Healthy Diet & Nutrition

Know Your Nutrients

A healthy, balanced diet can help you feel better and promote long-term health. Check out this summary of the important nutrients you need in a healthy eating plan:

  • Proteins – Your body uses proteins to build and repair tissues, fight infection, and give you energy. Protein is found in meat, eggs, beans, nuts, and dairy.
  • Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. Simple carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, dairy, and sweeteners. Complex carbohydrates are found in bread, cereals, pasta, rice, beans, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, green peas, and corn. Many carbohydrates – especially those from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – also supply fiber.
  • Fats – Fats give you energy and help you feel satisfied after eating, but some types of fats are healthier than others. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats seem to lower your chance of heart disease as long as you don’t eat too much. They are liquid at room temperature and are found in vegetable oils, some nuts and seeds, avocados, peanut butter, and fatty fish. Saturated and trans fats are less healthy and are found in red meat, milk products, palm and coconut oils, and processed foods.

If you haven’t talked with your doctor about nutrition lately, take a moment at your next visit to talk about whether you need to make changes to your eating habits to improve your health. Learn more about healthy eating on our website. For additional information about nutrients, click here.

Courtesy of National Institute on Aging.


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