For Consumers

For Consumers

Fruits & Vegetables

Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables (they can be fresh, canned, or frozen, and they don’t have to be organic). These can help lower your risk of many serious and chronic health conditions, including heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Fruits and vegetables also contain important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other healthy nutrients.

Whole Grains

Grains are a good source of fiber, which can help improve your cholesterol and lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Grains also provide B vitamins as well as iron, magnesium, and selenium. These are important for your body in forming new cells, carrying oxygen in your blood, regulating your thyroid, and maintaining a healthy immune system.


Beans, peas, lentils, nuts, low-fat and fat-free dairy, poultry, eggs, fish, and shellfish are all reliable sources of healthy protein. Omega-3 fatty acids in certain fish (anchovies, herring, mackerel, black cod, salmon, sardines, bluefin tuna, whitefish, striped bass, and cobia) can help reduce the risk of heart failure, coronary heart disease, cardiac arrest, and the most common type of stroke (ischemic). Processed meat (such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and deli meat) and red meat (such as beef, pork, and veal) have been shown to increase the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly colon cancer and should be limited in the diet, or not eaten at all.

Need help finding or paying for nutritious food?

You may qualify for federal programs that help you access nutritious food. These include SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program), WIC (supplemental nutrition assistance for women, infants, and children), school meals, and food assistance for older adults. Find information here.

If you participate in SNAP, the Double Up Food Bucks program matches your SNAP EBT dollars, so you get twice the number of fruits and veggies for the same price. See if the Double Up Food Bucks program is available in your state here.

Check with your local food bank for additional free food options, such as BackPack programs that offer families free groceries for weekends and school breaks, and for assistance with applying for federal food programs.

Find free or reduced-cost resources like food, health care, and more, using Find Help.

The United Way offers comprehensive information about local resources and services, including food programs and benefits.

Some health insurance plans, including many Medicare Advantage plans, offer food benefits.  Funds may be loaded onto a prepaid debit card to be used on eligible items at participating retailers. Check your health plan’s website or call the number on the back of your card for more information.

What else can I do to “Nourish My Health”?

  • Reduce your intake of added sugars from foods like sugary drinks, desserts, and sweet snacks, to help prevent weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes.
  • Eat less than 2,300mg (milligrams) of sodium per day to help lower your blood pressure. A daily intake of less than 1,500mg has even more health benefits.
  • Use cooking oils that contain mostly “monounsaturated” fats (olive, canola, avocado) and “polyunsaturated” fats (soybean, corn, sunflower) to help lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • Minimize ultra-processed foods (such as sugary drinks, deli meat, desserts, and sweet snacks) that are high in unhealthy fats, salt, and added sugars to help prevent weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.