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

Cafeteria strategies that may improve your diet

Two strategies appear to help people in cafeterias make better food choices. One is labeling foods with traffic-light stickers to indicate if a food is healthy. The other is placing unhealthy foods in less accessible locations. More »

Legume of the month: Peas

Fresh peas are considered starchy vegetables by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Dried, split green peas similar to other beans  are classified as legumes. More »

Problems with bloating? Watch your sodium intake

Data from the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension–Sodium trial (DASH-Sodium) showed an association between high sodium intake and a higher risk of bloating. People who suffer from regular bloating after eating may want to watch their salt intake. More »

The right way to "do lunch"

More than half of employed Americans who usually eat lunch on the job find it hard to eat a healthy lunch. One cafeteria-based study found that labeling foods with “traffic light” symbols that reflect their health value helped customers make better choices. They were less likely to choose “red light” foods, which were higher in fat and calories, and more likely to choose “green light” foods, which featured fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, or low-fat dairy as the main ingredient. Such healthy options for lunch may include garden (veggie) burgers and premade salads. (Locked) More »

Can these three steps save 100 million lives?

A worldwide push to lower blood pressure, reduce sodium intake, and stop eating trans fat could delay more than 94 million deaths from cardiovascular disease in the next 25 years, finds a study published online June 10, 2019, by Circulation. More »

Food ingredients under the microscope

New technology is allowing scientists to better understand how food ingredients and additives affect the body. Scientists recently found that one additive, propionate, which is used as a preservative in many food products including bread and other baked goods, may trigger an unhealthy surge in blood sugar that can lead to diabetes and obesity. Researchers are doing more studies on the preservative to confirm these initial findings. (Locked) More »

How to adopt a Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet has been touted for its heart- and cancer-fighting abilities, and countless studies have backed up its reputation as one of the world’s healthiest diets. The best way to adopt the Mediterranean diet is add more of its staple foods into every meal as much as possible, so the eating pattern eventually feels like a lifestyle and not a structured, rules-oriented diet. (Locked) More »

Red meat, TMAO, and your heart

Researchers are finding that a substance called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), produced when the body digests red meat, is linked to health ills such as cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. Experts say people with high levels of TMAO in their blood may have double the risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with people who have lower levels. (Locked) More »