I am
Food and healthy eating during COVID-19
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Food and healthy eating during COVID-19

Healthy eating and COVID-19 FAQ

During the COVID-19 pandemic, which foods can help to keep my heart healthy?  

Now, more than ever, it's important to stay as healthy as possible; eating nutritious food is a great starting point. Following a heart-healthy eating pattern means you are eating the variety of foods needed to support your immune system. 

You can follow a Heart-Healthy Eating Pattern by eating:  

  1. Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains. 
  2. A variety of healthy protein sources, especially fish and seafood, legumes (such as beans and lentils), nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart-healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure the meat is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week. 
  3. Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties. 
  4. Healthy fat choices with nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking. 
  5. Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt. 

It’s also important to stay hydrated, so be sure to drink plenty of water. 

What food items should I stock up on from the supermarket? 

Stocking up on a few extra food staples is sensible. But, it’s important to remember there is no need to hoard foods.  

Plan and make a list of the items you need for meals for the week to reduce the time you spend at the supermarket and limit food wastage at home. 

Some healthy items that have a longer shelf life include: 

  • Canned or frozen vegetables (when buying canned vegetables, choose the products with no added salt) 
  • Canned or dried legumes, such as beans, chickpeas and lentils 
  • Pasta, rice, oats quinoa and cous cous (wholemeal versions are best) 
  • Canned fish, including tuna, salmon and sardines 
  • Unflavoured long life milk (UHT milk, milk powder) 
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds and/or nut butters 
  • Dried herbs and spices  

What are some other tips for eating healthy during COVID-19? 

During our normal routines are interrupted and this can be challenge for eating well. Try setting new routines for mealtimes and snacks to keep work and play separate.   

Take some time to plan your meals for the week, this helps to be prepared and limits temptations to fall back on takeaways or unhealthy options.   

Also, limit the amount of unhealthy foods you have at home.  An occasional treat is fine, but having large amounts of chocolate, lollies, biscuits, chips, soft drink or other unhealthy food and drinks in the pantry can be hard to resist.  

Lunching from home? Our latest recipe booklet is full of heart-healthy recipes for weekday lunches at home.

Download breakfast recipe booklet

Download heart healthy lunches booklet

Sign up to the Heart-Healthy Dinner Plan

What can I do with all the basic ingredients I stocked up on?  

Spending more time at home creates a new opportunity to learn to cook or to try cooking something new.  If you are low on time, don’t worry, there are many healthy meals that can be made quickly and easily. 

Are you looking for tips on what to cook with ingredients that you have at home? Discover our heart-healthy delicious recipes.

Are there any supplements or superfoods that can help protect me from COVID-19?

There is no single food, supplement or natural food product that will protect you from COVID-19. This includes alcoholic drinks. You can read the Heart Foundation’s advice on COVID-19 and heart disease here

I have COVID-19 and heart disease. Which nutrition advice should I follow? 

There is no single food or supplement that can protect against or treat COVID-19. You should continue to eat a heart-healthy diet and to follow any specific existing nutrition recommendations from your doctor or healthcare professional.

Keep eating regular meals (even if you are experiencing loss of appetite), stay hydrated by drinking water through the day and follow your heart-healthy eating pattern. 

Get heart health information and support 

Get free, personalised information and support from the Heart Foundation Helpline. Translation and interpreter service is available.  

Call 13 11 12 or email health@heartfoundation.org.au 

For more information on COVID-19, visit the Department of Health website.  

You might also be interested in

4 tips to keep your heart healthy while working from home

4 tips to keep your heart healthy while working from home

4 tips to keep your heart healthy while working from home

Stay informed about COVID-19

Stay informed about COVID-19

Stay informed about COVID-19

If you have heart disease, you are more vulnerable to severe complications....

COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease

COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease

COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease

COVID-19 info & FAQs

COVID-19 info & FAQs

COVID-19 info & FAQs

Information and FAQs about COVID-19 and heart disease....

Looking after your emotional health in uncertain times

Looking after your emotional health in uncertain times

Looking after your emotional health in uncertain times

Blog by Carlye Weiner, Clinical Psychologist...

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Got a question about your heart?...

COVID-19 and the flu vaccine

COVID-19 and the flu vaccine

COVID-19 and the flu vaccine

Getting a flu shot now will help in the fight against COVID-19....

Surprising ways your family can meet the challenge to keep active

Surprising ways your family can meet the challenge to keep active

Surprising ways your family can meet the challenge to keep active

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

Exercises to do at home

All you need to know about keeping active during COVID-19....

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

For Professionals: COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

Information and resources for health care professionals....

Tenecteplase versus alteplase for stroke thrombolysis evaluation trial

Tenecteplase versus alteplase for stroke thrombolysis evaluation trial

Professor Mark Parsons, Institution: University of Melbourne...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

The fundraising race where you set the pace. Run, jog or walk MyMarathon at your own pace during October....

Research Directory

Research Directory

Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring

Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring

A coronary artery calcium score can be used following a Heart Health Check to estimate your risk of heart attack....

Our research stories

Our research stories

Our research stories

We fund amazing researchers who have important stories to tell...

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Search our lunch recipe ideas...

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discuss the practical application of absolute CVD risk assessment through Heart Health Checks....

Q&A with Dr Jessica Orchard

Q&A with Dr Jessica Orchard

Q&A with Dr Jessica Orchard

Cardiac screening of athletes: disparities and differences in electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation criteria in under-represented populations...

End of Financial Year Tax Receipt

End of Financial Year Tax Receipt

End of Financial Year Tax Receipt

Looking to claim your donations in your tax return this financial year?...

Workplace giving for employees

Workplace giving for employees

Workplace giving for employees

Your employer’s workplace giving program makes it easy to setup regular, tax-deductible donations from your pre-tax income. ...

Q&A with Dr Rachel Climie

Q&A with Dr Rachel Climie

Q&A with Dr Rachel Climie

Vascular ageing and cardiovascular disease in high-risk populations...

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Benefits of physical activity for your heart

Physical activity and exercise can do wonders for your physical and mental health....

Peter is breathing easy again after heart valve surgery

Peter is breathing easy again after heart valve surgery

Peter is breathing easy again after heart valve surgery

Peter has lived with a rare heart condition since he was 14, but hadn’t given it too much thought until his 30s....

3 Minute Research Competition Terms & Conditions

3 Minute Research Competition Terms & Conditions

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Discover what you need to know about being active after a heart attack....

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart Health Projects

Projects aimed at improving the heart health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples ...

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

A small, battery-powered device that is fitted under the skin of your upper chest....

Protein and heart health

Protein and heart health

Protein and heart health

What are the best sources of protein when it come to your heart health...

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

Loaded veggie shepherds pie

1 hour
Serves Serves 4 (as a main meal)

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Salad recipes

Search through our tasty salad recipes...

Sweet potato breakfast hash

Sweet potato breakfast hash

Sweet potato breakfast hash

15 minutes
Serves 2

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD)

Clinical information and links to SCAD resources....

The Heart Failure Toolkit

The Heart Failure Toolkit

The Toolkit provides health services with a targeted approach to addressing readmission rates and decreasing variation in care....

How to make healthier meals at home

How to make healthier meals at home

How to make healthier meals at home

Cooking at home is often healthier than eating out....

For professionals: Heart failure tools and resources

For professionals: Heart failure tools and resources

Resources for healthcare professionals on the management of patients with heart failure ...

Staying active for better heart health

Staying active for better heart health

Staying active for better heart health

Moving more every day is one of the best habits you can have....

Jaxson skips through a bucket list of Sydney landmarks

Jaxson skips through a bucket list of Sydney landmarks

Jaxson skips through a bucket list of Sydney landmarks

Media Release - 15 September 2020...

Keeping a close watch on brain and kidney health during heart surgery.

Keeping a close watch on brain and kidney health during heart surgery.

Keeping a close watch on brain and kidney health during heart surgery.

Healthy Active by Design

Healthy Active by Design

Healthy Active by Design

Improving the design of our cities, towns, streets and buildings makes it easier for Australians to lead heart-healthy lives....