Ditch the drive thru. Avoid eating at fast food restaurants. But if you must, try to make the healthiest choices. Opt for grilled meat instead of fried meat. Add lettuce and tomato to your sandwich. Hold the mayo. Substitute a side salad for french fries. Drink water or juice instead of soft drinks.

Pick, pour or peel. If you are looking for a tasty treat, reach for an orange – or a tall glass of orange juice. Why? Recent research points to the importance of vitamin C and other antioxidants in reducing your risk of osteoarthritis.

Add color to your diet.
Choose fruits and veggies in a wide range of color to get maximum nutrients, such as fiber, disease-fighting antioxidants and an abundance of phytochemicals.

Hang out at the bar. Eating the veggies typically found in a plain tossed salad from a salad bar – romaine and Bibb lettuces, broccoli, spinach, kale or parsley – can lessen the amount of bone loss that occurs with age, research says, thanks to their high calcium count. But remember to go easy on the dressing.

Be supplement savvy. Glucosamine, a supplement made from the shells of crab, lobster and shrimp, has been shown to ease joint pain and stiffness, particularly in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. Some studies suggest that it may contribute to cartilage repair.

Throw some fish on the grill.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold-water fish, such as salmon and mackerel, can help keep your joints healthy. In fact, studies show omega-3s can reduce the pain and inflammation of stiff joints in people with arthritis. Because you probably don't have time to grill fish every night, consider supplementing your diet with fish oil capsules.

Sneak in healthy food
. Keep precut veggies and fruits – like celery and carrot sticks, broccoli florets, pepper slices and melon cubes – in the front door of your refrigerator so you'll reach for them at snack time.

Keep a food journal.
Increase the odds that you'll stick to your plan for eating better by putting your nutritional goals in writing. Record what you eat daily to keep track of your progress.

Break it up.
Instead of eating two or three big meals each day, try spreading out your munching into a number of smaller meals throughout the day. Research shows that grazing throughout the day boosts your metabolism, helping your body run more efficiently (and keeping the pounds off).

Curtail your caffeine intake. While you may need that extra burst of energy in the morning, try and resist those second and third cups of coffee. Studies show that the extra caffeine can weaken your bones.

Take your vitamins. Supplementing your diet with a multivitamin is a good way to get the vitamins and minerals you may lack by eating too much junk food. Strong bodies (and overall joint health) will benefit from bone-building calcium and vitamin K, tissue-repairing vitamin C, pain-relieving vitamin E, folic acid and more.