This article on “Nutrition During Lockdown” introduces another guest writer to “Life in the Right Direction”, Thomas Nemel from Detroit, Michigan, USA. He is a passionate copywriter, a car lover, and a fitness junkie. He likes to help others to live a better, happier life. I hope you enjoy his post.
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This article is by Thomas Nemel.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything in our lives, and food is not an exception. Lockdown creates a perfect setup for weight gain. Staying indoors most of the time makes people less active, many are anxious about a deadly virus and care less about what they eat and how fit they are. This is an ideal situation for putting on pounds. Actually, hundreds of people reported weight gain during the quarantine. Unfortunately, poor lockdown nutrition can have lots of dangerous effects in the future.
All in all, it’s difficult to overestimate the importance of a healthy diet, especially during an ongoing situation.
In this post, we’ll discuss everything related to a healthy diet. Keep reading!
Benefits Of A Healthy Diet During The Pandemic
As we all know, proper nutrition and hydration are crucial. A healthy diet plan must be rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, protein and antioxidants, with fresh, unprocessed foods, and plenty of water. Eating healthy is especially important during the pandemic since quality foods and drinks impact the body’s ability to fight and recover from infection or disease. Of course, no products or dietary supplements, even the best sports nutrition, can prevent or treat Coronavirus, but good lockdown nutrition is vital for supporting the immune system.
There are numerous effects of a healthy diet. For instance, it reduces the likelihood of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke, skeletal conditions, and some types of cancer. The right nutrition also contributes to adequate body weight. And on top of that, there is a strong connection between a healthy diet and mental health – what you eat directly impacts the structure and function of the brain and, your mood.
Healthy Diet Recommendations
Your healthy diet plan, aimed to manage your weight and nutrition during lockdown, should include a variety of quality foods. Here are the essentials of a healthy diet:
Eat Varied Food
Eat whole grains like unprocessed millet, maize, wheat, brown rice, and oats, they are rich in fiber and will help you to feel full longer. Also, include legumes (beans and lentils), lots of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, unsalted nuts, eggs, lean meat, fish, and milk.
Drinking enough water is a must, it’s vital for optimal health. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages that are full of sugar and excess calories.
Limit sugar consumption
Eat fresh, raw fruits instead of cakes, cookies, chocolate, and other sweets. But if you can’t resist delicious desserts choose something low in sugar and consume small portions. Next, avoid drinking sugary juice drinks, fizzy drinks, powder, and liquid concentrates, energy drinks, coffee, ready-to-drink tea, and flavored milk drinks. Clean water is always the best solution.
Don’t give sugary foods and drinks to kids if they are under 2 years old, and limit these additives if your children are beyond that age.
Limit salt intake
Reduce your salt intake to 5 grams (about a teaspoon) a day. Try to remove a salt shaker from the table, and experiment with dried or fresh spices and herbs for added flavor. When you cook your meals, use a minimum of salt, also, reduce salty sauces and condiments like fish sauce, soy sauce, etc. If you often eat dried or canned food, opt for varieties of vegetables, fruits, and nuts without added sugars and salt. Always check labels and choose foods with lower sodium content.
Cut back on fats and oils
When you cook meals, try boiling or steaming, these are much healthier ways to prepare foods than frying. In general, it’s wise to limit the intake of processed, fried, and baked foods that contain industrially-produced trans-fat. A healthy diet regimen should include meat, however, choose poultry and fish instead of red meat which is high in fats. Also, trim all visible fat from the meat. Next, replace lard, butter, and ghee with healthy fats like sunflower, olive, corn, or soy oil when cooking. Opt for low-fat milk and other dairy products.
Avoid drinking alcohol
Nutritional requirements of a healthy diet never include any types of alcohol, even dry red wine. Alcohol doesn’t protect against Coronavirus and can be even dangerous. Excessive or frequent alcohol consumption affects the liver, increases the chances of mental illness, heart disease, and cancer. Besides, even a moderate amount of alcohol boosts appetite, and it becomes harder to watch the nutrition. Remember, there isn’t a safe level of alcohol intake.
Ways To Regulate And Control Nutrition During The Lockdown
Experts can’t predict when the ongoing pandemic and lockdown measures will end, so we have to adjust to the new normal. It’s wise to rebuild or adopt some diet habits that will help us to maintain proper lockdown nutrition and an overall healthy lifestyle. Let’s take a closer look at what we can do:
- See the situation as a huge opportunity for change, rise to the occasion.
- If you work from home, get your office out of the kitchen and schedule your breaks. This way, it’ll be easier to control your diet.
- Cook easy, healthy meals, don’t get takeout too often. Simple meals don’t take much time and effort – only about half an hour. Good examples are an omelet stuffed with garlicky sautéed mushrooms or whole-grain pasta topped with a good-quality jarred sauce. It’s a good idea to meal plan for several weeks ahead; make sure to buy all necessary ingredients.
- Do your best not to buy too much comfort food. Before you go shopping, make a list, think about what you want to eat for the next week or two. Stock up with frozen vegetables, whole grains, canned beans, and tomatoes. Also, include snacks you love on the list.
- If it’s too difficult for you to control or regulate your eating habits, a telemedicine talk with a dietitian may help. It can really make you efforts more likely to succeed.
I do hope that these simple tips and ideas for a healthy diet will help you to improve your nutrition during lockdown. According to the old saying “We are what we eat”, eating healthy is a key to a long, happy life regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why Is It So Important to Watch Your Nutrition During Lockdown? was written by Thomas Nemel.