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

Legume of the month: Mung beans

Many Asian cuisines use olive-green mung beans in soups, curries, and savory pancakes. Americans may be more familiar with slender, white mung bean sprouts, which are used in Chinese and Thai stir-fries. More »

New thinking on daily food goals

Dietary guidelines have shifted away from daily food goals measured in servings. Instead, they now focus on daily food totals that are measured in cups, ounces, or tablespoons. The daily goals depend on one’s health, sex, and age. For example, for moderately active adults ages 66 or older, men are advised to eat 2,200 calories per day; women are advised to eat 1,800 calories per day. Daily food goals for those diets include 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables, 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit, and 6 to 7 ounces of whole grains. More »

The larger role of micronutrients

Many older men don’t get enough micronutrients from their diet. These vitamins and minerals are needed to support heart health, keep bones strong, and improve the immune system, among other health benefits. Adopting a plant-based diet that features abundant amounts of multicolored foods and trying different styles of cuisines can help people get enough variety in their diet to ensure they receive adequate amounts of vital micronutrients. (Locked) More »

Unscrambling the message on eggs

Advice about eating eggs has changed over the years, ranging from a limit of three to seven per week. Although eggs are high in cholesterol, dietary cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol very much in most people. Saturated fat from meat and full-fat dairy products likely plays a bigger role. However, some people are more affected by dietary cholesterol than others. People with high blood cholesterol, diabetes, or heart disease should eat no more than two eggs a week. Focusing on overall diet quality, rather than one particular food, is also important. (Locked) More »

Legume of the month: Peanuts

Peanuts (which are technically legumes and not nuts) are rich in healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals. People who eat them regularly tend to have lower rates of heart disease. More »

Simple strategies to stop stress-related overeating

People who are under stress often gain weight because of biological reactions, including an increase in the hormone cortisol. Taking steps to reduce stress can help people avoid weight gain. These might include getting a good night’s sleep, planning ahead during stressful times and seeking out help from your doctor or a specialist. (Locked) More »