A healthy diet provides your body the nutrients it needs every day while lowering risk of heart disease and other diseases.

What is a healthy diet?

Per dietary guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, daily consumption of the following is recommended:

  • fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, and milk products
  • lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • low saturated fats and cholesterol, no trans fats, and low salt and added sugars
  • within daily caloric needs

Diet Composition

The balance of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and trace elements) that make up one’s dietary intake. Understanding diet composition is essential for ensuring that the body gets the right balance of nutrients needed to function properly, maintain health, support growth and development, and prevent nutrition-related diseases.

Diet Content

Understanding diet content is essential for maintaining health, managing weight, and preventing disease by ensuring you receive all necessary nutrients. It aids in making informed choices that align with personal health goals, dietary preferences, and lifestyle needs. Knowledge of the nutritional makeup of foods also supports digestive health and can enhance physical performance, particularly for those with active lifestyles. In essence, being aware of what comprises your diet is foundational to fostering a healthier, more balanced life.

Diet Principles

Grasping the principles of diet and nutrition is pivotal for several reasons. It equips you with the knowledge to select foods that aid your body with vital nutrients, promoting overall health and preventing nutritional deficiencies. Understanding these principles also empowers you to construct meal plans that align with your health objectives, whether it’s weight management, athletic performance, or managing medical conditions like diabetes or heart disease.  

Diet Types

Diet types cater to diverse health and ethical preferences. Low carbohydrate/high protein diets like Keto focus on fats for weight loss, while low fat/high carbohydrate diets emphasize heart health. Plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan diets exclude animal products, chosen for health or ethical reasons. The Mediterranean diet, rich in whole foods, is known for heart benefits, contrasting with the processed-food-heavy Western diet linked to health issues.  Each diet type reflects specific nutritional goals and lifestyle choices.

Special Diets

Special diets address specific health needs: The DASH diet combats hypertension with low sodium and nutrient-rich foods. Heart Healthy diets emphasize whole grains and lean proteins for cardiovascular wellness. Obesity and Weight Loss diets focus on calorie control for sustainable weight reduction. Renal diets for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) limit phosphorus, potassium, and sodium to ease kidney strain, highlighting kidney-friendly foods for disease management.