Social distancing, coronavirus anxiety, and state-mandated quarantines have had many of us reaching more for the cookie jar and less for the carrot sticks. While there may not be any foods to prevent or treat COVID-19, eating a healthy balanced diet is still essential for good health. While shops, restaurants, and attractions are slowly opening back up around Massachusetts, we’re giving you some easy tips to ensure your diet stays on track when you’re spending more time at home.
Keep these tips in mind to maintain a healthy diet – even when the world returns to a newer normal.
Tip #1: Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
We know this one is pretty obvious, but we can all use a little reminder to get in our daily doses of essential vitamins. Try to get in at least five portions of fresh fruits and vegetables per day.
Tip #2: Control Portion Sizes
If you’re suddenly finding yourself cooking at home more often, it can be challenging to get portion sizes down. This portion control chart from Gold’s Gym shows you how to use your hands to master portion sizes. Use this as a guide, not a strict rule, and enjoy everything in moderation.
Tip #3: Stay Hydrated
During stay-at-home orders, many of us are forgetting to drink enough H2O each day. If you find yourself making your third cup of coffee for the day to get through your afternoon Zoom call, be sure to have a tall glass of water with it. If regular old water isn’t your go-to, try adding lemon slices, cucumber, mint leaves, or berries for a refreshing boost.
Tip #4: Soak Up Some Sun
Even if you’re in isolation, be sure to get your fill of vitamin D. Summer 2020 won’t quite look like years past with locals heading to Plum Island for a fun, sun-filled day at the beach, but it’s still recommended to let the sun’s rays do their thing. If you have a backyard or access to an open window or balcony, 15-30 minutes of sun exposure to the arms and face can help you meet your daily vitamin D needs.
* Don’t forget your sunscreen if you’re going in the sun for more than 30 minutes.
Tip #5: Opt for Whole Grains Over Refined Grains
We get it, white flour, white bread, and white rice taste great. There’s nothing like a plate of lasagna, pizza, or a PB&J on white bread when you’re in the mood for some comfort food. Try switching things up for whole grains. There are plenty of delicious whole-grain options that still curb your carb craving and help keep you fuller longer.
Tip #6: Limit High Fat, High Sugar, and High Salt Foods
Try limiting the amount of temping sweets and goodies you keep in your pantry. Eating ice cream, potato chips, cookies, and sugary drinks can lead you to consume more calories than needed without contributing nutritional benefits.
Tip #7: Enjoy Your Favorite Treats in Moderation
While candy bars, french fries, and a donut from Dunks’ may not be in line with a healthy diet, no one is telling you not to enjoy your favorite snacks. After all, chocolate does seem to have some kind of magical healing powers. Just be sure to eat in moderation.