Eating Healthy: It’s Easier Than You Think

The first step to good nutrition is to make a commitment to eat better. It’s easier than you think!  To help you get started, here are a few tips for eating healthy in today’s fast-paced world:
  • Add more vegetables, fruits and whole grains to your recipes to make them less in fat and calories.
  • Watch how much sugar, fat and calories you eat.
  • Serve appropriate portion sizes.
  • Trade in your dinner plate for your salad plate. Eating meals on a smaller plate will give you the illusion of larger portions.
  • Avoid eating directly out of a bag or carton.
  • Use herbs and spices to add flavor to your favorite low-fat meals.
  • Enjoy these delicious and healthy recipes, taken from the American Cancer Society’s The Great American Eat-Right Cookbook. For more healthy recipes from the American Cancer Society, click HERE.
    • Fruit Skewers with Yogurt Dipping Sauce
    • Apricot-Orange Baked Chicken
    • Chunky Vegetable Salad
    • Two-Bite Brownies
Download the above Recipes as a printable PDF

Use the following rules to help determine what a standard serving size looks like

  • A half cup of vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist.
  • A 3-ounce portion of meat, fish, or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards.
  • An ounce and a half of low-fat or fat-free cheese is the size of a pair of dice.
  • A medium apple is the size of a baseball.
  • A single-serving bagel is the size of a hockey puck.
  • One tablespoon of peanut butter is about the size of the tip of your thumb.

Recipe Changes


Most of your favorite recipes can be easily changed to include more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and reduce fat and calories. Use the following steps when changing recipes.

STEP 1: Increase the vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

  • Add frozen pre-cut vegetables.
  • Add frozen fruits.
  • Use whole grains for all or part of the recipe.
  • Add fruits and berries to cereal instead of added sugar.
  • Where possible, leave skins on fruits or vegetables.
  • Add beans to soups and salad.

STEP 2: Lower the amount of calories.

The best way to do this is to look for ways to cut down on fat and sugar. Ask yourself: “Can I reduce or replace oil? Can I use low-fat milk instead of cream?” To reduce fat, try the following ideas:
  • Cut fats, like oil, butter, or margarines, by one-third to one-half in recipes. (Try a small cutback at first, then increasingly cut back little by little.)
  • To replace some moisture and flavor loss when fat is reduced, make up the difference with broth, nonfat milk, fruit juice, and extra herbs, spices, and vegetables.
  • For a moist, baked product when fat is reduced, add dried fruits or applesauce.
  • Remember to use measuring spoons and cups to avoid pouring or guessing the amount of oil to use. (An extra teaspoon of oil is 45 calories and 5 grams of fat.)
  • Use only small amounts of high-fat foods, like avocados, coconuts, cheese, and nuts.

STEP 3: Cut back on high-fat meats.

  • Replace your usual meat with leaner, lower fat meat. (For example, if a recipe calls for ground beef, use extra-lean ground beef, ground round, or ground turkey breast mixed with lean ground beef.)
  • Make the portion sizes smaller. (Aim for 3 ounces per serving.)
  • When using meat to flavor vegetables and bean dishes, use a leaner cut of meat and a smaller portion size. (Add herbs, spices, and flavorful vegetables to enhance the taste.)

Lose the Fat—Not the Flavor

Not sure which spices will add the right zip to meals?
Try spicing up your favorite low-fat dishes with these fresh herbs and spices.

tomato dishes, soups, salads
Chili powder
beans, poultry, soups, stews
tomato dishes, beans, salad, corn
winter squash, sweet potatoes, cooked fruit, baked goods
cooked fruit, carrots, squash, poultry
fish, rice dishes, salad dressings, potatoes
cooked fruit, seafood, stir-fried vegetables, breads
fruit juice, potatoes, poultry, meat
beans, apple dishes, seafood, meat
tomato dishes, broccoli, poultry, seafood
soups, stews, stuffing, vegetables
beans, tomato dishes, poultry