Dietitian Warns Of Increased Snacking When Ordering Food Online Due To COVID-19
The rise of COVID-19 could see more online takeaways from home. Here's what you need to know.
In light of the rising numbers of COVID-19 infections globally, even outside of China, Health Minister Mr Gan Kim Yong warned in a recent parliament speech that Singapore will have to “brace itself for significantly more new cases here.”
As of 10 March 2020, 111 countries and regions outside mainland China have been affected with 114,343 confirmed cases and 4,025 deaths. Here at home, there are 160 confirmed cases.
More to stay at home
“The threat of a pandemic has become very real,” said the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a statement earlier today (10 March). While COVID-19 has yet to be labelled as a pandemic, WHO says that it would be the “first pandemic in history that could be controlled”.
While some organisations have already implemented work from home arrangements for their employees, the further rise in COVID-19 cases could see more of such enforcements.
This could lead to increased enforcements being taken, with more work from home arrangements implemented by organisations for their employees, among other measures such as encouraging the public to avoid crowds and stay home wherever possible.
Ordering food online: Tips by Dietitian
The ordering of takeaways has become more popular as more are encouraged or choose the option to stay home during this crucial period. And this brings about concerns of having proper nutrition and maintaining a balanced diet.
Ms Annabelle Johnson, a Dietitian from Ng Teng Fong General Hospital’s Dietetics and Nutrition Department shares her insights and highlights some considerations when ordering food online.
- Vegetables should be of priority (the portion of vegetables should fill half a plate)
Vegetables contain fibre, vitamins and minerals—necessary nutrients that strengthen immunity. Especially for individuals who often stay home or have work-from-home arrangements due to the virus, there is bound to be a decrease in physical activity. To help tackle this, Ms Johnson advises consuming plenty of vegetables as they could help with weight control.
- Balance between low-fat protein and healthy carbohydrates
While half of the portion should consist of vegetables, the dietitian says that the other half should include a balance of low-fat protein options and healthy carbohydrates.
Low-fat protein options include grilled fish, tofu and beans while healthy carbohydrate options include brown rice and sweet potatoes. She also seeks to remind that fried and processed foods are high in fat and salt content so it is best to limit their intake.
- Re-check orders before confirmation
Ms Johnson recommends re-checking your order before sending it out to ascertain if what you have ordered does provide balanced nutrition. Doing so also allows you to determine if you have over-ordered so as to prevent food wastage.
Increased snacking at home
It can definitely be tempting to snack when you are in the comfort of your home, with your stash of snacks within reach.
And yes, staying home for a prolonged period of time could lead to an increase in snacking, said Ms Johnson. If not curbed, the habit could result in weight gain and a nutritional imbalance.
Here are some of her suggestions to prevent over snacking:
- Have healthy and balanced meals as they help to prevent snacking due to hunger
- Drink water regularly to replenish nutrients—the urge to eat or snack is often due to thirst
- Store snacks away from your line of sight
- If you happen to be tempted by the snacks you have stored away, do not reach out immediately. Instead, try to divert your attention by doing some stretching exercises.
In the event of feeling peckish, Ms Johnson suggests opting for healthier snacks such as a slice of fruit, a handful of nuts or a glass of sugar-free tea to satisfy your hunger.
Also read: Healthy Snacks Your Kids Will Love!