Food and Nutrition Tips During Self-Quarantine

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team

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To make sure that self-quarantine does not affect the health of the population, the WHO (World Health Organization) has made available a list of health tips and “best food buys.” They have also shared a few recipes as an example to inspire us.

1. Avoid Panic Buying

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Overbuying during this situation is not the solution. It can create problems such as food prices increasing, unnecessary food consumption, and unavailability of food products to all. As responsible individuals, remember that everyone’s needs are as important as ours. Make a proper assessment of what you have in your house and plan the situation wisely. Only purchase what is absolutely necessary to run your household. By doing so, we can avoid unnecessary food wastage and make sure everyone has their share to survive this situation.

2. Prepare Home-Cooked Meals

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Considering our regular tedious schedule, it might not be possible for all of us to prepare and consume home-cooked food. Since you have a lot of free time at home during this self-quarantine, start trying healthy and different recipes that you were not able to try earlier. The internet offers a lot of healthy recipes to explore. Make sure you always follow the principles of healthy eating before attempting to cook anything.

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Also Read : COVID-19 and Lupus
 

3. Be Aware of Portion Sizes

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You might get confused with portion sizing when you cook from scratch. Measuring your ingredients before cooking might help. People who live alone tend to get bored without any company, and nothing much to do might start overeating. Make sure you follow the standard guidelines for healthy portions, and also for your children, as it can help avoid unnecessary problems in these difficult times.

4. Limit Your Sugar Intake

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According to the WHO, only 5 % of your daily calorie intake should be sugar, which roughly calculates to 6 teaspoons or 25 grams of sugar in a day. In case you have a sweet tooth and start craving, it is better to choose fresh fruits. Dried fruits with no added sugar is also a very good alternative. But if you are looking to go for deserts, limit the quantity. If you are going for sugar-free options, check the label to confirm if it does not have added sugar.

5. Food Safety

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Food safety is a prerequisite for food security and a healthy diet. Only safe food is healthy food. When preparing food for yourself and others, it is essential to follow proper food hygiene practices to avoid food contamination and foodborne diseases. The fundamental principles of good food hygiene include:

  • Keep your hands clean and wash your kitchen utensils every day.
  • Separate raw and cooked food, especially raw meat and fresh produce.
  • While storing raw and cooked food, make sure to store them in separate containers.
  • Always cook your food thoroughly.
  • Make it a point to use clean water and fresh raw materials.
  • Maintain your food at safe temperatures. Stored and frozen things should be below 5 °C and cooked food should be above 60 °C.

6. Consume Enough Fiber

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Fiber is essential for our bodies. Fiber helps keep your digestive system healthy and helps keep you full for a more extended period of time. Hence, consuming fiber can stop overeating. Your food should be a proper combination of fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and pulses. As much as possible, avoid consuming rice, white bread, and refined grains.

7. Stay Hydrated

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Keeping your body properly hydrated is vital in keeping your health in an optimal state. Prefer water over sweetened beverages to avoid intake of added sugar and unnecessary calories. If you are looking for a twist in regular water, you can add frozen fruits or even cucumber and mint.

8. Avoid Alcohol Consumption

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If consumed in excess, alcohol does not only become dependence-producing but can be mind-altering as well. It can also become very harmful and weaken your immune system. It is better to avoid alcohol consumption at all times, irrespective of the current situation.

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