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

How to spot questionable nutrition advice

People can be easily confused or misled by questionable nutrition and diet advice on the Internet. A new resource co-developed by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers advice on how to identify trustworthy research about healthy food choices. Some of the key attributes of high-quality nutrition research are studies that include large numbers of human participants (not animals) who are followed over many years. The best—those that assign people to different diets and track them over time—are difficult to carry out because people don’t always stick to the diet. (Locked) More »

Is low-fat or full-fat the better choice for dairy products?

Full-fat dairy products can bring health risks because of the high levels of saturated fat they contain. To ensure good health and good nutrition, it’s important to keep tabs on the amount of saturated fat you eat, and focus on eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. (Locked) More »

Refueling your energy levels

Everyone has the occasional low-energy day, but constant fatigue can make people less mentally and physically active, and diminish overall quality of life. To fight fatigue and increase your energy level, eat healthier foods, exercise regularly and be sure to get enough quality sleep. However, if you have unusual fatigue, it can be an early warning of a serious illness and should be checked out by a doctor. (Locked) More »

Should you try the keto diet?

The ketogenic diet deprives the body of carbohydrates for fuel. Instead, the body uses ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat. Keto diet followers must eat fat at each meal. In a daily 2,000-calorie diet, that might look like 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 75 grams of protein. Ditching carbs means limiting fruits and vegetables, which raises the risk for nutrient deficiencies. The keto diet also increases the risk for kidney, liver, mood, and thinking problems. More »

Seafood suggestions for heart health

Eating fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel at least once a week may help prevent heart attacks and other serious cardiovascular problems, according to a recent scientific advisory from the American Heart Association. Some of this benefit may come from the cardioprotective effects of omega-3 fatty acids, found mainly in fatty fish. These fats appear to help ease inflammation, prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots, and discourage potentially deadly heart arrhythmias. But the lowered heart risk seen in seafood eaters may stem from the fact that they’re not eating beef, pork, or other foods that tend to raise heart disease risk. (Locked) More »

Vegetable of the month: Leafy greens

Leafy greens include salad greens as well as spinach, kale, chard, collards, and bok choy. A serving of raw salad greens is two cups, while one cup of cooked greens counts as a serving. More »