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

How many eggs can I safely eat?

More recent studies show that the average healthy person suffers no harm from eating up to seven eggs per week. Eggs also are a nutritious food. They are relatively low in calories and saturated fat, and rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. (Locked) More »

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 »

Comfort food without the guilt

To reduce dietary risks of comfort foods, it’s best to swap out unhealthy ingredients with healthier alternatives. For example, one could ditch full-fat dairy products like cream and butter, and instead use nonfat Greek yogurt or skim milk; ditch red meat in favor of poultry, fish, or legumes; ditch salt and use herbs and spices, such as oregano, rosemary, or basil; or ditch refined-grain noodles and use noodles made of whole wheat, black beans, lentils, or zucchini. (Locked) More »

Don't give up on grains

Many people are opting for low-carb diets and cutting out grains as a result. But when they do, they might be missing out on the nutritional benefits whole grains can bring. Whole grains are not only nutrient-rich but also contain fiber and cancer-fighting plant chemicals, known as phytochemicals. To eat more, try different varieties, including brown rice, barley, steel-cut oats, and quinoa. (Locked) More »

Is your lunch lacking?

Many Americans are in search of a healthier lunch, according to a study. People reported that it can be difficult to make good choices because they’re not always convenient, tasty, or readily available. 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 »

The trouble with excess salt

There’s been some disagreement in the scientific community about how much salt in the diet is too much. But most long-term studies show that excess sodium can raise blood pressure in many people and people’s hearts are typically healthier when they eat less sodium. Ideally, people should stick to less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. (Locked) More »