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

Cutting red meat-for a longer life

Red meat: in addition to raising the risk for colorectal cancer and other health problems, it can actually shorten your life. That's the clear message of the latest research based on data from two ongoing, decades-long Harvard School of Public Health studies of nurses and other health professionals. It appears "healthy meat consumption" has become an oxymoron. More »

Daily "dose" of white rice linked to diabetes

White rice is a staple food in some parts of the world, especially Asian cultures. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health evaluated whether the tasty grain is served with a side of risk for Type 2 diabetes. (Locked) More »

Dieting? Have some cake

Can eating cake for breakfast help you lose weight? A new study says yes, but the director of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital says "not so fast."  Researchers randomly allocated obese people for four months to either a 600-calorie breakfast rich in both carbohydrates and protein (that included chocolate cake) or to a 600-calorie low-carb diet. After the four months were over, the participants in both groups had lost weight. Over the next four months, however, people who had been on the high-carb, high-protein diet continued to lose weight, while those in the low-carb diet regained weight. More »

Overeating may reduce brain function

High caloric intake could raise the risk of memory loss. A recent study suggests that high caloric intake over time may actually raise your odds of developing memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), later in life. The study found that consuming between 2,100 and 6,000 calories per day may double the risk of MCI among people age 70 and older.  (Locked) More »

Food for thought

The pillars of the Mediterranean diet—lean protein (especially fish), leafy green vegetables, whole grains and legumes, nuts, antioxidant-rich fruit, monounsaturated oils such as olive oil, and moderate alcohol consumption. This nutritional lineup has long been heralded as the gold standard for heart-healthy eating. Evidence is mounting that it's good for your brain as well. (Locked) More »