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

Choosing oils for cooking: A host of heart-healthy options

For cooking and baking, people should choose a fat that’s liquid instead of solid at room temperature. Heart-healthy choices include olive oil as well as other plant-based oils, such as canola, sunflower, safflower, and soybean. These oils contain mainly unsaturated fats, which includes both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. In 2018, the FDA approved a new qualified health claim for oils containing at least 70% oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat. The claim cites supportive evidence that eating about 1½ tablespoons of high-oleic acid oils daily may lower coronary disease risk, but only if it replaces fats and oils higher in saturated fat. (Locked) More »

Mediterranean diet works by adding up small improvements

Small changes inside the body may add up to a larger cardiovascular risk reduction—up to 25%—in people who eat the Mediterranean-style diet versus those who do not. One of the biggest changes thought to reduce overall risk in heart and blood vessel disease is a drop in chronic inflammation, a known risk factor for heart disease. (Locked) More »

Can supplements save your sex life?

Most dietary supplements for sexual function haven’t been studied scientifically and may be a waste of money or dangerous for health. The supplements often contain hidden pharmaceutical drugs—like traces of PDE5 inhibitors, medications in the same class that includes prescription erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss, eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol, and smoking cessation can help boost sexual function without medication. If not, there are medical approaches that can help. More »

Can you eat away at your cancer risk?

Research has found that certain foods are protective against cancer, while others are associated with higher cancer risk. Fruits and vegetables might be among those that reduce risk, while processed meats and fast food are among those to avoid. In addition, maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular physical activity might help a person avoid cancer. (Locked) More »

Fill up on phytochemicals

Phytochemicals are compounds found in plants that may benefit human health. For example, carotenoids found in red, orange, yellow, and green plants (cooked tomatoes, carrots, squash, and broccoli) may inhibit cancer growth and cardiovascular disease, and boost the immune system. Flavonoids found in berries, apples, citrus, onions, soybeans, and coffee may fight inflammation and tumor growth. One can get a wide variety of phytochemicals by simply eating a varied diet that includes five to nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. (Locked) More »

Legume of the month: Black beans

Black beans are popular throughout Latin America as well as in the United States, thanks in part to the proliferation of fast-casual Mexican restaurants that feature black beans on their menus. More »

The dish on dairy

Dairy isn’t a necessary component of a healthy diet. Some research warns against consuming too much dairy, while other studies show some benefits from regular dairy consumption. Still, for many men, it is an easy way to get the required calcium, vitamin D, and protein they need to keep their heart, muscles, and bones healthy and functioning properly. (Locked) More »