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

Ask the doctor: Is coconut oil good for you?

Coconut oil is getting attention for its health properties. It raises HDL, the “good” cholesterol. However, it has lots of saturated fat, which can raise LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, so you’re better off with vegetable oils. (Locked) More »

Diary, home meals keys to weight loss

A new study finds that skipping meals and eating in restaurants are counterproductive to women who are trying to lose weight. On the other hand, keeping a food journal can help women shed pounds because it helps them pay closer attention to the foods they’re eating. (Locked) More »

Fat that's bad for the heart, brain

Women who eat a diet high in saturated fat are more likely to develop memory loss and thinking problems than those who eat more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctors: Is a high potassium level bad?

  Kidney disease and some medications, like ACE inhibitors and NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, can cause potassium levels to be high. It is almost impossible to achieve high potassium levels simply by eating foods rich in potassium.   (Locked) More »

Can coffee help you live longer?

  Coffee may be part of a longer, healthier life. In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, older adults who drank coffee (caffeinated or decaf ) had a lower risk of dying from diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, and other medical complications than non-coffee drinkers.   More »

Protect your brain with "good" fat

Foods that harm the heart, especially those rich in saturated fat, may also harm the brain. In a Harvard-based study, women with the highest consumption of saturated fat had worse memory and cognition over time than those who consumed the least saturated fat. (Locked) More »

Use food to hold off vascular damage

Antioxidants from food—not from pills—can protect arteries and other tissues from damage caused by highly reactive compounds created when oxygen combines with other molecules. Colorful fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants. Foods contain thousands of different phytonutrients, each with its own benefits. Some are more powerful antioxidants than others. They almost certainly need to work together, which is why you can't get the same benefit from a pill. Dietitians recommend eating a variety of fruits and vegetables to maximize your intake of potentially beneficial phytonutrients. How many servings a day do you need? As many as you can handle—and probably more than you are eating now. (Locked) More »

What's the beef with meat?

Red meat isn't just a type of food—it's a deep-rooted part of our culture. Not too long ago, no dinner table was complete without a hearty portion of meat and potatoes. During summer celebrations we fill our grills with hot dogs and hamburgers. Bacon and sausage play starring roles with eggs at breakfast. This love affair with red meat (which includes beef, lamb, pork, and veal) may be endangering our health. Several studies have linked diets high in red meat to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. A recent report from the Harvard School of Public Health goes one step further, suggesting that regularly consuming red meat may lead to premature death. (Locked) More »