Clinical Nutrition at the Forefront in Post Pandemic World

April 30, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has served as the most sobering reality and wake-up call to Americans; all starting with our diets.

Poor metabolic health was the immunity-impairing factor underlying cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity that left many nutritionally compromised Americans most vulnerable to the lethal coronavirus (COVID-19) that has affected our country and world, according to Leading American cardiologist Dariush Mozaffarian, dean at Tufts Friedman School of Nutritional Science and Policy.

Only 12% of Americans are without high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or pre-diabetes, Mozaffarian has said. The statistics are alarming, but unlike COVID-19, they happened gradually enough to where many do not take it seriously. However, beyond age, these health conditions are the biggest risk factors for illness and death from COVID-19, he added. 

“Proper nutritional intervention is one of the lowest cost, highest impact standard of care strategies you can implement,” says Bette Parolini, CEO of Vidafuel, a consumer health company and maker of clinical nutrition products. “The elderly and those who suffer from chronic diseases proved to be the highest risk and need to maintain proper nutrition to help guard against the serious complications presented by this virus and future pathogens.”

Related: Trends Relevant in Healthcare Before COVID-19 Will Remain So After

An article in the April issue of The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, cited “nutritional deficiencies of energy, protein, and specific micronutrients are associated with a depressed immune function and increased susceptibility to infection. In fact, existing evidence highlights diet has a profound effect on people’s immune system and disease susceptibility. The common denominator that drives most of the nutrition and dietary recommendations to combat viral infections, including COVID-19, lies within the link between diet and immunity.”

Healthcare in the post COVID-19 world will look different even when the pandemic concludes.

“COVID has taught us that being reactionary isn’t enough," Parolini says. "We have to be proactive to protect the at-risk population and the economy. Nutritional intervention is a vital component of this."

Changing one's eating habits and routines can have a lasting effect now and post-pandemic.

According to a report by the Cleveland Clinic, changing our eating habits start with less ordering out, opening up our cabinents to find foods that will be benefitting us, creating meal plans, and simply being creative.

“There are countless pantry options that are unhealthy,” says registered dietitian Anna Kippen, MS, RDN, LD. “It’s ok to pick up a few indulgences, as long as we don’t start overindulging. The key is balance and remembering the most important component of our plates, vegetables.”

Some recommended foods all should be keeping in their freezers, refridgerators, and pantries are: frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables, canned fish, nuts, frozen turkey, canned beans, brown rice, oatmeal, olive oil, and more that can be found here

Another tip is to make sure your meals have a source of protein and fiber. This will keep you full longer and prevent you from overeating later in the day, the report says.

In addition, Vidafuel Nutrition is developing the next generation of clinical nutrition products that are accessible, nutritionally optimized and consumer centric. Vidafuel Nutrition products are developed by dietitians to support the immune system and the complex needs of those with kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and the aging population as well as those patients who have extended ICU stays, or home care recovery from COVID-19.

The Vidafuel Wellness Protein Drink is available for sale directly from Amazon, the Vidafuel Website, and to healthcare providers through Metro Medical, a subsidiary of Cardinal Health. It does not require a trip to the grocery store for those staying in place and isolating.