Always, but especially in these days of confinement, one of our main obligations is to take care of ourselves. In addition to physical activity, diet is the fundamental pillar with which we can achieve this. Today we will discuss about food you should eat during pandemic. Keep reading.
Following a good diet, we can keep many of the most important cardiovascular risk factors at bay. Obesity, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol levels are factors that threaten our heart health.
But if we follow a healthy diet, in which we include the appropriate nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals in the corresponding proportion, which basically corresponds to the Mediterranean diet), we will be able to control them.
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What food you should eat during pandemic?
To be sure that we are following a balanced diet that takes care of our heart, this list of practical tips can help us:
Differentiate between fresh, processed and ultra-processed foods
Knowing how to differentiate in order to choose fresh and processed products, avoiding ultra-processed ones, is one of the first rules that we must bear in mind.
As explained by most cardiologists, fresh products are those that reach the consumer directly without transforming or after minimal transformation. The fresher the product (eggs, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and meat), the better it will preserve its components.
As for processed foods, they are those that undergo some transformation but keeping the raw foods such as pasta, bread, olive oil, potted legumes or frozen vegetables.
However, ultra-processed products no longer have that original matrix. To manufacture them, part of the original food is eliminated and additives are added that allow its conservation. To recognize them, just look at the label, since ultra-processed products contain in most cases salt, unhealthy fats (“trans” and saturated fats), sugar and additives.
Make a shopping list
Good nutrition begins in the market or in the supermarket. Don’t go for impulse buying. Make a list of items as per your diet chart. Buy only food items that can help you in the pandemic situation.
Number of servings of each product
The ideal is to consume four or five tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day. You should take 5 servings or more of fruits and vegetables a day; three servings of fish per week (one of blue fish). Also have two or three servings of white meat a week and one (optional) of red meat every one or two weeks. Low-fat dairy products and, given the current situation, if possible fortified with vitamin D, such as fresh cheese or low-fat milk daily will help. A small portion of nuts a day, preferably unsalted and unroasted; and legumes, which we will ideally cook with vegetables, three times a week should be on your food list.
Reduce the use of salt in the kitchen
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), we should consume a maximum of 5 grams of salt daily. However, we are currently doubling those figures. To reduce them, a good option is spices, in addition to lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, which can help us fill our meals with flavor without adding so much salt.
Ways of cooking
The way we cook food also influences our cardiovascular health. Cooking and steaming help maintain the properties of vegetables, while frying is the least advisable option.
Maintain meal times
It is important to maintain meal times, reduce the number of dishes with a higher caloric load and replace them with lighter ones that produce greater satiety: varied salads, vegetable purees, legumes with vegetables or vegetable paella with brown rice.
Reduce the consumption of alcoholic beverages
Regular consumers of alcoholic beverages should limit their consumption of fermented, low-strength alcoholic beverages, especially distillates and sugary beverages. The best options are healthy drinks without alcohol content and water that can be flavored by adding pieces of some fruit.
To complete these healthy recommendations, it is essential to perform two or three impacts of daily physical activity at home or on the terrace: stretching, Pilates exercises, push-ups, exercise bike or similar, yoga, respiratory gymnastics… And get up from the table or sofa every 30 minutes to stretch your legs.