I am
Show me:
Show me:
Five hearty eating tips for home isolation
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Five hearty eating tips for home isolation

Media Release - 30 March 2020

While it can be tempting to neglect healthy eating habits as you home isolate from COVID-19, the Heart Foundation warns it is more important than ever to eat well for your heart.

During this unprecedented lockdown, the Heart Foundation’s Health Strategy Director, Julie Anne Mitchell, said one of the best ways to stay healthy and support your immunity is eating the right mix of foods over the days, weeks and months ahead.

“From now on, many of us will be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at home, so a bit of meal planning can minimize food wastage and help reduce cost. It’s also a great time to audit your pantry or freezer to use any foods you already have before they go out of date.

“We’re encouraging Aussies to adopt a heart healthy eating pattern by filling their plates with a good mix of veggies, fruits and wholegrains, together with some healthy proteins like fish, legumes or smaller amounts of lean chicken or eggs. If you’re choosing red meat, make it lean and have less than 350 grams a week.”

Last year the Heart Foundation revised its guidelines around meat, dairy and egg consumption.

Ms Mitchell recommends people with heart disease or high cholesterol should choose reduced fat unflavoured milk, cheese or yogurt and those with Type 2 Diabetes should limit eggs to fewer than seven per week.

“We may face many days in home isolation, so while buying fresh produce is great, frozen or canned vegetables, beans or fruits can be just as nutritious and store well for a long time.

“Shoppers buying any canned or packaged foods should turn the product over and read the nutrition label. It’s best to compare products in the same category and opt for those with lower sodium or added sugar levels.”

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic reached our shores, poor diet was a leading risk for heart disease – Australia’s single biggest killer – taking 48 lives a day.

Staying home is the perfect opportunity for Australians to dust off their cooking skills or even learn to cook so here’s some hearty eating tips for home isolation:

Five hearty eating tips for home isolation

Prepare ahead, but don’t hoard

Stocking up on a few extra staples is sensible but there is no need to hoard as supermarkets will stay open during the COVID-19 lockdown. Plan your meals ahead and shop with a list to ensure you’re getting the right ingredients for a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner meals to minimise food wastage and cost.

Fresh, canned or frozen – it’s about the mix

Frozen veggies can be just as healthy as fresh options. Canned vegetables, beans or fruit have an extra-long shelf life, so they are perfect for your pantry. When choosing canned vegetables and legumes (like beans or lentils), buy “no added salt”, “low-salt” or “reduced-salt” versions and choose fruit canned in juice rather than syrup.

Choose heart-healthy proteins over red meats

Heart healthy proteins like fish or seafood are an excellent source of omega-3s, which our bodies need but cannot produce. If you can’t get fresh fish, choose canned salmon or tuna in spring water rather than salty brine. Or you can opt for lean chicken or eggs, but if choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to 1-3 meals a week.

Set routine mealtimes and cut the couch snacking

Now the couch and fridge are in easy reach, avoid snacking by establishing a mealtime routine to keep work and play separate. If you do snack, go for a handful of unsalted nuts, a cup of veggie sticks or a small plate of cut up fruit to curb that afternoon craving. Opt for this instead of unhealthy foods like chips, biscuits, chocolate or flavoured sugary drinks. While these unhealthy snacks can be an occasional treat, try to avoid stocking them in your pantry in the first place.

Brush up your home cooking skills and get inspired

Staying at home for long periods of time is the perfect opportunity to either learn to cook or brush up on your skills. If you’ve stocked up on pantry essentials like tinned tomatoes or lentils and need inspiration on how to turn them into a meal, why not try some heart healthy recipes.


Media enquiries

Debora McInnes, Senior Media Advisor Nutrition
M: 0423 827 697 E: debora.mcinnes@heartfoundation.org.au

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. ...

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....

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Heart Age Calculator

Try our Heart Age Calculator to understand what contributes to your risk of heart disease....

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. ...

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

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

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

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.  ...

What is an arrhythmia?

What is an arrhythmia?

What is an arrhythmia?

Arrhythmia is a fault in the heart’s electrical system, which affects your heart’s pumping rhythm....

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Help others in need through a gift in your Will

Ian “did not hesitate” to leave 100% of his estate to the Heart Foundation....

5 Ingredient Recipes Booklet

5 Ingredient Recipes Booklet

5 Ingredient Recipes Booklet

A collection of quick and delicious heart healthy recipes. Get your booklet now! ...

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Confidential. Personal. Reliable.

Got a question about your heart?...

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

Clinical resources: Coronary heart disease and mental health

The prevalence of depression is high in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD)....

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease....

Advocating for healthy hearts throughout Australia

Advocating for healthy hearts throughout Australia

We're addressing the disparities in heart health so all Australians can live longer, healthier lives....

Research funding programs

Research funding programs

Research funding programs

The Heart Foundation supports outstanding researchers who share our vision of an Australia free from heart disease. ...

Mental health and heart disease

Mental health and heart disease

Mental health and heart disease

Having a mental health condition can have a negative impact on your heart health and increase your risk of heart disease....

Kids recipes

Kids recipes

Kids recipes

Find heart healthy kids recipes...

Our programs and initiatives

Our programs and initiatives

Our programs and initiatives

The Heart Foundation delivers innovative, evidence-based programs and initiatives to support and prevent heart disease in Australia...

Heart conditions in women

Heart conditions in women

Heart conditions in women

Like men, women can be diagnosed with a range of heart 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....

Supporting SA cardiac patients and health professionals with free resources

Supporting SA cardiac patients and health professionals with free resources

Supporting SA cardiac patients and health professionals with free resources

We want to make it easier for South Australians to lead heart-healthy lives....

Your heart is your most important tool

Your heart is your most important tool

Your heart is your most important tool

Men’s Health Week is the perfect time to think about your heart....

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

Become a corporate partner

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

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....

Types of physical activity

Types of physical activity

Types of physical activity

Nine out of 10 Australians could reduce the risk of heart disease by walking as little as 15 minutes more each day....

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....

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....

Women's heart stories

Women's heart stories

Women's heart stories

Women's stories from around Australia...

What is a cardiac arrest?

What is a cardiac arrest?

What is a cardiac arrest?

With immediate help a cardiac arrest can be survived. Learn how to save a life....

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart

Jump Rope for Heart teaches school children how to keep fit and healthy through skipping!...