Basically, eating clean is the practice of avoiding processed and refined foods while basing your diet on whole foods. Eating clean can have many health benefits – weight loss or maintenance, chronic disease prevention, help manage diseases, and overall just feeling better.
Ten Principles of Eating Clean:
- Eat whole foods: whole foods come straight from the farm – whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, non processed meats, low-fat diary products, unsalted nuts, and seeds.
- Avoid processed foods: processed foods are any food that has a label or more than one ingredient. You don’t have to completely eliminate processed foods, but a good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, don’t consume it.
- Eliminate refined sugar: refined sugar is simply calories you don’t need. Refined sugar is found in soda, sweets, and other processed foods.
- Eat 5 or 6 small meals per day: By spacing your meals throughout the day, you will not go hungry or feel the cheat and grab a processed snack.
- Limit your alcohol: Alcohol must be processed through the liver which is the organ responsible for detoxing the body. Try sticking to the suggested limit of one drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men.
- Cook your own meals: Instead of preparing a meal from a box or going out to eat, control the ingredients by making meals from scratch.
- Cut down on salt: restaurant foods and processed foods tend to be higher in sodium. Cooking at home and preparing your own meals and snacks allows you to control the amount of salt in your food. Boost flavors with herbs and spices instead of salt.
- Use less saturated fat: saturated fat is known to raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol which can damage arteries. Instead of animal fats, look for healthier unsaturated fats from plant food such as nuts, avocados, and olives.
- Go for whole grains: cut down on refined grains and grab whole grains instead. Whole grains are not stripped of their fiber, vitamins, and minerals like refined grains.
- Drink water: the majority of our body is made up of water and it is vital for every organ to function properly. Drink water more often than other beverages. Try flavoring your water with lemon or lime to mix it up.