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 It’s also a great time to audit your pantry or freezer to use any foods you already have before they go out of date.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

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

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. ...

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. ...

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. ...

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Together, we can make heart disease history. Donate today to help fund ground-breaking heart research and keep families together this Christmas. ...

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 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....

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

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

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.  ...

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...

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Our corporate partners

Our corporate partners

Our corporate partners

We value the support of all of our corporate partners....

WEBINAR | Heart failure diagnosis and care

WEBINAR | Heart failure diagnosis and care

Improving diagnosis and care for heart failure patients....

Seafood recipes

Seafood recipes

Seafood recipes

Find heart healthy seafood recipes...

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes is an ongoing health condition where your body’s usual ways of controlling your blood sugar, or blood glucose levels, don’t work properly. ...

Raffles & Lotteries

Raffles & Lotteries

Raffles & Lotteries

Give yourself a chance to win $20,000 while helping the Heart Foundation to raise essential funds for heart research....

Key Statistics: Heart attack

Key Statistics: Heart attack

Physical activity and your heart health

Physical activity and your heart health

Physical activity and your heart health

Physical activity and exercise can benefit your heart, body and mind....

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....

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David’s shock heart failure diagnosis was just the start of a tough journey

David's heart failure diagnosis led to significant changes in his life....

The one that took Jan’s breath away

The one that took Jan’s breath away

The one that took Jan’s breath away

Open heart surgery to treat damaged heart valves has improved Jan's overall health....

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

Feelings and emotions after a heart attack

This is a guide to how you might be feeling after a heart attack. ...

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....

COVID-19 info & FAQs

COVID-19 info & FAQs

COVID-19 info & FAQs

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

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

What is heart failure?

Heart failure is a condition where your heart isn’t pumping as well as it should be....

Our supporters 

Our supporters 

Our supporters 

Working together to save Australian hearts...

Heart failure clinical resources

Heart failure clinical resources

Resources and clinical information for health professionals...

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in South Australia

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in South Australia

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in South Australia

How your heart works

How your heart works

How your heart works

Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood to all parts of your body. The blood gives your body the oxygen and nourishment it needs to work properly. ...

Why are you playing this game? It’s putting your heart at risk.

Why are you playing this game? It’s putting your heart at risk.

Why are you playing this game? It’s putting your heart at risk.

The game is “hide and seek”. You play it without even realising. The shock is that when you play this game, you could be placing your heart health at risk....