Nutrition basics

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Do you feel like you can't keep up with the latest nutrition news because it's always changing? While it's true that what is known about nutrition and diet is evolving, there are some nutrition basics that can help you sort through the latest research and advice.

Nutrition basics come down to eating a variety of wholesome foods that support your health.

Want to go beyond the nutrition basics? Talk to your doctor or a dietitian for personalized dietary advice that takes into account your health status, lifestyle, and food preferences.

Get the latest health information from Mayo Clinic’s experts.

Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Nov. 19, 2021

See also

  1. MIND diet may cut Alzheimer's risk
  2. 3 diet changes women over 50 should make right now
  3. 3 key changes in the new Nutrition Facts label
  4. Healthy-eating habits
  5. Navigate the farmers market
  6. Reduce sugar in your diet
  7. Acai berries
  8. Added sugar
  9. Alcohol use
  10. Alkaline water
  11. Mediterranean diet
  12. Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes
  13. Autism spectrum disorder and digestive symptoms
  14. Bad food habits at work? Get back on track in 5 steps
  15. Beans and other legumes: Cooking tips
  16. Dietary guidelines
  17. Boost your calcium levels without dairy? Yes you can!
  18. Breast-feeding nutrition: Tips for moms
  19. Why is BVO in my drink?
  20. Butter vs. margarine
  21. Caffeine content
  22. Caffeine: How much is too much?
  23. Is caffeine dehydrating?
  24. Calcium
  25. Calcium supplements for men
  26. Timing calcium supplements
  27. Calorie calculator
  28. Calories in sushi
  29. The role of diet and exercise in preventing Alzheimer's disease
  30. COVID-19 and vitamin D
  31. Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?
  32. Can whole-grain foods lower blood pressure?
  33. Can zinc supplements help treat hidradenitis suppurativa?
  34. Canned pumpkin: Better than fresh?
  35. Canola oil
  36. Carbohydrate-loading diet
  37. Carbohydrates
  38. Chart of high-fiber foods
  39. Cholesterol: Top foods to improve your numbers
  40. Clear liquid diet
  41. Coconut water: Is it super hydrating?
  42. Coffee and health
  43. Benefits of cooking at home
  44. Strategies to prepare and enjoy healthy meals at home more often
  45. Pantry basics for a gluten-free holiday
  46. Cuts of beef
  47. DASH diet
  48. DASH diet
  49. DASH diet: Recommended servings
  50. DASH diet: Shopping and cooking tips
  51. Detox diets
  52. Diet soda: How much is too much?
  53. Dietary fats
  54. Dietary fiber
  55. Diverticulitis attack triggers
  56. Diverticulitis diet
  57. Vitamin C and mood
  58. Prickly pear cactus
  59. Does soy really affect breast cancer risk?
  60. Don't get tricked by these 3 heart-health myths
  61. E. coli and food safety
  62. Make healthy snack choices
  63. Eggs and cholesterol
  64. Energy drinks
  65. Enlarged prostate: Does diet play a role?
  66. Eye vitamins: Can they prevent or treat glaucoma?
  67. Fast food: Tips for choosing healthier options
  68. Fasting diet: Can it improve my heart health?
  69. Fiber supplements
  70. Fish and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  71. Ground flaxseed
  72. Food safety
  73. Foodborne illness
  74. Get to know the new Nutrition Facts label
  75. Gluten sensitivity and psoriasis: What's the connection?
  76. Gluten-free alternatives to wheat flour
  77. Gluten-free diet
  78. Glycemic index diet
  79. Gout diet: What's allowed, what's not
  80. Grape juice health benefits
  81. Grass-fed beef
  82. Guidelines for a good ileostomy diet
  83. Healthy breakfast options
  84. Is chocolate healthy?
  85. Healthy cooking for singles and couples
  86. Healthy heart for life: Avoiding heart disease
  87. Ingredient substitutions
  88. Healthy-cooking techniques
  89. Slide show: Heart-healthy eating after acute coronary syndrome
  90. Heartburn medicines and B-12 deficiency
  91. Herbal supplements
  92. High-fructose corn syrup
  93. High-protein diets
  94. Alcohol during the holidays: 4 ways to sip smarter
  95. Holiday recipes
  96. Holiday weight: How to maintain, not gain
  97. Meat and poultry
  98. How plant-based food helps fight cancer
  99. How the right diet can help an overactive bladder
  100. How to track saturated fat
  101. How to use food to help your body fight inflammation
  102. I have heavy periods. Should I take an iron pill?
  103. Improve brain health with the MIND diet
  104. Integrative medicine: Different techniques, one goal
  105. Intermittent fasting
  106. Is gluten-free a healthy way to eat?
  107. Takeout containers
  108. Is the keto diet for you? A Mayo expert weighs in
  109. Juicing
  110. Depression and diet
  111. Kratom and pregnancy: Not a safe mix
  112. Lentils: How do I cook with them?
  113. Low-fiber diet
  114. Sample menu
  115. Meatless meals
  116. Mediterranean diet
  117. Mediterranean diet recipes
  118. Menu planning
  119. Menus for heart-healthy eating
  120. Moldy cheese
  121. Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  122. MUFAs
  123. Multigrain vs. whole grain
  124. Multivitamins for kids
  125. Credible nutrition information
  126. Nutrition Facts label
  127. Nutrition rules that will fuel your workout
  128. Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health
  129. Olive oil
  130. Omega-3 in fish
  131. Omega-6 fatty acids
  132. Organic foods
  133. Paleo diet
  134. Percent Daily Value
  135. Phenylalanine
  136. Picnic Problems: High Sodium
  137. Play it safe when taking food to a loved one in the hospital
  138. Prebiotics, probiotics and your health
  139. Prenatal vitamins
  140. Magnesium supplements
  141. Recipe makeovers
  142. Safely reheat leftovers
  143. Sample DASH menus
  144. Sea salt vs. table salt
  145. Reduce sugar in your diet
  146. Simple steps to making fall soups
  147. Health foods
  148. Mediterranean diet
  149. Vegetable recipes
  150. Antioxidants
  151. Fruit 5 ways
  152. Guide to gourmet salt
  153. Guide to herbs and spices
  154. Portion control
  155. Cooking fish
  156. Guide to beans and legumes
  157. Planning healthy meals
  158. High-fiber diet
  159. Social eating can be healthy and enjoyable
  160. Sodium
  161. Sodium nitrate in meat: Heart disease risk factor?
  162. Stevia
  163. Sugar challenge: Cut the sweetness for 2 weeks
  164. Nutritional supplements
  165. Tap water or bottled water: Which is better?
  166. Taurine in energy drinks
  167. Thanksgiving recipes
  168. Cooking frozen turkey
  169. The best foods for healthy skin
  170. The right way to wash fruits and vegetables
  171. The truth behind the most popular diet trends of the moment
  172. Are dietary supplements right for you?
  173. Bromelain
  174. Calories and nutrients to fuel sports performance
  175. Curcumin
  176. Dietary supplements: What to know before you buy
  177. Is your dietary supplement safe?
  178. Melatonin
  179. Nutrition and pain
  180. Smart practices for healthy living
  181. Tips for staying supplement savvy
  182. What are omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil?
  183. What are multivitamin/mineral dietary supplements?
  184. What is Boswellia?
  185. What is ginger?
  186. What is whey protein?
  187. Vitamin C megadoses
  188. Trans fat
  189. Ultraprocessed foods: Convenience at what cost?
  190. Underweight: Add pounds healthfully
  191. Vegetable juice
  192. Vegetarian diet
  193. Vitamin D and MS: Any connection?
  194. Vitamin D: Can it prevent Alzheimer's & dementia?
  195. Vitamin D deficiency
  196. Can having vitamin D deficiency cause high blood pressure?
  197. Vitamin D for babies
  198. Vitamin D toxicity
  199. Vitamins for MS: Do supplements make a difference?
  200. Want a healthier dinnertime? Science says change your eating space
  201. Water after meals
  202. Daily water requirement
  203. Functional foods
  204. What do the dates on food packages mean?
  205. What does a 'seal of approval' mean?
  206. Understand clean eating
  207. What is BPA?
  208. What is clean eating?
  209. What is meant by the term "heart age"?
  210. Wheatgrass
  211. Cooking oil
  212. White whole wheat
  213. Whole grains
  214. Why does diet matter after bariatric surgery?
  215. Yerba mate
  216. Cook a perfect Thanksgiving dinner