Clean eating involves eschewing processed foods and sticking to a diet made up of fresh foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. People who eat clean are also encouraged to incorporate exercise into their routine. Making this lifestyle choice is an important way to protect your health and ensure that you are getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy and young. Clean eating might sound simple enough, but if you’re having trouble sticking with it, these handy tips should help.
1 Understand Processed versus Unprocessed
One of the biggest things to consider when you’re eating clean is whether a food is processed or unprocessed. That means you need to figure out which is which. In general, foods that are as close to their natural state are good choices. Think fruits, veggies, nuts and eggs. Unrefined grains and wild meats (like salmon or beef) are also good. Avoid things like packaged snacks, candy, soda and other junk like that.
2 Load up on Veggies
One of the best things you can do for a good clean eating routine is to simply start eating more veggies. They are chock full of nutrients you need to stay healthy and are easy to prepare. Choose in season veggies so that you can save money and avoid things that are processed. If possible, choose vegetables that are grown close to where you live so that you are eating them as fresh as possible.
3 Cut Your Saturated Fat Intake
Some saturated fat is fine, but you want to make sure you are getting most of your fat intake in the form of unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Saturated fat, in large amounts, can increase the risk of heart disease. Clean eating means limiting how much you’re getting, which means cutting back on red meat, full fat cheese and condiments like mayo.
4 Stop Drinking so Much Alcohol
Clean eating means you stick to just one drink a night instead of going overboard. While small amounts of liquor can be good for you, too much is never a good idea for your health. Red wine is an especially great choice because it contains antioxidants that protect you from certain health conditions.
5 Totally Slash Your Sugar Intake
The truth is that most Americans eat way too much sugar. Yes, that probably includes you. And me. Sugar has some serious heath detriments, including weight gain, diabetes and poor skin. Women shouldn’t be getting more than 6 teaspoons of sugar on a daily basis. That means you have got to cut way back on soda, candy, cake, cookies and other sweets like that. Save your sugar intake for some honey on your yogurt or a bit of brown sugar on your oatmeal.
6 Put the Salt Shaker down
Much like sugar, most Americans take in way more salt than they should. Salt can lead to high blood pressure and water retention. A clean eating diet means keeping your salt intake under control. Limit pickled foods, salad dressings, soy sauce and other condiments. You probably also want to limit how often you eat out because restaurant foods are packed with sodium.
7 Make a Swap from Refined Grains to Whole Grains
Whole grains are a great addition to a clean eating meal plan. Refined grains are lower in nutrients than the whole ones and cause more of a glucose spike, which isn’t healthy. Swap out your white rice for brown, your white bread for 100% whole wheat and your cereal to bran or oats. You can do this, I promise!
Are you trying to eat clean? What tips can you add?