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  1. Aim for  at least 3 oz. of whole grains a day, like oats, quinoa, barley, wheat, or brown rice. Not only are they rich in fiber, they also lower your risk for type 2 diabetes.
  2. Snack on nuts to help reduce your risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Just 1/4 of an ounce of nuts a day -- about 4 almonds -- will do the trick.
  3. Limit sugary foods and drinks that are high in calories and low in nutritional value. Eating too much sugar can send your blood sugar levels on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs.
  4. Get 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat dairy a day, such as milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese. The calcium and fortified vitamin D dairy foods are essential for strong bones and staying active for life.
  5. Add more beans and lentils to your diet in place of red meat. They're low in fat and rich in protein, protective antioxidants, and fiber. Plus, they're inexpensive and easy to cook.

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Henry S. Lodge, MD, is an associate clinical professor of medicine at Columbia University and co-author of Younger Next Year...More

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Vitality at 50 and Beyond

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