Massachusetts Medical Society: Eat Right!

Eat Right!

There's a lot of information about diets and healthy and unhealthy foods. Sometimes it can be confusing. Talk to your doctor about how you can make your diet healthy. In general, a healthy diet

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes healthy proteins, such as lean meats, fish, beans and nuts.
  • Does not have a lot of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.

Here are a few tips to help you get started eating right!

TIP: Focus on fruits and vegetables

Most of what you eat should be fruits and vegetables. Eat different kinds of fruits and vegetables of different colors for the best health. Most fruits and vegetables have vitamins, fiber and nutrients which keep you healthy. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. None have cholesterol.

Examples of fruits and vegetables are apples, spinach, carrots, blueberries, bananas, and red peppers.

TIP: Make half your grains whole

Adults and kids should try to make sure at least half of the grains they eat are whole grains. The fiber in whole grains help maintain weight and prevent disease.

Grains are food that is made from wheat, rice, oats, barley, cornmeal or another cereal grain. For example, bread, pasta, cereal and oatmeal are grains.
There are two kinds of grains: whole grains and refined grains.

Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, and are healthier than refined grains. Oatmeal, whole wheat bread, popcorn and brown rice are whole grains.

Refined grains, like white bread and white rice, don't have some of the important nutrients like fiber and iron and vitamin B.

TIP: Know your fats

There are different kinds of fat.

Butter or pork fat, as in bacon are examples of solid fats. Most solid fats are high in saturated fats and/or trans fats, which are not healthy. Saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol can raise "bad" cholesterol levels in the blood, which in turn increases the risk for heart disease. Try not to eat these kinds of fat.

Olive oil, peanut oil, and canola oil are examples of  fats that are liquid at room temperature. Oils contain more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Oils from plant sources (vegetable and nut oils) do not contain any cholesterol.

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