Table of contents:
- Corona crisis: healthy eating at home
- General tips for the home
- Particularly recommended foods
- Use time and cook for yourself: healthy recipes
Video: Healthy Nutrition In Corona - Healthy Nutrition In Covid 19 - Healthy Nutrition In Quarantine
Corona crisis: healthy eating at home
A healthy lifestyle is the basis for our wellbeing. An essential step to do something good for your own health is to ensure a balanced, varied and healthy diet. Good nutrition is essential for health, especially at times of Covid-19, when the immune system may be challenged - and of course also in the event of a quarantine. To help people eat healthy food during the Corona crisis, the WHO Regional Office for Europe has put together a series of general advice and a list of particularly good foods.
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- more on the subject
- Advice, downloads & tools
- General tips for the home
- Particularly recommended foods
- Use time and cook for yourself: healthy recipes
General tips for the home
Make a plan - only take what you need
When you see the need to purchase large quantities of groceries, see what you already have and use it. Also watch out for foods with a limited shelf life. This will help you avoid food waste and enable others to buy what they need. In order to know what food will be needed in the next week, it can also be helpful to create a menu.
Be strategic in purchasing ingredients and preferably use fresh produce
Use and buy the fresh ingredients and those with a limited sell-by date first. Frozen fruits and vegetables can be stored for longer periods of time and often have a nutritional value comparable to that of fresh food. To avoid throwing food away, you can perhaps freeze the leftovers for another meal or use them in another dish the next day.
Cook at home
In everyday life, many people do not have enough time to cook for themselves. Spending more time at home may give you the opportunity to cook the recipes you didn't have the time for before. You can find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes on the Internet. Take advantage of this free information and experiment with the ingredients it can get. Please note our principles for healthy eating.
Pay attention to portion sizes
It is sometimes difficult to find the right portion sizes, especially when you cook everything yourself. Being at home for long periods of time, especially alone or without adequate activity, often leads to overeating. Inquire about the size of healthy adult servings, and be aware that children need smaller servings. You can find more information under The Austrian Food Pyramid.
Food handling safety
Food safety is a prerequisite for food security and a healthy diet. Only safe foods are healthy foods. Adequate food hygiene is required when preparing food for yourself and others to avoid food contamination and foodborne illness. The most important principles of good food hygiene include:
- Keep hands, kitchen and kitchen utensils clean
- Separate raw and cooked foods, especially raw meat and fresh produce
- Cook food thoroughly
- Keep food at a safe temperature (5 degrees Celsius or over 60 degrees Celsius)
By following these four food safety recommendations, you can avoid many foodborne diseases.
Limit your salt intake
The WHO recommends less than five grams of salt per day. To achieve this, preferably use foods with little or no added salt. You can also run water over canned foods, such as beans and other vegetables, to wash away any excess salt. Note that pickled foods are also often high in salt. In many countries 50 percent to 75 percent of the salt intake comes from the food consumed itself (e.g. from bread and pastries, cheese and sausage products) and not from adding salt. Since you often already consume enough salt, avoid adding salt when cooking and at the dining table. Instead, try fresh or dried herbs to flavor your meal.
Limit your sugar intake
The WHO recommends that ideally less than five percent of the total energy intake of adults (about six teaspoons) be covered with free sugars. When you really need something sweet, fresh fruit is always a better choice. Other good options include frozen fruit, canned fruit in juice instead of syrup, and dried fruit with no added sugar. Other desserts should have a low sugar content and small portions. Also note that so-called low-fat products often contain high levels of added sugar. Limit the amount of sugar or honey you add to food and avoid sweetening drinks.
Limit your fat intake
The WHO recommends limiting the total fat intake to less than 30 percent of the total amount of energy, of which a maximum of 10 percent from saturated fats. To achieve this, choose cooking methods that require little or no fat, such as steaming, grilling or sautéing instead of roasting. If necessary, use small amounts of unsaturated oils such as canola, olive or sunflower oil for cooking. Preferably use foods that contain unsaturated fats, such as fish and nuts. To limit saturated fats, cut off excess fat from meat and poultry and use skinless meat. Use less red and high-fat meat, butter and whole dairy products, palm oil, coconut oil, hydrogenated fats and bacon.
Avoid using trans fats whenever possible. Read the nutrition labels to make sure no hydrogenated oils have been used. In the absence of a food label, avoid products that commonly contain trans fats, such as processed and fried foods like donuts or baked goods like cookies, frozen pizzas, crackers, and margarine. When in doubt, minimally processed foods and ingredients are a better choice. For more information, see the Food Pyramid: Fat Snacks, Sweet and Salty
Eat enough fiber
Fiber makes an important contribution to a healthy digestion and ensures a longer feeling of satiety, so that overeating is avoided. To ensure an adequate supply of fiber, make sure that all meals contain vegetables, fruits, legumes and / or whole grains. Whole grain products include whole grain flakes, pasta and rice and quinoa, whole wheat bread and whole grain wraps instead of white flour products such as white pasta, white rice and white bread.
Make sure you are drinking enough fluids
An adequate intake of fluids contributes significantly to health. If the tap water is safe to drink, it is the healthiest and cheapest option. And it's the most sustainable option because, unlike bottled water, there is no waste. Drinking water instead of sweetened beverages is an easy way to lower your sugar intake and avoid excessive calorie intake. To refine the taste, you can add fresh or frozen fruit such as berries or slices of citrus fruits; Cucumber or herbs such as mint, lavender or rosemary are also possible.
Avoid large quantities of strong coffee, strong tea and especially caffeinated sodas and energy drinks. They can lead to dehydration and have a negative impact on sleep.
Avoid alcohol or at least reduce your alcohol consumption
Alcohol is not only an addictive mind-altering substance that is harmful in any amount, it also weakens the immune system. In particular, heavy alcohol consumption affects the body's ability to cope with infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
It is therefore recommended to avoid alcohol in general, but especially during self-quarantine. As a psychoactive substance, alcohol also affects mental state and decision-making skills, and increases vulnerability to hazards such as falls, injuries or violence when quarantined with another person. It is known that alcohol consumption also increases depression, anxiety and panic attacks. These symptoms can worsen during isolation and self-quarantine. Alcohol use is not a good coping mechanism, either in the short or long term, although some believe it helps manage stressful situations.
In addition, alcohol interferes with the effects of certain drugs and increases the effects and toxicity of others. Avoid alcohol in conjunction with pain relievers, as alcohol affects liver function and can cause serious problems, including liver failure.
Under no circumstances should alcoholic beverages be used to prevent or treat COVID-19 infection.
Alcohol is not a necessary part of the diet and is not part of a healthy lifestyle and should therefore not be on your shopping list.
Enjoy family meals
Due to the social distancing (keeping your distance) from the COVID-19 outbreak, many families are spending more time at home and have more opportunities to eat together. Meals together are a great opportunity for parents to lead by example about healthy eating and can help strengthen family bonds.
Spending longer periods of time at home can also offer new opportunities to involve children in the preparation of healthy meals. This can help teach them important life skills that they can take with them into adulthood. If children can decide which vegetables to cook with their meal, it is an incentive to eat them at the table. When children are involved in cooking, it is important to keep meals simple and teach children the rules of food safety (washing hands, cleaning surfaces and avoiding certain raw ingredients).
Particularly recommended foods
Here is an overview of foods with high nutritional value that are easily accessible and have a long shelf life.
Long lasting fresh fruit and vegetables
The WHO recommends consuming at least 400 g of fruit and vegetables daily (ie five servings a day). Regional and seasonal products (in spring, for example, radishes), but also citrus fruits such as oranges, clementines and grapefruit, but also bananas and apples are suitable. They can be cut into smaller pieces and frozen or used to make smoothies. Root vegetables such as carrots, beets, celery and beets, but also vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, have a relatively long shelf life. Garlic, ginger, and onions are also good storage options as they can be used to flavor a wide variety of dishes.
Frozen fruits and vegetables
Frozen fruits such as berries are ideal because they are rich in vitamins and fiber and often cheaper than fresh fruit. It can be used in juices, smoothies or porridge or can be eaten with low-fat natural yogurt after defrosting.
Frozen vegetables are packed with nutrients and easy to prepare. Consumption makes it possible to achieve the recommended daily rations.
Dried legumes and canned
Beans, chickpeas, lentils, and other legumes are great sources of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They can also be used in many ways, for example in casseroles, soups, spreads and salads.
Whole grains and starch-rich root vegetables
Whole grain rice and pasta, oat flakes, buckwheat and quinoa, as well as other unprocessed whole grain products, are well suited because they have a long shelf life, are easy to prepare and high in fiber. Unsalted crackers and whole grain bread are also good options. Bread is easy to freeze for later consumption, ideally in slices (for easier defrosting), so it tastes fresh longer.
Starch-rich root vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes also have a long shelf life and are good sources of carbohydrates. If possible, they should be baked, boiled or steamed. Those who eat the shell get additional fiber and a more intense taste.
Dried fruit, nuts and seeds
Especially unsalted and unsweetened, they are a healthy snack or can be used in porridge, salads and other dishes. Nut butters or spreads containing nuts are also well suited as long as they are made 100 percent from nuts, i.e. without added sugar and salt or partially hydrogenated oils or palm oil.
Eggs are a very good source of protein and nutrients and are extremely versatile. Preferably make boiled eggs rather than fried eggs.
Although fresh or frozen vegetables are usually preferable, canned vegetables such as mushrooms, spinach, peas, tomatoes, and green beans are good alternatives with longer shelf lives that allow vegetables to be consumed adequately. Whenever possible, look for products with little or no added salt.
Tuna, sardines, and other types of canned fish are good sources of protein and healthy fats. They can be a healthy addition to salads, pasta dishes, and whole grain breads. If possible, use fish in its own juice instead of in oil or brine.
Low-fat milk and dairy products
Dairy products are a good source of protein and other nutrients (e.g. various vitamins). Low-fat dairy products are one way to reduce your consumption of saturated fats and have nutritional benefits of their own as well. They contain just as much calcium as the higher-fat variant. Long-life milk in a can or in a tetrapak has a relatively long shelf life. Another long-life alternative is milk powder.
(Tips modified from WHO Regional Office for Europe "Diet tips for quarantine")
Use time and cook for yourself: healthy recipes
The time at home can also be used to try out new recipes and cook together. Do you need ideas? Our recipes are not only colorful, healthy, balanced and varied. There is also something for everyone. Let yourself be inspired. Here you can find our healthy recipes.
Do not forget to observe food hygiene: This includes, among other things, regular and thorough hand washing, keeping the kitchen and work surfaces clean, and regularly replacing the kitchen sponge towels. More information under Hygiene in the kitchen.
Further information on the subject of coronavirus:
- Corona crisis: staying healthy with exercise
- Coronavirus: Infoline, protective measures & updates