“Eating clean” is the latest buzz word among those who are health conscious. It is a concept that focuses on eating healthy, whole, and unprocessed foods. It is about eating more of the best and healthiest options in the food groups and eating less of the not-so-healthy foods. It means that when you opt to eat clean, you need to cut back on refined grains, additives, preservatives, large amounts of sugar and salt, and unhealthy fats.
There are clean-eating plans that eliminate a lot of foods, including grains, coffee, and more. With this, it is very important to find a clean eating style that will work best for you, even if it means eating a little “dirty” occasionally. The main idea is to consume foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. It also includes choosing ethical and sustainable foods.
If you are wondering about how to eat clean, you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you helpful tips to get you started in clean eating.
1. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
Most people are not getting enough when it comes to fruits and vegetables. But these foods are undeniably healthy as they are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds that help fight inflammation and protect the cells from damage. Fresh fruits and vegetables are ideal for clean eating because most of them can be eaten immediately after picking and washing.
If you want to start clean eating, you need to choose organic fruits and vegetables that were not exposed to pesticides and can help boost your health. There are also many different ways you can incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet. For example, you can make colorful salads and include at least three different vegetables in them. You can also add some fruits to your favorite dishes, such as chopped apples, berries, and orange slices.
2. Always choose whole, natural foods
In clean eating, you need to pick whole, natural foods and avoid or minimize processed foods. Anything in a box, can, or package is processed food. But there are a few exceptions, such as a bag of fresh green beans or carrots. Just ensure that the majority of the foods you consume are fresh.
3. Always pick unrefined over refined foods
This may not be possible all the time, but you can increase your intake of whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, or amaranth. You can also add beans and legumes to your diet. In grocery stores, most of the sugars they sell are refined. If you want clean sugars, then you can opt for honey, maple syrup, and dehydrated sugar cane juice.
4. Try to include some protein, fat, and carbohydrate at every meal
Most people usually do well with fat and carbohydratebut often lack protein, especially during breakfast. But protein is an essential muscle-builder, and it can also help curb the appetite. When you eat foods rich in protein throughout the day, it will keep you feeling full longer. Therefore, if you want to start clean eating, you need to be aware of the kinds of meals you are eating and space out your protein intake.
5. Choose foods that are low in fat, salt, and sugar
Doing this is easier than you think, especially if you’ve cut out processed foods in your diet. It’s because most of them are responsible for most of the excess calories and high levels of fat, sugar, and salt in most people. Keep in mind that clean foods are naturally low in all of these ingredients.
6. Try to eat five to six small meals during the day
To eat clean, divide your meals into three main ones and two to three hefty snacks. This way, you can avoid skipping meals and overeating. In addition, this can also help you keep your blood sugar levels steady and avoid energy lag.
7. Try to lessen your meat intake
Based on research, cutting back on meat is healthier for people. You don’t need to become a vegetarian if you want to eat clean. You just need to eat less meat. Plus, this can help in reducing your blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, and help you keep your ideal weight. Also, getting enough protein will not be an issue when you cut down on meat. In fact, most Americans get more than the recommended grams of protein per day eating a vegetarian or even vegan diet. You can opt to eat eggs, beans, and nuts, which all offer protein.
If you want to eat meat, ensure that you choose those that haven’t been pumped with antibiotics. You also need to cut down on meats like bacon, cold cuts, and sausage if you want to eat clean.
8. Always consider the environment
Also, keep in mind that clean eating should be better not just for you but as well as for the planet. Based on some estimates, agriculture accounts for one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions and one of the biggest offenders is the meat industry. It takes a lot of resources to feed and raise animals, and the methane released from digestion and manure makes an even bigger carbon footprint.
With this, shifting from a meat-forward style of eating to a plant-based style could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and increase your life-span based on studies.Therefore, if you want to start clean eating, choosing organic or grass-fed meat and buying sustainably-caught or farmed seafood can make your proteins more environmentally-friendly.
These are the best tips we can give on how to eat clean. This way of eating emphasizes fresh, nutritious, and minimally processed foods. Aside from boosting health, it also enables people to appreciate the natural flavors of foods. Plus, it supports sustainable agriculture and environmentally sound food practices, making it a win-win situation for both the people and the environment. We hope the tips we gave here have inspired you to start cleaning up your diet.