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Healthy Eating

The National Institute of Health (NIH) developed the information below. Much research has shown that eating a healthful diet, low in fat, high in fiber, with plenty of fruits and vegetables helps improve your health.

Eat less fat. By eating less fat you may:
  • Lose or maintain your weight by reducing calories
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Lower blood cholesterol levels
  • Possibly reduce your risk of cancer
  • What to do
  • Use reduced-fat or nonfat salad dressings, spreads, mayonnaise, margarine, or mustard.
  • Use high-fat foods only sometimes, choose more low-fat and nonfat foods.
  • Use lemon juice, herbs, thinly sliced green onions, or salsa on vegetables or salad.
  • Use small amounts of high-fat toppings.
  • Switch to 1 percent or skim milk, and other nonfat or low-fat dairy products.
  • Use smaller amounts, low-fat or fat-free cheeses.
  • Try popcorn without butter or oil for an unsweetened treat.
  • Avoid french fries and other fried foods and desserts. Eat a very small serving or share with a friend.
  • Choose small portions of lean meats, fish, and poultry and use low-fat cooking methods; trim off all fat from meat, remove skin from poultry.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables:
  • Most are low in calories and fat
  • They are a good source of vitamins and minerals and provide fiber
  • May help reduce cancer risk
  • It is easy to do
  • What to do
  • Buy many kinds of fruits and vegetables so you have plenty of choices
  • Use fruits and vegetables that go bad easily first, save the rest for later in the week
  • Pack a piece of fruit or some cut-up vegetables for lunch
  • Microwave or steam fruit and vegetables for dinner
  • Increase portions of fruit and vegetables; season with herbs, spices, and lemon juice
  • Choose fruit for dessert
  • Try a dish that features beans at least once a week
  • Serve soup made from peas or beans once a week or more
  • Try black-eyed peas or black beans as a vegetable side dish with meat or fish
  • Add beans to salads. Kidney beans, three-bean salad, or chickpeas are featured at many salad bars
  • Eat Whole Grains
  • They are low in fat
  • They are good sources of fiber, vitamins, and protein
  • They can be fixed and eaten in many ways
  • What to do
  • Choose whole grain varieties (whole wheat, bran, oatmeal, or multigrain)
  • Choose a whole grain hot cereal (oatmeal, wheat), or a cold breakfast cereal that provides at least 4 grams of fiber per serving
  • Use at least half-whole wheat flour in recipes that call for flour