What is Clean Eating?
Clean eating is based on the idea that you should only consume foods in their natural form. Basically, that means eating more foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. It is also very important to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Clean eating can improve your health and boost your energy. It also can help with weight loss and weight management.
Eat Whole Foods
Focus on eating nutrient-dense foods as close to their natural state as possible. Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, berries, legumes and whole-grains all are great choices. These foods are high in nutrients and fiber and low in calories. You also need to consume good quality lean proteins. Skinless chicken, egg whites, fish and lean beef are good examples of lean proteins. Don't forget about healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
Avoid Processed Foods
Avoid processed foods since they contain high levels of sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, and white flour.
1. Avoid Sugar
Sugar and sugary foods should be strictly avoided. Sugar is bad for you because it raises the insulin level in your blood. It contains empty calories and has no nutritional value. Eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain over time, which puts you at risk of high blood pressure.
2. Avoid Unhealthy Fats
Avoid hydrogenated oils, margarine, saturated fats and trans fats. These unhealthy fats can raise total cholesterol and increase your risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. When it comes to fat, it's always best to choose healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats). Healthy fats are found in foods such as olive oil, coconut oil, oily fish, nuts and avocados.
3. Limit salt
Most people eat too much salt without even knowing it. Too much salt retains water in the body and makes you look and feel bloated. Consuming too much salt can put you at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney stones. Limit your intake of salt to one teaspoon per day.
4. Avoid Refined Carbohydrates
Refined grains lose many nutrients during processing. Eating too many refined carbohydrates can lead to health problems including overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Avoid refined carbohydrates such as white rice, white bread, white flour and white pasta. The best way to do that is to replace some refined grains with whole-grains. Examples of whole grains include whole wheat, whole oats, brown rice, and barley.
Benefits of Clean Eating
- Boosts your energy levels.
- Improves your immune system.
- Helps with weight loss and weight maintenance.
- Improves brain function.
- Keeps your skin healthy and glowing.
- Helps you sleep better.
- Improves your mood and reduces stress.
- Boosts the health of your digestive system.
- Reduces the risk of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Increases your chances to live longer.
Clean Eating Grocery List
- Vegetables: Carrots, Spinach, Kale, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Asparagus
- Fruits: Oranges, Apples, Grapefruits, Lemons, Pears, Avocados, Plums, Bananas
- Berries: Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Cranberries, Acai
- Lean meats: Chicken, Turkey, Lean beef, Lean prok cuts
- Fish: Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Trout, Herring
- Legumes: Black beans, Lima beans, Split peas, Lentils, Kidney beans, Chickpeas
- Nuts: Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Pistachios
- Seeds: Chia seeds, Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds
- Healthy fats: Extra-virgin Olive oil, Coconut oil, Palm oil
- Drinks: Water, Tea, Fruit Juices, Low-fat milk
- Other: Raw honey, Eggs, Sweet potatoes, Pumpkins
- Avoid any kind of processed or refined foods.
- Eat lots of different fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid white flour and all refined carbohydrates including cereals and pasta.
- Limit your intake of salt to 2,300 mg per day.
- Avoid consuming sugar and sugary foods and drinks.
- Eat whole-grains, lean proteins and healthy fats with every meal.
- Don't forget nuts and seeds, which can be a healthy snack.
- Stay properly hydrated by drinking enough water.
- Eat fish at least twice a week to obtain important health benefits.
- Don't eat the same food everyday. Try to vary your food choices more often.