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Flattening the Curve of COVID-15

Anxiety, stress, boredom were the first culprits. Then came spare time, structure change and new interests, and before we knew it, the COVID-15 arrived. COVID-15, (a creative spin on the Freshman-15), is the newly formed reference to the weight gain that many people are seeing, as a by-product of the changes to our lifestyles, during the pandemic. The good news is that we can flatten the curve, the same way that we allowed the curve to grow. Now is the time to look at new recipes with healthy choices, and there are numerous books out there for you to choose from. As always, seek health professional’s advice before beginning any major lifestyle change and be sure to choose your path carefully. Here are some of the trending diets that we have been asked to provide information on…

Anti-Inflammatory diet includes lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins (like beans and nuts), fatty fish, and fresh herbs and spices. Fruits and veggies: Go for variety and lots of color. The Mediterranean Diet and The Dash Diet are two types of anti- inflammatory ways of eating geared to discourage or limit the consumption of processed foods, red meats, and alcohol. This has been suggested for people with gout and arthritis. Cons: Critical components of the anti-inflammatory diet emphasize many foods that are common allergens including nuts, seeds, fish and shellfish, soy, and grains.

Ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.  Cons: Keto is not recommended for those with any conditions involving their pancreas, liver, thyroid or gallbladder.

Paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds — foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering. A paleo diet limits foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago. These foods include dairy products, legumes and grains. Cons: The most common concern for Paleo is the risk for deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, which are critical to bone health.

Gluten-free diet avoids wheat and some other grains while choosing substitutes that provide nutrients for a healthy diet. Many healthy foods are naturally glutenfree, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, certain whole grains, dairy products, and oils, as well as fresh meat, fish, and poultry. Cons: Avoiding foods that contain gluten can lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients, including iron, calcium, fiber, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.

Libraries have access to a broad selection of books on the above diets, as well as cooking for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, mental health, and of course weight-loss, just to name a few options. Is it time for you to flatten your curve? If you don’t see the book you are hoping for on the shelves, ask your librarian if it is available through Inter-Library loan or online.

Submitted by Paige Turner

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