If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, it is important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you. One of the most important things to remember is that you should not eat certain foods that can worsen your symptoms or put you at risk for further complications. Eating the wrong foods can increase your risk of dehydration, worsen your symptoms, and even increase your risk of hospitalization. In this article, we will discuss the #1 thing you should NOT do if you have COVID-19: eating the wrong foods. We will provide some tips on what to avoid and what to eat instead to help you stay healthy and safe.
The #1 Thing You Should NOT Do If You Have COVID — Eat This Not That
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, it is important to take extra precautions to protect yourself and those around you. One of the most important things you can do is to be mindful of what you eat. Eating the wrong foods can worsen your symptoms and put you at risk for further complications.
Here are the top foods you should avoid if you have COVID-19:
- Processed foods: Processed foods are high in sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats, which can worsen your symptoms and put you at risk for further complications.
- Sugary drinks: Sugary drinks can cause inflammation and can worsen your symptoms. Avoid soda, energy drinks, and other sugary beverages.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can weaken your immune system and make it harder for your body to fight off the virus. Avoid alcohol while you are sick.
- Raw or undercooked foods: Raw or undercooked foods can contain bacteria or other contaminants that can make your symptoms worse. Avoid eating raw or undercooked foods.
- High-fat foods: High-fat foods can cause inflammation and can worsen your symptoms. Avoid fried foods, processed meats, and other high-fat foods.
It is also important to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Eating a balanced diet and avoiding the foods listed above can help you stay healthy and recover from COVID-19.
Getting COVID-19 even once (let alone multiple times!) should not be taken lightly, virus experts say—so if you do get infected, please don’t behave as if it’s business as usual. “You really want your body to recover,” says Dr. Susan Cheng, a cardiologist, researcher and professor in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “Give it as much rest as possible, to recover as fully as possible.” Here is what you should never do if you have COVID, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
If you have COVID-19, do not “work from home”. Yes, being at home is better than being out there infecting other people, but lack of rest can make recovery significantly longer. Take time off and focus on getting well, doctors say. “Sleep equals immunity,” says Dr. Cheng. “You want to have your immune system not distracted by anything else.”
Sleep is crucial to immune health and recovery, experts say. “In any acute illness — and COVID especially — we know that rest is important. Getting adequate sleep lets the immune system rebalance,” says Dr. Caitlin McAuley McAuley at the COVID Recovery Clinic at Keck Medicine of USC. “We often don’t acknowledge the fact that when we’re sick, we’re not functioning appropriately mentally as well. So decision making may be impaired. At a minimum, you really should unplug for three to five days.”
Even if your COVID-19 infection is mild, pay attention to how you actually feel. “People can do well for about 10 to 12 days and then get very sick,” says Dr. Timothy Brewer, a UCLA professor of medicine and epidemiology. “Just because you did well in the first week doesn’t mean you’re necessarily going to do well in the second or third week. Your body is pretty good at telling you what it needs. So if you’re feeling tired and you’re sick with COVID, that’s probably your body saying, ‘Get back in bed.’”
Working from home has become the norm for many people since the start of the pandemic—but the blurred lines between work and home life can make rest difficult. “Your labor is supposed to be flexible, but that’s the underside — you don’t always really control when you labor,” says UC Santa Barbara professor Eileen Boris. “You think you’re choosing to work, but are you? It’s not like you can walk away from the office.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci is just one of many prominent figures who announced they would be working from home after getting infected with COVID. “It is a way of saying, ‘I am still a powerful person who is able to continue doing my job,’” says Jaime Seltzer, director of scientific and medical outreach at the Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Action Network. Seltzer believes the message should be: “when you become ill, you should be resting”, and people who are sick shouldn’t think they can push through fatigue the way healthy people can, “and wake up more or less feeling back to normal. But we have to recognize that when your immune system is being challenged … that’s simply not true anymore. And we shouldn’t expect ill bodies to behave like healthy bodies.”