Clean eating is an approach to living well and optimizing your health through your diet. It is becoming a popular approach to living healthy. The pattern behind clean eating is to try as much as possible to pick fresh, whole foods that are close to their natural forms.
People are already taking a shift towards eating clean and enjoying the many benefits that come with it. Here is how you can be part of them too.
Stay away from processed foods and choose whole fresh ones instead. Processes foods, except for the few exceptions, can be anything that comes in a package, bag, can, or box. Instead of buying boxed juice, make your fruit juice using fresh fruits. Instead of buying processed meat or poultry, buy the whole, fresh one. The additional advantage of making your own is that you can control the number of calories, salt, sugar, and saturated fats you consume.
Refined foods like pasta, white bread, and rice lose most of their nutrients during the refining process. Trade them for whole foods made out of whole grains like oats, millet, brown or wild rice, quinoa, barley, bulgur, and amaranth. An added advantage of eating whole grain foods is that they can reduce the risk of colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart diseases.
Clean foods generally have low sugar and salt levels, adding them would negate the “as close to natural form” pattern of clean eating. Once you cut out processed foods from your diet, watching your salt and sugar intake becomes relatively easier. But, if you still have to eat processed food, check the label for added salt and sweeteners, even in healthy foods like tomato sauce or yogurt. Also, try flavoring your meals and drinks with natural herbs and spices instead.
Drinks with high calories like alcohol, specialty coffee, and soft drinks add an extra 400-500 calories. We tend to overindulge in these drinks daily because they are not filling. Clean eaters should cut out these drinks from their diet and choose water, plain tea, or coffee. If you must indulge, do not go past 400 mg of caffeine (3-5 eight-ounce cups of coffee) or 1-2 servings of alcohol for women and men, respectively. Also, avoid using sweet mixers for your alcohol.
Clean eating cannot be complete without fruits and vegetables. Depending on your calorie needs and level of physical activity, try to consume at least 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Choose fresh, natural fruits instead of processed juices because they have more fiber and less sugar.
Low calories beverages like water will help you curb hunger and feel full. It also enables you to fight fatigue and keeps you energized. If you miss taking flavored drinks, you can infuse your water with lime, lemon, or mint leaves to give it an extra zest.
Most people generally eat enough fats and carbohydrates, but lack protein, especially during breakfast and lunch. All the classes of food are essential to the body. Protein builds muscles and helps to curb appetite. Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy, and fats give you insulation and help you absorb vitamins. Take note of the importance of these nutrients to your health and ensure every meal has them.
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