What Should You Eat?

The answer to the question "What should you eat?" is actually pretty simple. But you wouldn't know that

from news reports on diet and nutrition studies, whose sole purpose seems to be to confuse people on a daily basis. When it comes down to it, though—when all the evidence is looked at together—the best nutrition advice on what to eat is relatively straightforward: Eat a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; choose healthy fats, like olive and canola oil; and eat red meat and unhealthy fats, like saturated and trans fats, sparingly. Drink water and other healthy beverages, and limit sugary drinks, and salt. Most important of all is keeping calories in check, so you can avoid weight gain, which makes exercise a key partner to a healthy diet.  

Healthy Eating: Ten Nutrition Tips for Eating Right

  • Choose good carbs, not no carbs. Whole grains are your best bet.
  • Pay attention to the protein package. Fish, poultry, nuts, and beans are the best choices.
  • Choose healthy fats, limit saturated fat, and avoid trans fat. Plant oils, nuts, and fish are the healthiest sources.
  • Choose a fiber-filled diet, rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
  • Calcium is important. But milk isn't the only, or even best, source.
  • Water is best to quench your thirst. Skip the sugary drinks, and go easy on the milk and juice.
  • Eating less salt is good for everyone's health. Choose more fresh foods and fewer processed foods.
  • Moderate drinking can be healthy—but not for everyone. You must weigh the benefits and risks.
  • A daily multivitamin is a great nutrition insurance policy. Some extra vitamin D may add an extra health boost.

The Healthy Eating Pyramid, created by the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, can be your guide to choosing a healthy diet.

Subpages (1): BMI