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

11 foods that can help lower your cholesterol

People with elevated LDL cholesterol values may be able to reduce their LDL levels by eating more foods that are rich in fiber and lower in saturated fats. High-fiber foods include whole grains, beans, nuts, vegetables, and fruits. Saturated fats are found mainly in meat, cheese, and other high-fat dairy products such as butter, half and half, and ice cream. More »

Grain of the month: Barley

Barley contains more than three times as much fiber per serving as oats and is particularly rich in a type of soluble fiber known as beta glucan, which is recognized for its cholesterol-lowering abilities. More »

Low calorie, but high risk?

Research on artificial sweeteners has found mixed results. Some studies have associated them with weight gain and an increased risk for diabetes, while others have found potential benefits, including healthier weight. A recent study found a potential reason for the differences. When study subjects consumed a drink containing sucralose (Splenda) alone, they didn’t see any ill effects, but when the drink included a particular carbohydrate and was consumed for 10 days, it resulted in reduced insulin sensitivity, a precursor to diabetes. (Locked) More »

Should you try fasting?

Intermittent fasting means that people avoid food for a designated amount of time each day. One of the most popular approaches is called 16/8. People eat during an eight-hour period—for example from noon to 8 p.m.— followed by 16 hours of fasting, in this case from 8 p.m. until noon the next day, when the pattern repeats. While science does not yet know the long-term benefits of intermittent fasting, initial short-term research has suggested the practice may help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight, among other health benefits. (Locked) More »

The power of protein

During his lifetime, a man loses about 30% of his muscle mass. Older men can maintain and even regain muscle by combining regular weight training and a proper diet, including adequate amounts of protein. Research suggests that to help counter lost muscle mass, healthy older adults need 1.2 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day. This is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in pounds by 2.2 and then multiplying by 1.2. (Locked) More »

Tips to avoid constipation

There are many ways one can try to avoid constipation. For example, lifestyle remedies may help—such as increasing dietary fiber, getting regular exercise, and drinking three to six cups of water per day. If those approaches don’t work, doctors recommend using fiber supplements, such as psyllium husk (Metamucil), methylcellulose (Citrucel), or wheat dextrin (Benefiber). Another supplement that might help is magnesium. When all strategies fail, it may be time to try over-the-counter medication. One option is an osmotic laxative such as polyethylene glycol (Miralax). (Locked) More »

The no-drug approach to erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is one of the more common health issues older men face. ED drugs often are a standard solution, but they have their downsides, like possible side effects and over-dependency. In many cases, lifestyle changes like exercise, diet, and weight loss may slow the progress of ED and help manage it. More »

What’s the healthiest way to brew coffee?

A study published online April 22, 2020, by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that drinking filtered coffee was better for health than drinking unfiltered coffee, particularly for older people. More »