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

Why nuts may be good for your heart

Eating a serving of nuts at least twice a week is linked to a lower risk of dying of cardiovascular disease. Improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels seen among nut eaters may account for part of this benefit. More »

Fruit of the month: Dried fruits

Dried fruits such as raisins, dates, and figs are good sources of potassium, fiber, and other nutrients. A serving size of these calorie-dense treats is just a quarter-cup. More »

The not-so-sweet truth about sugar

Sweeteners come in many varieties, including table sugar, honey, and maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup and agave syrup. But regardless of type, from a biochemical and metabolic standpoint they are all virtually the same. Unfortunately, too much of any type is bad for one’s health. (Locked) More »

Vitamin D supplements linked to lower risk of advanced cancer

A study published by JAMA Network Open found that people taking vitamin D supplements were less likely to have a cancer that spread from the original tumor site to another part of their body or one that proved fatal. However, this risk reduction was only seen in people who were at a normal weight, not those who were overweight or obese. The study did not find that people who took vitamin D were less likely to develop cancer over all compared with those who did not. More »

Why junk food diets may raise heart disease risk

Eating foods such as red meat and sugary treats may trigger inflammation, raising a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease. But a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other anti-inflammatory foods reduces the risk. Inflammation is marked by the release of cytokines into the bloodstream. These attract immune cells in artery walls, contributing to the development of plaque. Transitioning to a less inflammatory diet can be challenging because many processed foods (such as salty, sweet, and fatty snacks) are designed to promote overconsumption. (Locked) More »

Eat smart

The right diet may help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Eating foods included in the DASH and Mediterranean diets helps maintain brain health by keeping blood flowing efficiently and reducing the damaging effects of inflammation. Some good foods to add to your diet are fatty fish, berries, plant oils, nuts, and coffee. (Locked) More »

Omega-3 fats and your heart

Higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids—specifically, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from fish and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from plants—may help lower the odds of a poor prognosis in the years following a heart attack. Fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel are good sources of EPA. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are good sources of ALA, which is also found in soybean and canola oil. (Locked) More »