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

Fiber: The carb you can count on for heart health

Diets that provide plenty of fiber (about 25 to 29 grams per day) may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as 30%. Consuming whole grains such as whole wheat and oatmeal seems to offer the most heart-protecting benefits. One reason for this benefit may be that people may substitute whole-grain foods for less-healthy refined grains, such as white rice and white bread, which raise blood sugar and have other harmful metabolic effects. More »

Fried foods linked to earlier death

A new study shows that women who eat fried chicken or seafood daily have a higher risk of early death from any cause and also specifically from heart-related causes than women who don’t eat fried food at all. Reducing fried food intake is recommended for better health. (Locked) More »

Keeping your weight stable in older age

To gain weight safely in older age, eat several smaller meals and focus on nutrient-dense foods. Examples include oatmeal with berries and walnuts; a salad with spinach, tomatoes, cheese, beans, shelled sunflower seeds, and avocado dressing; brown rice with raisins, almonds, chicken chunks, and asparagus pieces; or simple meals and snacks such as scrambled eggs with cheese or whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter. A healthy weight gain should happen slowly. Aim for gaining 2 or 3 pounds per month. (Locked) More »

Legume of the month: Lentils

Lentils, which come in an array of colors including yellow, red, green, brown, and black, are a good source of plant-based micronutrients known as polyphenols that are thought to help protect against cardiovascular disease. More »

Meal delivery plans: Should you give one a try?

For people who don’t have the time, energy or interest to plan, shop, and prepare meals, subscription meal-delivery plans may encourage healthier eating and sometimes weight loss. Some plans feature low-sodium or vegetarian meals, which may benefit people with heart disease. Meal-kit plans deliver pre-portioned, mostly fresh ingredients with detailed preparation instructions, which may help people become more comfortable trying new foods and cooking techniques. Plans geared toward weight loss provide microwavable meals and pre-packaged snacks so people don’t have think about portion size or count calories. (Locked) More »

What's in your frozen treat?

All frozen desserts like ice cream, gelato, or frozen yogurt are treats with varying amounts of calories, fat, and sugar. Dairy-free options aren’t necessarily healthier. To make the healthiest choice, one must read Nutrition Facts labels and ingredients lists, and look for a treat with the lowest amounts of sugar, fat, calories, and sodium. It’s also important to remember that the amount of nutrients one consumes in a frozen treat should fit into the food intake for the day, not just one meal. (Locked) More »