Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Healthy Eating

  • The major nutrients—protein, carbohydrate, and fat—provide the body with energy. This energy keeps your heart beating, your brain active, and your muscles working. The energy is measured in calories. Nutrient Function Some sources Protein has 4...

  • Learn how to build a healthy meal using the plate method to help manage your diabetes.

  • Try these tips for making healthy choices even when you're stressed or busy.

  • Tips to staying on track with eating and activity goals when your routine changes.

  • Ideas for pulling healthy meals together when you don't have a lot of time.

  • Get tips and support for getting back on track with healthy eating.

  • Learn how to plan snacks and meals to avoid impulsive eating and drinking.

  • Learn tips for eating healthy when you're home all the time.

  • The food you eat can affect your health and your risk for certain diseases. To eat healthier food, you may need to change some of your daily habits. You also may need to change some things in your environment. Your environment includes everything...

  • Provides links to topics on how to eat well. Topics cover nutrition. Offers healthy eating and physical activity tips. Includes info on healthy weight and healthy eating for children.

  • Habits are hard to break. That's why the sooner in life we build good, healthy habits, the easier it is to keep them and stay as healthy as possible. And when good habits are in place, it's easier to resist bad ones. The most important thing to...

  • Childhood is the best time to learn the healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Healthy eating can help your child feel good, stay at or reach a healthy weight, and have lots of energy for school and play. In fact, healthy eating can help your whole family live better. Return to topic: Healthy Eating for Children...

  • What is the Mediterranean diet? The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating rather than a formal diet plan. It features foods eaten in Greece, Spain, southern Italy and France, and other countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating foods like fish, fruits, vegetables...

  • Dieting is hard. But avoiding "empty" calories helps you reach a healthy weight without feeling like you're dieting. Your body needs a certain amount of energy each day. Energy comes from food in the form of calories. Calories let you function and keep doing your daily activities. But after your body meets its needs...

  • Your body needs a certain number of calories each day for you to function and keep doing your daily activities. After your body meets its needs, it stores extra calories as fat. Your weight remains steady when your body takes in the same amount of...

  • How is it that two people of the same age, gender, and height can eat the same foods and be equally active, but one gains weight while the other loses it? One piece of the puzzle is metabolism. How well your body burns energy to keep up basic functions like heartbeat, breathing, and thinking is called your basal...

  • Learn how to make healthy changes that can help delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.

  • Learn simple tips for healthy eating.

  • Learn how you can benefit from healthy eating.

  • Learn how to improve your diet with a few simple changes.

  • Learn how good nutrition can give you energy and help you stay healthy.

  • Learn about the nutrients you need to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

  • Learn how to practice saying no when friends and family offer you food and drink.

  • See how to get back to taking care of your heart.

  • Hear how other teens got past the things that kept them from healthier eating.

  • Hear how one teen got motivated to take charge of his weight and eating habits.

  • Get inspired to make some healthy changes to the way you eat.

  • Get help staying on track with your healthy eating goal.

  • Tells how to limit sodium (salt) for better health. Gives tips on low-sodium diet and reading food labels. Includes tips for cooking with less sodium.

  • Almost all foods contain sodium, or salt, naturally or as an ingredient. But you don't always know it's there, or how much is there. Here are some tips to help you find sodium. Know what "low sodium'' means Labels on foods often claim that the food is "low-sodium" or something similar. Learn what these...

  • If you're like most people, evening meal prep is up there with doing laundry. Here's the secret to meal planning: plan just 3 to 5 meals ahead—it's less overwhelming. Your social plans can stay in place, and you can roll with whatever comes up. With...

  • Listen to your body to tell you when you're hungry or full. Hunger is a normal sensation that makes you want to eat. Your body tells your brain that your stomach is empty. This makes your stomach growl and gives you hunger pangs. Hunger makes some people feel lightheaded or grouchy. Everyone is different...

  • Milk, yogurt, and cheese provide a lot of calcium. But there are other foods that have calcium, such as kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage. You can also get calcium by eating the soft bones of canned sardines and canned salmon. And calcium is...

  • A food record can help you evaluate your eating habits and track your progress as you make changes. As you record your intake, fill in the squares to account for the amount you eat from each food group. To do this, you will need to know how much of...

  • Getting a person with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia to eat enough may be a challenge in some cases. Some of these tips may help you. If the person resists using a spoon or fork, don't force the issue. Some people may have vision or motor...

  • Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is an important part of treating HIV. Good nutrition can help your immune system stay strong, which in turn may help your body fight HIV. Knowing the best way to nourish your body will help keep it strong and allow...

  • A balanced, nutritious diet during pregnancy is important to maintain your health and nourish your fetus. In general, pregnant women need to increase their daily caloric intake by 340 calories in the second trimester and 450 calories in the third trimester. Most women who are pregnant need 2,200 to 2,900 calories a...

  • Even though you're not pregnant yet, you might already be thinking about which room to turn into the baby's room and how to decorate it. And you might be making lists of all the baby clothes and supplies that you'll need. But it's also a good time to take some steps to help yourself have a happy pregnancy and a healthy...

  • There are many ways that adults can help children and teens develop a healthy approach to food and exercise. Avoid punishing or rewarding your children with food. Be a good role model for healthy eating and exercising. Be a good role model by having...

  • Most people with Parkinson's disease can eat the same healthy, balanced diet recommended for anyone. This includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, legumes, poultry, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Early in the disease,...

  • Covers how you can start eating healthier. Looks at making small changes toward healthier eating habits. Offers advice on dealing with barriers to healthy eating. Includes how healthy eating can help lower your risk for disease.

  • The body needs many minerals; these are called essential minerals. Essential minerals are sometimes divided up into major minerals (macrominerals) and trace minerals (microminerals). These two groups of minerals are equally important, but trace minerals are needed in smaller amounts than major minerals. The amounts...

  • You can handle stress better when you are as healthy as possible, so eating nutritiously is a good defense against stress. The tips below focus on using nutrition to reduce the symptoms of stress. For more information about eating right, see the topic Healthy Eating. Avoid or limit caffeine. Coffee, tea...

  • Discusses changing your diet to help protect your kidneys when you have kidney disease. Gives general ideas about how to follow the diet your doctor or dietitian recommends. Covers restricting salt (sodium), protein, phosphorus, and potassium.

  • Discusses foods to improve heart health. Looks at basic rules of a heart healthy eating, including eating more fruits and vegetables. Lists specific foods that are considered good for your heart.

  • Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. They may only eat a few foods, then abruptly refuse them. Toddlers also have rapidly changing appetites. Although toddlers grow steadily throughout their second year, their growth rates are less dramatic than during the first year, which often is reflected in how much they eat...

  • Covers eating a variety of foods so that your child gets the nutrients he or she needs for normal growth. Looks at how much food is good for your child and how you can help your child eat well and be healthy. Explains how to help a child who is overweight.

  • A number of things have a powerful influence on how and what we eat. Consider the following as you plan healthy food choices for your child: Availability of food. Because food is so readily available in our culture, it is easy to eat without thinking about how hungry you really are or how much you have...

  • Discusses taking calcium and vitamin D to prevent or treat osteoporosis. Includes info on how much calcium you need based on your age or life stage. Offers list of calcium-rich foods and calcium supplements.

  • For many people, eating out is a way to relax and socialize. But if you are watching your weight or just are concerned with healthy eating, dining out can be a challenge. The good news is that usually there are healthier options at every restaurant,...

  • A vitamin and mineral supplement provides a variety of nutrients that are also found in food. These supplements are often called multivitamins. They come in the form of pills, chewable tablets, powders, and liquids. A standard multivitamin usually...

  • Making healthy meals doesn't have to take a lot of time or require complicated recipes. There are many ways you can save time in the kitchen and still eat delicious, healthy food. It's just a matter of having the right foods on hand and learning how to take shortcuts in the kitchen. Keep your kitchen...

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to improve your nutrition. It can be as easy as adding fruit to a bowl of cereal or adding grated carrots and zucchini to pasta sauce. These tips can help you get started. Make it easy Keep a bowl of fruit within easy reach on the kitchen counter or your desk at work...

  • A big part of healthy eating is eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk products. Healthy snacks are a great way to make sure that you get plenty of these nutritious foods every day. Use these ideas to get started. Make smart snack choices Find healthier substitutes for...

  • As a supervisor for a hospital cafeteria, Loralie makes sure that the cafeteria has plenty of healthy choices. But until recently, she didn't take advantage of the healthy choices for her own meals. Loralie's eating habits had caused her to gain...

  • Dawn is no stranger to dieting. Over the years, she followed many different weight-loss plans. Each plan worked for a while, but eventually she would go back to her old eating habits and her weight would go back up. She says that with dieting "There...

  • Jeremy grew up being active and involved in sports. But he never gave healthy eating too much thought until he found himself gaining weight several years after college. In November 2006, Jeremy hit a turning point when he found that he was too out...

  • The American Heart Association (AHA) publishes dietary and lifestyle recommendations for general heart health. These recommendations are for healthy adults and children older than age 2 as well as people who already have health problems such as coronary artery disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or heart failure...

  • Children who eat poorly are more likely to develop certain long-term health problems and complications, including: Osteoporosis in later life. Cardiovascular diseases. Growing up eating foods high in fat, sugar, and salt can increase the risk for...

  • Having good nutrition is important at any age. But it is especially important for older adults. Eating a healthy diet can help keep your body strong and can help lower your risk for disease. But as you get older, it can be harder to eat in healthy...

  • Developing a plan for healthy eating means setting goals, tracking your progress, and rewarding yourself. Setting goals Set goals you want to achieve. It is generally best to set small, measurable goals. You can set them on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. When setting goals, consider: Where you want to start...

  • To prevent disease, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a healthy eating pattern. All food and drink choices matter. Healthy eating includes eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products or fortified soy beverages, and lean proteins. The guidelines also emphasize...

  • You can use the USDA food guide to make healthy choices about what you eat. The chart below shows the recommended amounts for adults to eat from each food group. These amounts are based on a diet of 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day. For a food guide...

  • Covers eating healthy foods when you have COPD. Looks at how shortness of breath may make eating harder and why it is important to eat regularly. Offers tips to make eating easier and help you get necessary nutrition.

  • So you've decided to change your eating habits. Great! Have you thought about getting support in making this change? Having the support of people close to you is an important part of change. It doesn't matter if you're changing a job, a routine, or...

  • You know that eating right is good for you. But if you have more than one health problem, eating right may seem hard to do. Here's an example: If you have heart disease and diabetes, you may be given guidelines for each. One focuses on keeping your heart healthy and the other on keeping your blood sugar in your target...

  • Healthy eating starts with smart food shopping. Here you will find pointers on how to make the most of your trip to the grocery store. Whether you want to eat healthier or lose weight, these tips will help you get started. Plan ahead. Before you...

  • Millions of people struggle to lose weight and improve their diets. Finding a diet that works for you and then staying with it can be a huge challenge. Registered dietitians are experts in diet and nutrition, particularly for promoting general health and treating conditions such as high cholesterol. A dietitian can...

  • Covers why you should cut unhealthy fats (saturated fats and trans fats) from your diet. Looks at healthy fats (polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat). Offers tips for making healthier choices. Links to in-depth info on healthy eating.

  • If you have decided to start a healthy eating plan, congratulations! Making that decision is an important step in becoming a healthier person. Keep these key points in mind: When you're trying to develop new habits—whether it's healthy eating, getting more exercise, or quitting smoking—you have a better...

  • Teaches listening to body signals that tell you when you're hungry or full (satiety). Describes hunger signals. Covers steps to get back in touch with your hunger signals so that you don't reach for food when you're not hungry. Covers keeping food journal.

  • Eating one healthy meal isn't hard. It's not even hard to eat three healthy meals in a single day. The hard part is making changes in your daily life so that you start eating healthy every day—and keep eating healthy every day. If you're having problems staying with your plan, don't worry. You're not alone. You'll be...

  • Replacing a bad habit with a good habit takes time and patience. It requires several steps, from setting your goals to getting support. One of the important steps is figuring out what your barriers are. What has stopped you from changing your eating...

  • There are ways to make healthy eating fit your budget. You'll be surprised by how spending just a little extra time can save you money. And the more time you spend—in planning, shopping, and cooking—the more money you'll save. Save money by learning and planning: Plan and shop for a week's worth of meals at a time...

  • Maggie Morris lost 50 pounds by focusing on one meal at a time. "I don't eat the way I used to. It's a matter of making choices every day. One day I might decide to eat more than another day, and that's okay, as long as I'm paying attention," she...

  • Maggie Morris still eats a little birthday cake now and then. And she doesn't shy away from restaurants, because she loves to eat out. She just makes sure to allow for it in her eating plan. Morris says she knows that to deprive herself of any...

  • Changing the way you eat doesn't always mean you have to give up your favorite foods. Maggie Morris includes her beloved pizza and the occasional hamburger or filet mignon in her food plan. But she has them only about every three months. And she has...

  • Whatever you do, don't tell Jaci that you can tell she's been on a diet. The 30-year-old mother of two feels strongly that losing 65 pounds over 4 years was the result of permanent lifestyle changes—not dieting. "I actually get mad at people when they say, 'You've been on a diet.' I'm not on a diet. I've never been on a...

  • Maggie lost some weight a few years ago. But like many people who go on diets, she couldn't keep the pounds off. She didn't eat enough food, so she was hungry. And she denied herself the food she really loved, like pizza. Then she changed the way she looked at food and what it meant to be healthier. She lost 50 pounds...

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