Healthy Food Choices During COVID-19
As the whole world is under the attack of coronavirus, people are worried about everything. They are looking for ways to deal with anxiety and fear, and trying to settle with the ‘new normal.’
Did you know?
‘Anxiety can throw plans for healthy eating out the window.’
As we’re home all the time, it’s easy to reach for your favorite salty, crunchy snacks because of boredom or feeling on edge. A few chips or pretzels are okay, but most people couldn’t resist eating the entire bag once it’s open. Moreover, if you’re already feeling blue, the quick fix of cookies or cake will ultimately make you feel worse.
How to eat mindfully?
Processed foods and shelf-stable items like baked goods contain a lot of simple carbohydrates that can spike sugar levels, driving anxiety, and worsening your mood. To avoid such a situation, you must make a schedule or a daily meal plan for yourself and everyone in your household.
- Be aware of portion sizes – If you’re not aware of your portion size, you can seek guidance through your national food-based dietary guidelines on healthy portions for adults and be mindful that young children will need smaller portions.
- Limit intake of sodium – The chances of depending on canned food is more than ever. Many of these canned, frozen, or processed foods have high levels of salt. As per the WHO, the recommended amount of sodium intake for an adult is 5gm per day. So before you jump to pick canned food from the store, ensure to read the food labels and pick one that has the least amount of salt in it.
- Consume enough fiber – Fiber is really important for a healthy digestive system. Also, it gives you a prolonged feeling of fullness. To consume enough amount of fiber, add fruits, veggies, wholegrain foods, and pulses, etc. in your meal. You can also add quinoa, brown rice or pasta, oats, and whole-wheat bread instead of eating refined grain foods such as white pasta and rice, and white bread.
- Stay hydrated – Keeping yourself hydrated is important for keeping yourself healthy. Whenever available and safe for consumption, tap water is the healthiest and cheapest drink. To avoid intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and calories, you can drink flavor water that includes fresh or frozen fruits like berries or slices of citrus fruits, as well as cucumber or herbs such as mint, lavender or rosemary. Limit your intake of beverages like coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks as they may dehydrate your body and can impact your sleeping patterns.
- Prefer home-cooked meals – We know kids being home, working from home, and adjusting with new normal can be quite exhausting. Being exhausted doesn’t mean you should eat canned or processed food. We recommend you cook your meals at home rather than picking-up. If you’re too tired to prepare your meal, you can always prepare something easy such as omelette or vegetable sandwich, etc.
Staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for everyone, and the increased anxiety (and boredom) can cause people to abandon their healthy eating intentions and snack on whatever is around. But with a little thought and planning, you can continue to make good food choices.