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Healthy Eating - Getting Started

2. Variety

Eating a variety of foods can help you get all the nutrients you need. Your body needs protein, carbohydrate, and fats for energy. They keep your heart beating, your brain active, and your muscles working.

Along with giving you nutrients, healthy foods also can give you pleasure. They can taste great and be good for you at the same time.

Good sources of nutrients are:

  • Unsaturated fats like olive and canola oil, nuts, and fish.
  • Carbohydrate from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas, beans, and lentils), and low-fat milk products.
  • Lean protein such as all types of fish, poultry without skin, low-fat milk products, and legumes.

To work well, your body also needs vitamins, minerals, and water.

For more information about nutrients, see:

In addition to nutrients, foods also contain other things that are important for good health. These include:

3. Moderation

Moderation is your key to healthy, balanced eating. If your favorite foods are high in fat, salt, sugar, or calories, limit how often you eat them. Eat smaller servings, or look for healthy substitutes.

And yes, you can have desserts and treats now and then. All foods, if eaten in moderation, can be a part of healthy eating.

For more information, see:

actionset.gif Healthy Eating: Cutting Unhealthy Fats From Your Diet.
actionset.gif Healthy Eating: Eating Less Sodium

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 25, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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