sugar cubes

What to avoid

The healthiest diets limit ultra-processed foods, red and processed meats, salt, unhealthy fats, added sugars, and white flour. But the typical American diet? It's heavy on all of them.

processed foods and fresh produce

Calorie-dense foods

Why we overeat

In 2019, a study by researcher Kevin Hall made headlines when it reported that ultra-processed foods led people to overeat and gain weight. Hall and others are still trying to figure out what makes us overdo it.

What matters
an assortment of ultra-processed foods

Junk food 101

Ultra-processed foods

Highly processed foods are calorie-dense, easy to chew and swallow, low in fiber, and engineered to grab your tastebuds’ attention. What does that mean for you? Here's the backstory on a landmark 2019 ultra-processed foods study.

See what's ultra-processed

Want to learn more about how to reduce your risk of disease?

Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, many cancers...the list goes on. Here's how eating healthy can cut your risk of disease.

Preventing disease

Saturated fat

Saturated fats show up in red meats, cheese, butter, coconut oil, fatty sweets, etc. They raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease. Replace them with the "good" (unsaturated) fats, which lower bad cholesterol.

Additives & contaminants

From additives like aspartame to dyes, we tell you which are safe and which are risky. Plus: contaminants in food.

Ingredients to watch

Shop smart

Be a savvy shopper

Want to minimize foods high in saturated fat, salt, and refined carbs? Our brand-name guides highlight the best (and worst) of supermarket staples like cereals, plant milks, yogurt, snacks, frozen entrées, and more.

Get the guides

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