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

Certain foods and drugs may lower risk of colon cancer

Study results looking at a link between certain drugs, supplements or dietary approaches and a lower risk of colon cancer are mixed. However, some studies do suggest an association between NSAID use and high intake of fruits, vegetables and fiber with lower colon cancer rates. More »

COACH yourself to success

People can coach themselves to success to achieve their goals. Developing realistic, attainable goals; being honest about what has been a barrier to success in the past; and positive reinforcement can make the process easier and far more likely to be successful. (Locked) More »

Fruit of the month

Fewer than one in 10 Americans consumes the minimum about of fruit per day, which is 1.5 to 2 cups. Although a cup of fruit juice counts as a serving, choosing fiber-rich whole fruit is a better choice. More »

Gut check: How the microbiome may mediate heart health

The trillions of bacteria in a person’s intestines, called the gut microbiota, may mediate some of the risk factors that affect cardiovascular health. Some bacteria break down cholesterol. Others create compounds that regulate blood pressure, affect hormones involved in diabetes, and dampen inflammation. But the feasibility of changing a person’s microbiome remains unclear, which means any potential microbiome-based therapies for heart disease are still years away. More »

How important are whole grains in my diet?

Whole grains are equally important as fruits and vegetables for a balanced healthy diet. People who want to choose food products with whole grains should look for the word "whole" or "whole-grain" before the grain’s name as the first ingredient. (Locked) More »

Reset your schedule, reset your health

Changes in daily schedules can have a big effect on health. For example, an inconsistent sleep schedule can lead to insomnia and changes in metabolism and hunger. Schedule changes may also affect whether someone exercises or takes medication. It’s important to commit to a routine set of hours for sleeping and waking, eating, exercising, and working. Ideas for sticking to a schedule include tying medication doses to daily activities, such as teeth brushing, and keeping a food journal to track meal times. (Locked) More »