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

6 ways to improve and protect your vision

Healthy habits help protect one’s vision and independence. These include eating a healthy diet with foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as leafy greens; quitting smoking; controlling underlying conditions (like diabetes) that increase the risk for vision problems; and getting regular comprehensive eye exams. Using artificial tears can relieve the gritty feeling of dry eyes and sometimes improves vision. It’s also helpful to protect the eyes by wearing sunglasses when outside or safety glasses when doing work around the house. (Locked) More »

Can diet heal chronic pain?

Chronic pain is often the result of chronic inflammation, and the evidence is quite strong that a person’s diet can contribute to inflammation as well as help to reduce it. Research has found that the best way to control inflammation and help ease chronic pain is to reduce amounts of known inflammatory foods, like processed “junk” foods, and eat a variety of foods that can strengthen the immune system, which helps keep inflammation under control. (Locked) More »

Open your heart to mindful eating

Mindfulness techniques, especially those that cultivate self-awareness and compassion, may help people lose weight and keep it off. One key example involves noticing mindless eating, which happens when people eat without paying attention to their physical and emotional state. People sometimes eat to soothe anxiety, sadness, or other unpleasant emotions. Mindfulness practices teach people how to identify emotions rather than avoid them and to ride out cravings, which tend to come and go. (Locked) More »

Vegetable of the month: Peppers

Mild, crunchy sweet peppers are low in calories and a good source of vitamins C and A. Spicy hot peppers contain compounds called capsaicinoids, which have several heart-healthy properties. More »

A personalized approach to preventing Alzheimer’s disease

While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, ongoing research suggests that people can lower their risk by adopting certain diet, exercise, and lifestyle behaviors. These include doing adequate amounts of weekly aerobic exercise, following the MIND diet, not smoking, and getting sufficient sleep. (Locked) More »

Food and mood: Is there a connection?

Researchers can’t say for sure whether your diet affects your depression risk, but adopting a Mediterranean diet has many other health benefits. The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy oils, and lean proteins, such as chicken and fish. More »

Healthy gut, healthy heart?

The gut microbiome refers to the genes that govern the trillions of microbes in the human intestinal tract. These bacteria and other microbes make an array of substances that influence the body’s vascular, nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. These substances play a role in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar and the formation of artery-clogging plaque (atherosclerosis). Dietary habits that are helpful for preventing heart disease—such as avoiding red meat, keeping salt intake low, and eating lots of fiber-rich vegetables and whole grains—also have favorable effects on the gut microbiome. More »