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Proper Eating During Quarantine

By CHESHIRE QUE RND, RN, RDN

Never in our wildest dreams did we think that this day would come. It’s just like in the movies.

We are confined within the four walls of our homes due to community quarantine. In times like this, food availability and choices are often limited. Such bad timing too because food is medicine. What you eat impacts your overall health and ability to fight infection, as well as the rate of recovery from illness.

While your eating pattern may not be ideal in the midst of this pandemic, striving to do your best will take you a step further away from being a casualty by boosting your immunity in addition to observing transmission prevention protocol.

What’s in your shopping cart or basket?

Even if we are on a lockdown, one member of the household can still go out to buy food. Unfortunately, it is tempting to hoard processed food, which are high in refined sugars, trans fats, and contain very little or zero nutrients. 

This is the time to stock on a few days worth of fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen and canned vegetables, canned and dried fruits to ensure that you get the much needed vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that boost immunity.

Buy lean meat, chicken, fish that can be kept frozen instead of piling your cart full of canned meats and other processed food. Canned fish like tuna and sardines are better options than processed meats that are very high in sodium and unhealthy fats. 

While occasional treats are allowable in moderation as food for the soul, examine what is in your cart. Do you have more life-giving food or do you have more food for the soul? Is your basket loaded with minimally processed food or is it overflowing with chips, chocolates, and canned meats? 

Don’t drink your calories

When you are stuck at home and you have all the time in the world to be a couch potato, it is tempting to snack and drink beverages. By the end of this lockdown, you will surely be stouter and heavier. We may not be aware of it but beverages largely contribute to the intake of excess calories. 

Healthier beverage options would be water, carbonated water with zero calories when naturally flavored, infused water (calamansi, lemon, or lime), brewed coffee, hot tea, unsweetened iced tea, a glass or two of 100 percent fruit juice. 

Smart snacking

Do you feel hungrier now that you have less work to do and more time on your hands? Learn to determine the type of hunger you are feeling. If it is felt in your tummy area then that is true physical hunger. If you feel the craving above your neck, in your mouth, or if it is related to your emotions or your senses (you saw something on TV, etc.), then you should drink a glass of water or do something to divert your attention from food. You are experiencing either emotional or sensory hunger.

If you have to snack on something, do not eat directly from the container. Take a moderate portion and put it in a small plate or bowl. For example, if you want to have some nuts or dried fruits, put about two tablespoons in a small bowl and eat it slowly. Savor the taste in order for you not to be tempted to eat more. Whenever food is limited, portion control must also be exercised!

The way to proper eating during the quarantine period is to make healthier choices available as much as possible, consume less healthy options sparingly and only when left with nothing to eat, and practice portion control. Do not give in to stress eating during these difficult times.



Source: Manila Bulletin ( https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/03/23/proper-eating-during-quarantine/)

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