Healthy Eating

A healthy diet helps pave the way to a healthy heart and blood vessels, strong bones and muscles, a sharp mind, and so much more.

Confused about what constitutes a healthy diet? You aren't alone. Over the years, what seemed to be flip flops from medical research combined with the flood of diet books and diet plans based on little or no science have muddied the water. But a consensus has emerged about the basics, which are really pretty simple.

An important take-home message is to focus on the types of foods you eat and your overall dietary pattern, instead of on individual nutrients such as fat, dietary cholesterol, or specific vitamins. There are no single nutrients or vitamins that can make you healthy. Instead, there is a short list of key food types that together can dramatically reduce your risk for heart disease.

Eat more of these foods: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and seafood, vegetable oils, beans, nuts, and seeds.

Eat less of these foods: whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods, red meat, processed meats, highly refined and processed grains and sugars, and sugary drinks.

Healthy Eating Articles

5 habits that foster weight loss

Everyday habits like making time to plan, shop for, and prepare healthy meals can help foster weight loss. Another beneficial behavior change is eating slowly and mindfully, which helps people make healthier food choices and know when they are full without overeating. Getting plenty of sleep and eating regular, similar-sized meals may also be helpful. And people who weigh themselves frequently are more likely to lose weight and keep it off. More »

Get cooking at home

Many older men have never developed or have lost touch with basic culinary skills, and thus have gotten used to eating out and becoming dependent on processed and prepared foods. Yet, by learning some basic cooking techniques, older men can make a small number of stable items that can help create healthy, low-calorie, and inexpensive meals at home. (Locked) More »

Spotting whole grains at the grocery store

Some people may be confused about what constitutes a whole grain. Whole grains are seeds or kernels that have three parts: the bran, germ, and endosperm. Common varieties of whole grains include wheat, barley, brown rice, corn, rye, oats, and wild rice. Buy whole grains in a package or in various products, such as whole-grain pasta, whole-grain bread, whole-grain cereal, or whole-grain crackers. Avoid refined grains that have only the endosperm, such as white flour and white rice. (Locked) More »

What is in a food label? You may be surprised

The FDA is redefining the term “healthy” and working on a definition for “natural” for use on food packaging. The Nutrition Facts box on the back of the package is a more reliable source of information than front-label claims. (Locked) More »

What you can learn from wellderlies

“Wellderlies” is a term to describe a special group of older adults who have reached age 90 to 100 without having any major health issue or disease. If they do get sick, it often happens late in their life, shortly before death. While genes play a key role in their longevity, research has found that they also follow some basic lifestyle principles that anyone can adopt.  (Locked) More »

Any benefits to intermittent fasting diets?

Intermittent fasting diets, which severely limit calories for one or two days a week (usually to about 600 calories a day), can be effective for short-term weight loss, but the long-term risks and benefits are still unknown. (Locked) More »

Are eggs risky for heart health?

Large studies have not found evidence of higher rates of heart attacks, strokes, or other cardiovascular diseases in people who eat up to one egg per day.  (Locked) More »

Fighting inflammation at the meal table

Gut bacteria, which are influenced by an individual’s diet, play a role in inflammation. An eating plan based on unprocessed plant-based foods—fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains—is linked to lower levels of inflammation. More »

What to eat when you have chronic heartburn

Some foods and ingredients may intensify or trigger heartburn, such as spicy, fatty, or fried foods; citrus; tomato sauces; vinegar; chocolate; caffeine; onions; peppermint; carbonated drinks; and alcohol. People who have heartburn can still enjoy lean meats, fish, poultry, vegetables, legumes, fruits, and whole grains. The trick is making them flavorful. Suggestions include using only small amounts of spices, or using fresh herbs; roasting food to bring out natural flavors; and using low-fat sauces, such as pesto and low-fat yogurt-based sauces. More »