Healthy Food = Healthy You

Living your life to the fullest means getting the most out of the food you eat.

No matter your age, proper nutrition is an important part of maintaining good health. Eating healthy can be especially important if you are going through or have gone through treatment for cancer.

Here are some ideas to get your started on the path to a healthy life.

Eat the Rainbow

Making a healthy plate starts with the eyes—and choosing all the colors of the rainbow. The substances that give fruits and vegetables their bright colors can help protect us from cancer and other chronic diseases.

Healthy plate starts with the eyes - and choosing all the colors of the rainbow.

Use the New American Plate

By using the New American Plate from the American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) as your guide, you focus on whole plant foods and include colors of the rainbow. To learn more, visit AICR website.

Diversify Your Foods

Diversity is the spice of life. Use your plate to explore cultures from around the globe. Looking to expand your palate but don’t know where to start? Try out local restaurants in your area that specialize in authentic cuisine.

  • Find healthful menu items from different countries at EatRight.org from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Library has ethnic/cultural versions of the food pyramid for ideas on foods to include in your diet.
Use your plate to explore cultures from around the globe. Try out local restaurants in your area that specialize in authentic cuisine.

Talk to an Expert Before Taking Supplements

Adding vitamins and minerals to your diet can be great, but too much of a good thing can be harmful. It’s best to get our nutrients from the foods we eat if you can. Consult your doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) before taking supplements. You can find a list of RDNs on EatRight.org.

It's best to get our nutrients from the food we eat if you can. Consult your doctor or a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) before taking supplements.

Choose Organic or Conventional?

It’s a personal choice whether you choose to eat organic or conventional foods. Organic food is not a requirement for good health. No matter your produce selection, always wash your foods thoroughly before eating. For food safety tips, read Food Safety During Cancer.

Organic food is not a requirement for good health. No matter your produce selection, always wash your foods thoroughly before eating.

Eat Nutrient-Dense Foods

Avoid empty calories by focusing on nutrient-dense foods. “Empty” calories come from foods that provide many calories and few vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, or other health-promoting ingredients. Limit sugary drinks and highly processed foods. Instead, focus on whole plant foods and low-sugar beverages. Think before you take in empty calories—a typical 20-ounce soda contains 250 calories. It would take 5 miles of walking or 50 minutes of running for a 110-pound teen to use that energy.

"Empty" calories come from foods that provide many calories and few vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, or other health-promoting ingredients. Limit sugary drinks and highly processed foods.

Drink Plenty of Water

Be sure to stay hydrated. Our bodies are between 55-60% water. Proper hydration is vital to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy body. Aim for between 6 and 8 glasses (8 ounces each) of water per day. Having trouble keeping up with your hydration goals? Try an app like Waterlogged to keep track of your fluid intake.

Our bodies are between 55-60% water. Aim for between 6 and 8 glasses (8 ounces each) of water per day.

Ask a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

For personalized nutrition advice, ask a registered dietitian nutritionist. Registered dietitian nutritionists are trained professionals who specialize in many areas of health, including dietary counseling, nutritional care for specific diseases, weight management, and nutrition support.

Interested in finding a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist near you? Find one using EatRight.org.

For personalized nutrition advice, ask a registered dietitian nutritionist.


Reviewed: August 2020