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

10 healthy diet staples for your emergency food kit

When crafting an emergency supply of foods, one should avoid convenience foods like frozen dinners and canned soups, which typically contain excessive amounts of salt, fat, calories, preservatives, and added sugars. Better choices are healthy nonperishable items and frozen foods that can be used to make many meals. Experts recommend keeping a supply of a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes, canned meats, whole grains, nuts and seeds, milks, healthy fats, soup stock, and seasonings. (Locked) More »

Adopting a Mediterranean-style diet, one meal at a time

The Mediterranean diet is touted for its health benefits, which include a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and potentially even improvements to the gut bacteria, which may reduce harmful inflammation inside the body. Making some simple changes to your current diet can help improve your health. These include switching to olive oil as the primary fat, eating more whole grains and less processed food and sugar and reducing red meat consumption. Whenever possible, base your daily diet on a base of vegetables, fruits and plant-based options. (Locked) More »

Crucial ways you can support a healthy immune system

There’s no evidence that maintaining a healthy lifestyle will suddenly boost the immune system. However, it’s clear that healthy lifestyle habits contribute to overall health, supporting the body’s ability to fight infections instead of creating new problems. Healthy habits that help maintain a robust immune system include getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night, exercising, reducing stress, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, drinking alcohol only in moderation, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting underlying conditions under control. (Locked) More »

Seed of the month: Quinoa

Although it’s classified as a seed, quinoa is usually eaten like a whole grain, as a side dish or added to salads and soups. Quinoa is rich in high-quality protein, making it a good choice for people trying to eat a more heart-friendly, plant-based diet. More »

Sugar’s not-so-sweet effects on the heart

A sugary diet contributes to weight gain and other factors that boost heart disease risk, including inflammation, disrupted blood sugar control, and increased cholesterol. The typical American diet is very high in added sugar, nearly half of which comes from sugar-sweetened beverages. Another 30% comes from baked goods such as cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, doughnuts, sweet rolls, and pastries. People don’t need to completely give up sweet treats but should enjoy them just once or twice a week rather than daily. (Locked) More »

Quick-start guide to an anti‑inflammation diet

There are a number of steps to take when starting an anti-inflammation diet, such as the Mediterranean diet. The steps boil down to some dos and don’ts. For example, don’t eat processed foods such as microwaveable dinners, hot dogs, white bread, dehydrated soups, baked goods, sugary cereals, processed meats, biscuits, and sauces. But do eat a diet of whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, lentils), fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, a little bit of low-fat dairy, olive oil, spices, and herbs. More »

Seed of the month: Sunflower

Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E and several minerals. Hulled, roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds can be added to soups, salads, and trail mixes. More »