What to Eat

What makes up a perfect diet? What does a day’s worth of food look like?


Part of the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s mission is to provide consumers with current, useful information about their health and well-being. To that end, we publish Nutrition Action Healthletter, which has candid and reliable information from CSPI’s staff nutritionists and scientists—and zero advertising. If you like the advice you see here, consider subscribing to Nutrition Action, giving it as a gift, or signing up for our free Healthy Tips delivered via email from our sister site, NutritionAction.com.

Veggies: Who Knew?

Vegetables are superstars. Nearly every diet—from Mediterranean to Paleo to Weight Watchers to DASH—wants a piece of them. Think you know your veggies? Some of these 10 things may surprise you. 

A Day’s Worth of Food 

What’s a decent day’s worth of food look like?  How big should a serving of fruit, grains, dairy, or nuts be?  Here’s a day’s worth of food adapted from the diets tested in the OmniHeart study which cut heart disease risk the most.  Read more.

Winners & Losers

What to order when you eat out... soup or salad? A bagel or muffin? A stack of pancakes or an omelet? CSPI’s nutritionists help you make the healthiest choice at your favorite restaurants.  From Nutrition Action HealthletterRead more.

10 Best Foods 

CSPI is well known for publicizing the worst foods you can get.  But what are some of the best?  See the list.

Healthy School Snacks

Serving healthy snacks to children is important to providing good nutrition, supporting lifelong healthy eating habits, and helping to prevent costly and potentially-disabling diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. But what to serve? Our guide can help.

Servings on Steroids

How big should a sandwich, cookie, or brownie be?  Or a serving of orange juice or steak?  See what restaurants are serving—next to what the Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Department of Agriculture says a serving should look like.  From Nutrition Action HealthletterRead more.

Why Good Nutrition Is Important

Unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are leading causes of death in the United States.  More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and obesity rates in children have tripled in the last three decades.  Poor diet and inactivity also reduces quality of life and increases health care costs.  Read more.

Restaurant Roulette

Americans are getting increasingly used to seeing calorie counts on chain-restaurant menus.  But what about independent or small-chain international restaurants?  What are your best choices at Indian, Thai, Greek, or Italian restaurants?  From Nutrition Action HealthletterRead more.

What’s the Best Diet for Weight Loss?

Is there a big difference between low-fat and low-carb?  What role does insulin resistance, genetics, or gut microbes play?  Nutrition Action Healthletter’s Bonnie Liebman interviewed a leading researcher and finds the answer is surprisingly simple.  Read more.

The 5 Nutrients You Should Be Concerned About

According to the latest version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we might not be getting enough of these nutrients—and it may be causing health problems for some of us.  See how to include more of them in your meals.  Read more.

Nutrition Action Healthletter

Nutrition Action Healthletter is honest, unbiased, and science-based. It’s completely independent and has no advertising. So we’re free to blow the whistle on products that aren’t what they pretend to be—and to applaud the good ones.  A one-year subscription (10 issues) is $24, and if you order via NutritionAction.com, you have your choice of print and/or digital versions, plus access to our archive.