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

Crucial ways you can support a healthy immune system

There’s no evidence that maintaining a healthy lifestyle will suddenly boost the immune system. However, it’s clear that healthy lifestyle habits contribute to overall health, supporting the body’s ability to fight infections instead of creating new problems. Healthy habits that help maintain a robust immune system include getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night, exercising, reducing stress, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, drinking alcohol only in moderation, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting underlying conditions under control. (Locked) More »

Sugar’s not-so-sweet effects on the heart

A sugary diet contributes to weight gain and other factors that boost heart disease risk, including inflammation, disrupted blood sugar control, and increased cholesterol. The typical American diet is very high in added sugar, nearly half of which comes from sugar-sweetened beverages. Another 30% comes from baked goods such as cookies, brownies, cakes, pies, doughnuts, sweet rolls, and pastries. People don’t need to completely give up sweet treats but should enjoy them just once or twice a week rather than daily. (Locked) More »

Can scheduled fasting improve your health?

Skipping meals may actually be a good health practice. Intermittent fasting, which refers to limiting food intake to certain hours of the day or even restricting calories on certain days of the week, may bring numerous health benefits, including better cognitive performance, weight loss, and potentially longer life. Consult your doctor first. (Locked) More »

Quick-start guide to an anti‑inflammation diet

There are a number of steps to take when starting an anti-inflammation diet, such as the Mediterranean diet. The steps boil down to some dos and don’ts. For example, don’t eat processed foods such as microwaveable dinners, hot dogs, white bread, dehydrated soups, baked goods, sugary cereals, processed meats, biscuits, and sauces. But do eat a diet of whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, lentils), fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, a little bit of low-fat dairy, olive oil, spices, and herbs. More »

Seed of the month: Sunflower

Sunflower seeds are a good source of vitamin E and several minerals. Hulled, roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds can be added to soups, salads, and trail mixes. More »

Take control of rising cholesterol at menopause

High cholesterol can become a problem for some women after menopause. Managing the condition by making lifestyle changes and in some cases by taking medications can help prevent heart attack and stroke in many instances. Even small changes, such as losing a small amount of weight and adding a few 15-minute exercise intervals each day can help make a big difference in your health over time. (Locked) More »

Taking heart medications? Don’t forgo healthy habits

People who take drugs to lower blood pressure and cholesterol still need to exercise regularly and strive for a healthy body weight to avoid heart disease. But many may let those healthy habits slide after starting prescription heart medications. More »