The Novel Coronavirus - Israel Ministry of Health

Healthy Nutrition

Publication date: 31/03/2020, 10:20 | Update date: 10/05/2020, 16:14

Principles of a healthy nutrition

The general guidelines for healthy nutrition in general, relevant also during home isolation:

  • It is recommended that you prefer home cooked meals and use raw materials (over pre-cooked meals for quick serving or instant dishes that are rich in sodium, fat and sugar). Home isolation provides ample time to plan ahead for marinating and for cooking, to spend time and effort cutting vegetables and to add a variety of new recipes to your repertoire. Use this opportunity.

If you're not isolated alone, you can make cooking a quality family time, for example by cooking and eating together. Try our Efashribari recipes – for easy to make and warm meals that make dinners a family experience that can make a change for the better.

  • It is recommended that you consumed fresh or cooked vegetables of different types and colors, fruits, legumes and whole grains.
  • It is recommended that you keep regular mealtimes as part of the schedule of the new isolation routine.
  • It is recommended that you make time to eat at leisure and close the screens when eating.
  • Israel's national nutritional recommendations are also valid for the isolation.
  • It is recommended to refrain from eating snacks and sweets, especially those labeled with the red label.
  • It is recommended to drink mostly water, and refrain from drinking sweet or sweetened beverages.
  • It is important to make sure that we eat measured quantities of food. During isolation we are less active, and do not spend the same amount of energy that we normally do.
  • It is recommended to avoid the natural tendency to look for "comfort" in food, snacks and sweets. It is preferable to try and use this time for additional activities like reading a good book, completing crossword puzzles, dancing, learning a new subject, returning to an old hobby, or listening to good music, and not for eating snacks.
  • There is no reason to eat ultra-processed food containing high quantities of sugar, trans fat or sodium. If you are isolated, you can ask a family member or a friend to bring you healthy foods, dishes, and fresh fruits and vegetables.  

Eat healthy even if you're at home

Even if we're at home because of the risk of infection by COVID-19, we can protect ourselves by having a strong and strengthening diet. It is vital we have healthy option at home to keep the routine, so that we do not add the problems of eating unhealthy in this unusual situation.

Read the full article (Hebrew)

Buying healthy food

When in isolation you can shop on the internet and order a delivery, or ask a f­amily member/friend/neighbor for help. Grocery shopping should include healthy and nutritious products such as:

  • A variety of fruits and vegetables – some fresh and some frozen or canned so that they can last longer (bags of assorted frozen vegetables, preserved vegetables and peas and more).
  • Legumes such as beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas as well as legume pastes – You can buy either dried (raw) or canned legumes.
  • Grains – Crackers, bread (you should keep some in the freezer), quinoa, buckwheat, rice, pasta and more.
  • Fats – Tahina, nuts, seeds and almonds, peanut butter with no additives, olive or canola oil.
  • Dairy products or substitutes such as tofu and soy drinks – You can buy some shelf stable.
  • Canned fish, eggs, and raw chicken in the freezer  

You may use the healthy grocery list for reference.

Special cases

  • People with heart conditions and various chronic conditions (diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, dialysis, heart failure, cardiovascular diseases) or people recovering from operations, diseases and various chronic conditions that compromise the digestion system etc. should follow the guidance of the treating physician and the dietitian. 
  • In special circumstances, such as when there is need for task-specific food, baby formulas and when there is dietary restriction, such as in cases of illness or food allergy/intolerance, it is important that you buy foods suitable for such conditions, according to the dietitian's recommendations.
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