Try to replace grains with root vegetables, especially refined grains such as white bread. Root vegetables are a good carbohydrate alternative to fulfill your energy needs, and they also provide important antioxidants and minerals like potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
Not all comfort food needs to be unhealthy! Why not make some yuca con mojo, puré de malanga, or mashed green plantains during this quarantine?
Ensure adequate, healthy protein intake.
Whatever your preference, whether animal or plant-based, you should eat approximately 0.8-1 gram of protein/kg/day. If animal protein is your choice, eat clean and unprocessed meats.
We Cubans love our traditional meat dishes, from ropa vieja to the famous lechón asado. However, these foods come with hidden risks: they tend to be high in fat and eaten in large quantities. After all, it is hard to compare portions of chicharrones de puerco to the recommended fist-sized steak. COVID-19 seems to pose a special danger to those suffering from cardiovascular conditions, hypertension, and diabetes. So, it is especially important to re-evaluate our meat choices at home, regardless of our medical history. Why not opt for some equally traditional but healthier dishes?
You can mix animal protein with vegetables and prepare versatile chicken, fish, or meat stews like fricasé, picadillo con verduras, or fufú con carne. Or perhaps you are lucky enough to remember abuelas and abuelos who used to make remedios of caldo (broth) when we were sick. You can use grass-fed animal bones (chicken or beef) with vegetables for an incredibly delicious, nutrient-rich broth. Do not forget to eat both the recommended quality of protein and the recommended portion. As a rule of thumb, add two cups of chopped vegetables for every 4 ounces of meat/chicken/fish.
You can also make plant-based protein dishes using legumes, nuts, and seeds which contain a healthier mixture of fat and protein. We Cubans have mastered the art of cooking and eating any type of beans. If you are my age (47 years old) you grew up eating arroz, chícharo y huevo, potajes con viandas,and sopa de lentejas con plátano. These popular dishes are rich in protein and fiber, and better for your cardiovascular health than most meats.