URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/diets.html

Diets

Summary

If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can improve your health. It might also help you prevent weight-related diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and some cancers. A healthy diet is an important part of a weight-loss program. It

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

The key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you eat and drink. A diet can help you to do this through portion control. There are many different types of diets. Some, like the Mediterranean diet, describe a traditional way of eating from a specific region. Others, like the DASH diet, were designed for people who have certain health problems. But they may also help you to lose weight. There are also fad or crash diets that severely restrict calories or the types of food you are allowed to eat. They may sound promising, but they rarely lead to permanent weight loss. They also may not provide all of the nutrients your body needs.

In addition to a diet, adding exercise into your daily life can help you to lose weight.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

Related Issues

Specifics

Health Check Tools

Statistics and Research

Clinical Trials

Reference Desk

Find an Expert

Children

Teenagers