Pandemic changed eating habits
The coronavirus, which negatively affected life in many issues from daily life to work and social interaction, also changed the eating habits and the number of meals. Asst. Prof. Betül Öztürk, Director of School of Applied Management Sciences, Izmir University of Economics (IUE), stated that with the transition to working from home during the pandemic period, many people gave up breakfast or started to have breakfast at noon, by decreasing number of meals to two, which is not the healthy thing to do. Drawing attention to the importance of nutrition at the point of virus protection and the fact that the body should not be weak, Prof. Nazan Turhan, Head of IUE Department of Food Engineering, made recommendations to help protect from the disease.
Coronavirus, which took hold of Turkey since March, increased its spread rate recently. As the number of cases and deaths due to the virus increased across the country, IUE experts call attention to not to skip meals and to maintain a healthy diet.
WE EAT ONLY AT NOON AND EVENING
Asst. Prof. Betül Öztürk, Director of IUE School of Applied Management Sciences, said, “Many companies switched to remote work due to the coronavirus. Thousands of students receive distance education. This digital transformation has increased the time individuals spend with their families. However, the working time and the time allocated to our friends, relatives got mixed. Many people changed the three main meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. When we started to use the time, we spent on the way to work or school in the morning at home, our early breakfast shifted to late hours. Many people have made it a habit to not have breakfast, even if they get up early in the morning, and to have two meals, lunch and dinner instead. The portions may get smaller due to reduced physical activity, but healthy snacks should not be given up. Unfortunately, there has been no attention to snacks. The continuation of this period for a long time puts people in trouble at the point of fighting the virus and healthy nutrition. A healthy diet habit should be established especially for children and adolescents in development age during the time spent at home. Staying at home should not interfere with healthy nutrition.”
5 PORTIONS OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Prof. Nazan Turhan, Head of IUE Department of Food Engineering, recommended consumption of dairy products and egg for protein needs. Prof. Turhan said that fish consumption should be at least 3 portions per week. Stating that it would be beneficial to prefer liquid fats instead of solid fats, Prof. Turhan said, “Whole wheat bread should be preferred instead of white bread and bulgur should be preferred instead of rice. It is necessary to eat at least 400 grams or five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. We need to make sure to consume products such as kefir, yogurt, pickles, vinegar, which are possible sources for probiotic bacteria known to have a positive effect on the immune system. Vitamins A, C, E, zinc mineral and Omega-3 fatty acids come to the fore for the immune system. These vitamins are found more in fish, walnuts, and purslane. Fiber contributes to a healthy digestive system and provides a long-lasting feeling of fullness that helps prevent overeating. In order to ensure adequate fiber intake, we must include vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole-wheat foods in all meals.”
DO NOT ADD EXTRA SALT
Emphasizing the importance of planning food shopping and giving priority to the consumption of foods with short shelf life and fresh products, Prof. Turhan said, “Avoid adding extra salt to your meals. Total fat should not exceed 30 percent of total energy intake to prevent unhealthy weight gain. Instead of frying your food, opt for cooking methods that require less or no oil such as steaming, grilling or sautéing. Remove excess fat from red and white meats and consume skinless products. Cut down on foods such as butter and full-fat dairy products, solid fats.”