There are two words that can cause tons of mixups for almost everyone who works with food and health -- doctors, dietitians, counselors, nurses, educators, etc. Those words are "healthy" and "healthful." When do you use "healthy" to describe something? When do you use "healthful?" The "healthy" vs "healthful" debate has a simple and easy answer, which we have outlined for you below. Get ready to stop wondering when to use which word!
"Healthy" is used to describe things that are in a good state of health. For example, a person who does not have any problems with his or her health is considered healthy. A stalk of broccoli that is green, firm, and clear of signs of rot is also healthy.
"Healthful," on the other hand, is used to describe things that promote good health. So cutting out trans fat from your diet is really "healthful." Fresh fruits and vegetables are also "healthful."
There you are. An answer to all questions about when to say healthy and when to say healthful. Ready to test your knowledge with a quiz? Because we've prepared a special one just for you! And don't worry, we've also listed the answers at the bottom of the page.
Healthy vs Healthful Quiz!
- Balance your plate with fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and whole grains for a _____ life.
- Want to get _____? Try a bit of moderate physical activity every day.
- Build a _____ diet with plenty of plant-based foods.
- In this day and age, there are many apps that promote a _____ life.
- Try the following _____ habits to improve your daily life!
- Pack a _____ lunch each day.
- _____ people generally eat balanced meals and get some exercise.
- It's possible to dine out in a _____ way, if you know what strategies to use!
- Here are 6 _____ snacks to try.
- Let's get _____ today!
Healthy vs Healthful -- The Answers
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Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.