YAKIMA, WA - For many viruses and diseases, healthy eating habits and diets with lower sugar intake can better the chances to fight such illnesses, including COVID-19.

More people reached out for healthy diet and weight loss plans since the pandemic said Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital Director of Food and Nutrition Services, Katie Wolff.

"I’m really happy to see that actually because I’m concerned for the future for disease prevention and people’s ability to feel like they have control over making healthier choices," said Wolff.

Since the pandemic, more people struggle with food insecurity and may not be able to afford healthier food said Wolff.

Wolff said people should make realistic dieting plans as lifestyle changes rather than temporary changes.

"They’ll make a change, cut out an entire food, and will result in rapid weight loss but three months later, they hit a plateau and get frustrated and start eating again and going back to where they were," said Wolff.

Wolff said with weight loss, people should focus on portion sizes, which can save money too. With healthy eating habits, Wolff said cooking at home can reduce eating processed food and make for great family bonding in the kitchen.

Sugar should be less than 10 percent of your daily calorie intake said Wolff.

Your choice of drink is where most people get more than the recommended amount of sugar per day. Soda, energy drinks, coffee, and tea can have high sugar levels.

Wolff said she recommends people move from soda to infused water where they can get flavor without the number of calories. Use sugar alternatives and low-calorie sweeteners for coffee and tea.

For more tips and tricks on healthy eating habits and catered eating diets click here