Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, Volume 13, Issue 1, January 2017, pp e7–e15.

doi 10.1016/j.nurpra.2016.08.026


Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. Used by permission.


A healthy diet can be defined in many ways, including defining one’s food intake by a dietary pattern. As described in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee report, there are several defined dietary patterns associated with lower rates of chronic diseases. These include the Healthy Eating Index, Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension, and those based on the Mediterranean diet. This review will focus on guiding health care professionals, including nurse practitioners, how a healthy diet pattern is defined, how it is measured, and a summary of recent evidence supporting the healthfulness of these dietary patterns.