Just What does “Eating Clean” Mean?
It’s all about choices. Eating clean means making sure you choose the healthiest option in each food group. In order to eat clean, you need to know what your food is made of, and if possible, making sure you consume it in its natural form. Should you choose to begin living a healthier lifestyle, but aren’t sure exactly what to change in your diet, here are five great tips for eating clean.
Stock Up On Fresh Produce
The type of diet that you’re following doesn’t really matter, you’ll always need to stock up on fresh produce and avoid refined foods. This is the golden rule of proper nutrition, as your body needs fresh fruits and vegetables in order to function properly. You can’t get the same amount of minerals, vitamins, and other crucial nutrients from other types of food. Not to mention that eating fresh produce is much healthier and more natural than taking supplements.
Many people don’t balance their diets with as many fruits and veggies as they should. In order to make sure that you do, you’ll need to bring some variety into your dishes. The best way to begin is to learn when certain fruits and vegetables are in season, since that’s when they’ll taste better. If you have a garden, you can also plant some herbs and spices. This will not only provide you with a fun, new hobby, but it will also help encourage you to eat healthier by giving you the option to consume foods straight out of your garden.
Limit Processed Foods
It can be pretty hard to avoid processed foods and “junk foods”. Almost all of the snacks available in your local supermarket are filled with too much fat, sodium, and sugar. Processed foods are basically any foods that have been altered in some way, either for convenience or safety reasons. The main difference between eating processed foods and preparing something at home from scratch is that when you’re preparing something, you know how much sugar and salt you’re adding into the food – you know what’s in it. Try to eliminate processed foods from your diet and stop worrying about ingredient lists you don’t understand.
However, it’s important to note that just because a food is processed doesn’t mean that it’s unhealthy. For example, milk has to be processed (more specifically, pasteurized) in order to remove harmful bacteria. However, when excess chemical preservatives, fats, sugar, and salt are added to foods in order to make them tastier and prolong their shelf life, it may cause you to develop health problems. Consuming a large amount of unhealthy, processed foods can lead to increased risk of higher cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer and related health issues.
Focus On The Nutrients
A lot of people make the mistake of focusing on calories instead of nutrients when they start dieting. However, try not to get caught up in the numbers game. Instead, focus on the how much nutritional value the food you’re eating holds. Just because a certain food is low in calories doesn’t make it healthy.
Although you should make sure you’re not consuming too many calories, it’s really more important to pay attention to the nutritional value of what you’re eating. One surefire way to consume all the essential nutrients you need while keeping your calorie count low is to stock up on fresh produce.
Don’t Be Too Strict On Yourself
Remember sometimes it’s okay to cheat a bit and have what might be considered an unhealthy meal. If your diet is too strict, you may end up dreading your next meal. That’s a diet killer. In order to keep themselves on the right track, many people take one day out of each month to indulge in some of the “unhealthy food” they really enjoy. Just don’t overdo it.
Drink More Water
Sometimes, drinking plain water is all you need to feel better. By drinking the recommended 8 to 10 glasses of water each day, you will feel healthier and more energized, which will help motivate you to eat clean. Unfortunately, many people consider water tasteless and boring compared to the extremely high number of flavored drinks that are available. However, water is an essential source liquid and nutrients that should never be overlooked.