maize, and wheat, legumes such as beans and lentils, a lot of vegetables and fruits, along with high protein animal food such as eggs, meat, fish, and milk.
- Whenever possible, consume unprocessed whole grain food that is rich in fiber value such as brown rice, maize, oats, and millets since they help you feel full for a long time.
- For snacks, select unsalted nuts, fresh fruit, and raw vegetables.
2. Limit Salt Intake
- Cut back on the intake of salt to 1 teaspoon (equivalent to a 5 grams) a day.
- When you cook and prepare food, utilize salt sparingly, and limit/abandon using sauces, including fish or stock sauce, soya sauce that are high in salt.
- Look for the food labels and prefer lower sodium content products.
- While using dried or canned food, select a mix of fruit, nuts, and vegetable, without added sugars and salt.
- Get rid of the salt shaker on your table, and instead, experiment with spices and dried or fresh herbs to add flavors.
3. Consume Moderate amounts of Oils and Fats
- Replace lard, ghee, and butter with healthy fats such as corn, olive, sunflower, or soy oil while cooking.
- Choose reduced-fat or low-fat options of dairy products and milk.
- Stay away from fried, baked, and processed foods that constitute trans-fat that is produced in the industries.
- Select white meats such as fish and poultry, which are normally lower in red meat and fats; cut short on the consumption of meat that is processed and high in fat.
- Instead of frying food, try to boil or steam the food while cooking.
4. Cut Back on Sugar Intake
- Limit the consumption of sweets and drinks that are high in sugar like liquid and powder concentrates, fizzy drinks, energy and sports drinks, flavored water/milk drinks, fruit juices, ready-to-drink coffee and tea, juice drinks, and more.
- You should avoid providing foods that are high in sugar to children. For children under 2 years of age, sugars and salt should not be in the list of complementary foods.
- Select fresh fruits and keep sweet snacks at bay like chocolate, cakes, and cookies. If you are choosing other dessert options, make sure they are low in sugar levels, and you are consuming the same in a limit.
5. Drink Enough Water: Stay Hydrated!
- For achieving optimal health, good hydration is a must. Tap water is considered to be one of the cheapest and healthiest options, and if available, one should consume the same.
- A simple way to limit the intake of sugary drinks and associated calories is by replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water.
6. Limit/Avoid the Use of Alcohol
- No matter how much the world revolts against it, it is a fact, and it will remain a fact that consuming alcohol is not good for your health.
- Also, it is not at all true that drinking alcohol can protect you against coronavirus.
- When you consume alcohol excessively or on a frequent level, you expose yourself to immediate injury risks and long-term health effects like liver disease, mental illness, heart disease, and more.
21 Foods That Boost the Immune System
Now, if we focus on not just getting stronger health wise but getting stronger healthwise specifically for fighting coronavirus, we should strengthen our immune system and include the following 21 powerful immune system boosters in our diet:
- Citrus fruits
- Red bell peppers
- Sunflower seeds
- Green tea
- Poultry Food
- Dark chocolate
- Oily fish
- Sweet potatoes
- Oranges or kiwifruit (kiwis)
Essential Tips for Food Safety While Sheltering in Place
Till now, there has been no evidence that proves contracting the virus through contact with food packaging or the food itself. However, one needs to continue taking precautions to avoid any food-borne illnesses.
Ensure Food Safety with Following WHO’s Guidelines:
- Maintain cleanliness for preventing contamination.
- Keep cooked and raw foods separate to avoid cross-contamination.
- For preventing bacterial growth, keep food at safe temperatures, either cold or hot.
- Use safe raw materials and water to avoid contamination.
- Cook adequately in order to kill microorganisms.
- Eating a healthy diet may have been an option for some in the past but it is more of a necessity for everyone in the recent times.
- Today, we have to stand tall against coronavirus and strengthen our immune system to fight with it and emerge as a winner, and this is only possible when we eat right!
- So, make a healthy lifestyle/diet schedule and start following it, not just during the corona crisis, but for a lifetime.
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