Healthy Eating

Eating a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do to improve or maintain your health. Not only is a healthy diet good for your overall health, but it can also help you manage many of the chronic conditions that you may have. As a bonus, a healthy diet has also been shown to improve mental health.

A healthy diet is often described as an eating plan that incorporates foods from “all colors of the rainbow.” This basically means that your diet should consist of a healthy mixture of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, and lean meats/proteins.

So, let’s break down each component of a healthy diet.



It is very important to include fruit as a main component of your diet. Fruits are full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and water. They are a low-calorie way to add some sweetness to your plate. Some healthy fruit choices include apples, avocados, berries, bananas, pineapples, and watermelon.

It is generally a good idea to avoid dried fruits or canned fruits in heavy syrups, as these negate some of the benefits associated with fruits.


Vegetables are another key component of a healthy diet. The CDC estimates that only 1 in 10 adults consume the daily recommended amount of vegetables. Eating plenty of vegetables can even lower your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease, strokes, and high blood pressure.  Some of the healthiest choices for vegetables are spinach, carrots, broccoli, peas, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and collard greens.

Vegetables like corn and potatoes should be eaten only in moderation due to high-calorie counts.


Whole grains are also a big part of a healthy diet. They supply the body with healthy energy in the form of carbohydrates. They also provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your body to keep it functioning well. Some healthy whole grains include oats, quinoa, brown rice, and breads or pastas made from whole wheat/rye/barley.

Non-whole grain breads/pastas, white rice, processed grains, and fried or breaded foods should be avoided or eaten only in moderation.


Low fat dairy products are essential to a healthy diet. They provide you with calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and other minerals. They are also an important component of maintaining bone health, especially as you age. Calcium is essential especially for post-menopausal women to help combat osteoporosis.  Healthy sources of dairy include low fat hard cheese, low fat milk, Greek yogurt, and Kefir.

Dairy products to avoid include high fat cheese/milk/yogurt and ice cream.

Lean meats/proteins

Lean meats and proteins are the last important component of a healthy diet. This area of nutrition is possibly one of the most varied. This category includes things like fish, animal meats, nuts, eggs, and beans. These foods contain essential proteins, which are used by the body for energy and to carry out some of its most important functions.

Healthy types of fish include salmon, cod, and herring.

Healthy lean meats include chicken, turkey, and pork.

Healthy varieties of nuts include almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews.

Healthy types of beans include chickpeas, lentils, peas, black beans, and soybeans. This category also broadly includes soy-based products like tofu.

Sources of protein to avoid or eat in moderation include red meats, processed deli meats, and fish that are high in mercury.


For more information about healthy eating, check out this link: