Experts in Turkey and elsewhere have warned people to watch their salt intake as they spend more time at home due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Dr. Sedat Üstündağ, dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences of Trakya University (TU), said the general precautionary health rules should be strictly adhered to while fighting the coronavirus outbreak. Touching on the importance of self-isolation during the outbreak, he suggested attentive and balanced nutrition to strengthen the immune system, stressing that citizens should watch the amount of salt used in cooking and found in takeout.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has limited the amount of table salt that should be consumed daily for healthy people to 5 grams,” he said.
Üstündağ noted that many foods, especially takeout and processed foods, contain excessive salt. “Our citizens should track the salt in their diet more closely these days,” he said. “Besides, it should be remembered that simply keeping saltshakers away from the table or avoiding the usage of salt while cooking does not indicate a salt-restricted diet. When consuming processed foods, salt content should be checked, and processed foods with high salt and saturated fat content, as well as foods with a high glycemic index, should be avoided.”
Üstündağ pointed out that COVID-19 was more severe in people who smoke cigarettes and consume similar tobacco products, underlining that cigarettes and tobacco products are significant chronic disease risk factors that shorten life expectancy and quality of life. “Smoking is not only a facilitator of lung tumor development but also a very serious risk factor for the development of heart, vascular and kidney diseases,” he said. “Since alcohol also suppresses the immune system, depending on the amount, our citizens should be careful about its consumption.”
He also added that citizens should attach importance to exercising at home during this period and maintain a restful, regular sleep pattern in a dark environment for a healthy immune system.