Can you eat milk when you have covid?

In this article we are going to answer whether can you eat milk when you have COVID, what is milk, how do you know if you have COVID, does milk or dairy products increase mucus, and what milk alternatives can you eat or drink when you have COVID, and what diet you should follow with and after COVID. 

Can you eat milk when you have COVID?

Yes, you can eat or drink milk and milk products when you have COVID. Milk might be a very good and healthy drink when you have COVID and don’t feel like eating to fill you with calories, fats and vitamins, and minerals. 

There is a false claim that milk might fight coronavirus but there is no science behind this. It is true that some nutrients like vitamin C and Zinc might play an important role in the immune response but milk won’t fight coronavirus. 

What is milk?

Milk is defined as a white fluid rich in fat and proteins that are secreted by female mammals for the nourishment of the young mammal. It can be drawn by hand or manually. The major components of milk are water, fat, protein, carbohydrate (lactose), and minerals. 

It has a lot of highly important micronutrients like vitamins, essential amino acids, and trace elements. Cow’s milk has been linked to preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy weight. 

Some people do not tolerate cow’s milk because of lactose intolerance or allergy to the protein of cow’s milk. There are some substitutes for milk in the market

  • Rice milk
  • Soy milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Almond milk
  • Oat milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Pea milk

Is milk healthy when you have COVID?

Yes, milk is a healthy food when you have COVID and can give you enough vitamin D to help you fight the infection. One serving of milk, about 8 ounces, provides a good amount of protein, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D. 

It is best to drink or eat products with skim milk or low-fat milk because whole milk contains a high amount of fat and more calories. One cup of whole milk gives you 150 calories while 1%  milk gives you 110 calories and skim milk just 80 calories.

The removal of fat from fat-free milk removes key vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K that need fat to be absorbed by the body. 

How do you know if you have COVID?

You might suspect you have COVID if you have been with a person that tests positive for COVID and let you know but here are some common symptoms that might make you suspect COVID

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of taste or smell

There are less common symptoms such as

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash con skin
  • Red or irritated eyes

The only way to confirm you have COVID is if you test positive with a PCR test or an antibody test, which are less effective but cost less than a PCR test. Antibody tests are not recommended to confirm a current infection. 

Does milk or dairy products increase mucus?

There are several studies in the field but there is no clinical evidence that dairy products or milk increase mucus. The theory is that it might be more sensory because milk and saliva create a thick liquid that can coat the mouth and throat. The sensation that this thick liquid left might feel like increased phlegm or mucus. 

What milk alternatives can you drink or eat?

Milk alternatives or dairy alternatives can be eaten or drunk as much as you want when you are sick. Some examples might be soya milk or soya milk yogurt and cheeses, rice, oat, almond, hazelnut, coconut, and potato milk. Also, all foods that carry dairy-free or are suitable for vegans are a good option. 

What diet should you follow when you have COVID?

There is nos specific diet to follow when you have COVID but the recommendation is to eat as healthy as you can and stay hydrated. You should not stop eating if you feel like not eating because this can worsen your symptoms. 

Try to stay away from sweetened beverages and limit or avoid all alcoholic drinks. Try to stay away from junk food and processed products. Try to avoid exercising while in quarantine. 

What diet should you follow after COVID or with long COVID?

After COVID or with long COVID you need to eat as healthy as possible to regain energy after COVID infection. 

  • Ideally, 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables every day
  • Increase your intake of whole grains and cereal foods. Choose high fiber options
  • Choose low-fat options and good fats: fats from vegetable sources like almonds, olive oil, and avocado. 
  • Choose lean proteins and choose low mercury fish options. 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Always stay active
  • Avoid junk food whenever possible, it should not be part of regular meals

Some research has found that a plant-based diet might be of general benefit to people with long COVID. If you need more information about long COVID follow this link. 

Conclusion

This article answered whether can you eat milk when you have COVID, what is milk, how do you know if you have COVID, does milk or dairy products increase mucus, what milk alternatives can you eat or drink when you have COVID, and what diet you should follow with and after COVID. 

Citation

https://health.ucdavis.edu/blog/good-food/covid-19-nutrition-4-eating-tips-to-keep-your-immune-system-in-top-shape/2021/08

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-milk-repels-coronavirus-idUSKBN21I3E7

https://www.mcall.com/coronavirus/mc-nws-coronavirus-what-to-eat-drink-20200630-oxhb4vsmtfan7o63etc32inlpy-story.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.