A recent analysis carried out by specialists in internal medicine on the main symptoms that Covid-19 patients present indicated the loss of appetite as one of the most referred manifestations. 19.7% of those infected had lost the desire to eat.
And indeed, we all know that people who have fortunately overcome the disease, with or without hospital admission, do so with quite a few kilos less.
For this reason, a large part of the recovery of these patients depends on a correct diet based mainly on high caloric and protein content.
In the hospital environment, specialists in Endocrinology and Nutrition are in charge of establishing the type of diet for each patient. But what about at home? How do we properly feed a coronavirus patient?
Well, the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition has developed a guide to orient the family members in charge of caring for the patient, in order to achieve the patient’s recovery.
The premise when preparing menus should be that they contain as many nutrients as possible. Because the objective is not to increase the amount of daily food eaten, since that would be martyrdom for a patient who is generally inappetent.
So since the patient has most likely lost his appetite, it is better to increase the number of daily meals, between 6 and 10, in which the portions are smaller. In this way, it will be possible to increase the intake of calories and protein without satiating you.
We must always start with the most protein food, to ensure protein intake if they do not have too much desire to eat. And it is not a good idea to always opt for broths or soups, which, although they are easy to eat, do not provide enough nutrients.
Hydration is essential. But the lack of appetite causes the patient to be satisfied quickly, so it is better than liquids (water or infusions) to drink them outside of meals but in abundance.
And no rush to eat! Let the patient take the time they need, chew well, and eat slowly.
How to get the dish to have calories without increasing the amount? Well, including certain foods such as bread, if possible multigrain, with seeds, raisins, or nuts.
In the case of fruits, they will be served with yogurt, mixed in a smoothie, etc. Dried fruits are also a good option to have as a snack.
Doctors specializing in Endocrinology and Nutrition also recommend offering Covid-19 patient dairy products, such as custard, curd, egg custards, etc. And if you add cream, cocoa powder, or nuts, the better.
Purees will be one of the things that in all probability will be easier for the sick person to eat. We can increase their caloric power by adding bread, fried tomato, or butter.
The other “leg” of the diet necessary for the recovery of the Covid patient is proteins, which should always be included both at lunch and dinner.
The amounts recommended by the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition in its guide are 150 grams of meat, or 2 eggs, or 150 grams of fish.
And how to include proteins in reduced amounts? Always opting for whole kinds of milk. If there are no allergies, of course. Condensed milk, cereals, cocoa can be added to the cup.
As we have already seen, we can complete a puree by adding milk, cheeses, nuts, egg whites, or make them with a meat or fish base.
We can also offer the patient vegetables and potatoes accompanied by ham, eggs, or meat. Legumes with rice and little broth and pasta and rice complemented with minced meat, grated cheese, ham, tuna, etc.