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. Nov-Dec 2010;55(6):492-501.
doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2010.06.019.

Essentials of Healthy Eating: A Guide

Free PMC article

Essentials of Healthy Eating: A Guide

Patrick J Skerrett et al. J Midwifery Womens Health. .
Free PMC article


Enough solid evidence now exists to offer women several fundamental strategies for healthy eating. They include emphasizing healthful unsaturated fats, whole grains, good protein "packages," and fruits and vegetables; limiting consumption of trans and saturated fats, highly refined grains, and sugary beverages; and taking a multivitamin with folic acid and extra vitamin D as a nutritional safety net. A diet based on these principles is healthy through virtually all life stages, from young adulthood through planning for pregnancy, pregnancy, and on into old age.


Figure 1
Figure 1. MyPyramid, designed by the USDA in 2006
The vertical stripes in represent different food groups and their relative contributions to a healthy diet. The figure is meaningless without information from its corresponding Web site. NOTE: High-resolution file available for free download at: Permission to Reprint: All of the informational materials produced by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, whether printed or maintained electronically on this website, are in the public domain and as such are not restricted by copyright law unless otherwise stated. We ask only that informational materials, both graphic and text, provided by CNPP be reproduced as originally designed and/or written and that they not be altered or edited in any way. For accuracy and continuity of the message, we encourage all users to reproduce the information as original designed and/or written. [note: The MyPyramid image has not been altered in any way.] (
Figure 2
Figure 2. The Healthy Eating Pyramid
The Healthy Eating Pyramid provides evidence-based information on the elements of a diet that is good for long-term health. [NOTE: High-resolution image available for free download at:] Permission to reprint: The Healthy Eating Pyramid image is owned by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. It may be used without permission for educational and other non-commercial uses with proper attribution, including the following copyright notification and credit line: Copyright © 2008. For more information about The Healthy Eating Pyramid, please see The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health,, and Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, by Walter C. Willett, M.D. and Patrick J. Skerrett (2005), Free Press/Simon & Schuster Inc. (

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