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Your diet is made up of what you eat. There are many different types of diets. A healthy diet

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
  • May include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.

There are many different types of diets. Some, like a vegetarian diet, don't include meats. Others, like the Mediterranean diet, describe a pattern of eating with an emphasis on less saturated fat than most Americans eat.

Many people follow specific diets to lose weight. Some of these diets are fad or crash diets that severely restrict calories or the types of food you are allowed to eat. These diets rarely lead to permanent weight loss and often don't provide all of the nutrients your body needs. To lose weight, you need to use more calories than you eat. Portion control is the key. When trying to lose weight, you can still eat your favorite foods -- as long as you pay attention to the total number of calories that you eat.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases




Page last updated on 27 April 2012 Topic last reviewed 19 January 2012