I am
Show me:
Show me:
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 heart healthy lunches booklet (PDF)

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 heart disease risks

COVID-19 and heart disease risks

COVID-19 and heart disease risks

Answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and heart 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....

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

COVID-19 & cardiovascular disease

Information and resources for health care professionals....

Stay connected with your doctor

Stay connected with your doctor

Stay connected with your doctor

It's important that you stay connected with your doctor as needed. ...

Staying active at home during COVID-19

Staying active at home during COVID-19

Staying active at home during COVID-19

Physical activity and COVID-19 FAQ...

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

MyMarathon

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

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Sign up now and discover delicious, easy to follow dinner recipes. Plus shopping lists, tips and other helpful information to make healthy eating easy. ...

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Our range of clinical and patient support resources are available for you to use in your daily practice....

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join the Heart Foundation community. Together, we can make a real difference for Australian hearts. ...

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Q&A with Lauren Blekkenhorst

Q&A with Lauren Blekkenhorst

Q&A with Lauren Blekkenhorst

Research to develop better evidence for the vascular and metabolic health benefits of vegetables and their bioactive constituents....

Endorsement of externally developed clinical resources

Endorsement of externally developed clinical resources

Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

Acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease

The Australian Guideline for Prevention, Diagnosis and Management of Acute Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease (2nd Edition)​....

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril credits cardiac rehab for getting his life back

Cyril suffered a heart attack in 2015. Cardiac rehab helped get his life back on track. ...

Reading food labels

Reading food labels

Reading food labels

Nutrition information panels and ingredients lists are a good way of comparing similar foods so you can choose the healthiest option....

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Supporting Your Emotional Wellbeing: An Online Forum for Young Heart Patients

Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program

Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program

Pilbara Aboriginal Heart Health Program

The program works with local communities to improve heart healthcare in Pilbara communities...

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Sorting out your finances after a heart attack

Explore how to manage your financial concerns after a heart attack. ...

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?...

Philanthropic investments

Philanthropic investments

Philanthropic investments

Making philanthropic investments through the Heart Foundation can transform Australians’ health. ...

Physical activity resources

Physical activity resources

Physical activity resources

Resources for health professionals interested in physical activity....

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....

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Cardiac arrest at 26: adjusting to a new ‘normal’

Physical activity resources for patients and consumers

Physical activity resources for patients and consumers

Physical activity information for professionals...

Supporting Young Hearts Program

Supporting Young Hearts Program

Information and resources for health professionals who are treating patients between 18 - 40 years of age....

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Search our lunch recipe ideas...

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in NSW

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in NSW

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in NSW

A ground-breaking collaboration bringing together for the first time the state’s most eminent cardiovascular researchers...

About the Lighthouse Hospital Project

About the Lighthouse Hospital Project

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in Australia, but the burden of disease disproportionately affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples....

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

10 ways to get the right balance of fats 

Getting the right balance of fats in your diet can improve your heart health....

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

Cardiac rehab is proven to keep you out of hospital and reduce your risk of death from heart conditions....

Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community

Heart Safe Community is a program that aims to increase a person’s chance of survival if they suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital. ...

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Partner with us to help us fight for Australian hearts....

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Got a question about your heart?...