Prof. Marwan El Ghoch - Nutrition advice during the COVID-19

10 April 2020


The entire globe is under the grip of an aggressive pandemic due to COVID-19. In this scenario, in the last few weeks many theories on the preventive and curative capacity of specific diets and some food as well as vitamin and minerals supplementations, in relation to COVID-19 have been pumped out on popular social media platforms, with many revealed not to be sufficiently supported by evidence.

For this reason as Department of Nutrition and Dietetic at Beirut Arab University in collaboration with the University of Brescia (Italy) we recently published a position statement to clarify the real role of nutrition during COVID-19 pandemic.

We think that nothing exceptional or different in relation to diet should be adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic that was not valid before. Therefore A healthy lifestyle based on our Mediterranean diet with

  • High intakes of legumes, vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, nuts and olive oil.
  • Moderate intake of fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.
  • Low intakes of red and processed meat, refined carbohydrates and sweets.

In addition to an appropriate hydration, regular physical activity, having rest and sleeping well are all important factors for the reinforcement of the immune system that can help in better fighting any potential infection, but it is important to note that they do not prevent COVID-19 or its transmission from one individual to another.

Therefore staying home plus the adoption of hygiene precautions (forest hand washing) are the best practice for reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection. Healthy nutrition in its wholistic concept is important, however, considering it in a fragmented way (i.e., diets, specific food, and supplementations) is highly risky since it may lead individuals to lessen the effective precautionary measures, and thereby increase risk of exposure to COVID-19.

So please be healthy and stay home