10 Tips for healthy eating

Dec 23, 2008 at 6:18 p.m. ET

It's time to nix those frozen TV dinners and fill your life and your stomach with healthy options. Following a more health-conscious routine may seem more difficult, but it's actually easier than you may have thought.

Healthy eating tip 1.

Start a plan
MyPyramid.gov offers personalized eating plans and interactive tools that help you set a health-conscious plan. Plus, there are plenty of resources to guide you.

Healthy eating tip 2.

Drink up
Moms can opt to dilute sugary juice drinks by adding water. This way there is a lower caloric intake, while both moms and kids can still enjoy the juice taste.

Healthy eating tip 3.

We're not saying to devour the entire bag of cookies, but one cookie here and there won't hurt you. Just make sure it's only an occasional part of your otherwise healthy diet.

Healthy eating tip 4.

Take it slow
Don't throw yourself in a hundred directions at once. Introduce new foods into your diet one step at a time. Start with a new vegetable one week, and a different fruit the next.

Healthy eating tip 5.

Pay attention to your body — are you really hungry, or are you just trying to fill time between work and primetime TV?

Healthy eating tip 6.

Educate yourself
Know the difference between good carbs and bad carbs. Pay attention to the labels on your food — just because it says organic on the front doesn't mean it's necessarily your best option.

Healthy eating tip 7.

Not all fat is the same
Saturated fats increase your risk of coronary disease but monounsaturated fats found in things like olive oil can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Know the difference and implement it into your routine.

Healthy eating tip 8.

Go for the pretty colors
Fruits and vegetables that are brighter and deeper in color contain higher concentrations of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are essential to a healthy way of life.

Healthy eating tip 9.

Go nuts
Beans, nuts, peas and soy products are great sources of protein and fiber. Foods from this group such as black beans and almonds also provide your body with iron.

Healthy eating tip 10.

Enjoy your meal
Take time to actually chew your food. Eating too quickly increases your chances of consuming too much. By the time your brain actually catches up with your stomach, you'll already be in a food coma.