There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding healthy eating and even more when it comes to clean eating. Food bloggers have been promoting clean eating in a variety of ways and each person has a different way of going about it. Naturally, this creates a lot of confusion, especially for those who are new to it. So let’s take a look at some basic facts about clean eating.
What Is Clean Eating?
By definition, cleaning eating is all about eating whole natural foods that are closest to their natural state. The lesser the processing, the better. Examples of clean foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and fish along with nuts and seeds.
Eating clean food is quite different from the concept of dieting that is generally recommended for weight loss or weight gain. Going on a diet is unfortunately often associated with just limiting the number of calories consumed, regardless of the quality of foods. The problem is that diet food can be low in calories but highly processed.
The difference between the two is that dieting focuses on quantity whereas clean eating focuses on quality. Clean eating is a habit recommended for life, while dieting is something temporary that targets a specific goal.
To Eat Clean
Want to start eating right but don’t know how to? Let’s give you a few tips on clean eating.
- Eat more organic and seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables.
- If you wish to snack, opt for raw nuts and seeds to increase your intake of healthy fats.
- Choose protein sources that are clean, such as free-range eggs, organic and free-range chicken, as well as organic lean meat.
- Add organic cold-pressed olive oil and avocado oils to your salads.
- Choose clean sources of carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, quinoa, barley, sweet potato, legumes, and beans.
- Always choose unrefined over refined foods.
- Go for clean sugar options such as honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar.
- Eat 5 to 6 small meals during the day.
- If you have to pick a packaged food, check the nutrition label for salt and added sugar content.
- Avoid any ingredient you don’t recognize on the list of artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives, and other ingredients added to food products.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Cook your own meals. All you need to do is chop and sauté your clean ingredients with seasoning to boost the flavors.
To Shop Clean
Following a clean diet doesn’t mean that you have to eat everything fresh and raw. It means choosing minimally processed foods with the least number of ingredients on the label. Does this mean you have to buy only organic fruits and vegetables? Not necessarily.
1. Look For Fresh Produce
Organic farmers make use of natural pesticides and not artificial ones. Some clean-eating advocates will recommend that you choose only organic produce, but it is up to you to decide what you want. Alternatively, you can shop at your local farmer’s market to make sure you buy high-quality seasonal produce from trusted vendors. Such produce is grown without artificial pesticides but is not necessarily organic.
2. Compare And Find The Best
A very smart trick to shopping clean is to walk the perimeters of the supermarket. Fresh products are usually displayed upfront. You can compare the produce available and buy the ones that are fresh and clean.
3. Take A Closer Look At The Packaged Foods
What To Expect When Eating Clean
Apart from keeping you away from artificial pesticides and harmful chemicals, clean eating benefits your health in many ways. Some such benefits are:
- Improved energy and reduced drowsiness
- Ease of digestion following a meal and regularized, healthy digestion
- Stable weight
- A good intake of micronutrients
- Better blood circulation and hydration
- Improved skin quality
- Better overall health
Have you been practicing clean eating for a while or just started with it? Share your experiences or opinions in the comments.