Everybody wants to eat clean. But nobody wants to eat food that tastes bad, or bland. We want delicious food that sparks our taste buds but also respects our waistlines.
Is it possible? Are healthy and tasty foods a contradiction?
Well, it all depends. It depends on the diet you believe to be the healthiest. It depends on how well you can cook. And it depends on how much money you can spend on quality ingredients.
But one thing is certain; if you want to live a long, healthy, and enjoyable life, you need to discover what it means to eat healthily. You are what you eat, and your body needs fuel. Nothing will dictate your health and longevity more than the food you choose.
Wondering how you can make healthier choices, yet still eat tasty food on a daily basis? Keep reading to discover what it takes.
What Does It Mean to Eat Clean?
There are many different diets available today. Many are fads that will pass with time. Some are aimed exclusively at losing weight, but might not be all that healthy in the long run.
Others are backed by tons of science and research as a healthier way of eating. As a result, ‘clean eating’ is a totally subjective term. It means different things depending on which diet you subscribe to.
Each diet is different in the foods it describes as unhealthy and the ones that you should prioritize. For example, the keto diet wants you to limit starchy vegetables, such as potatoes. Even healthy grains, like brown rice or whole-wheat bread, should be avoided.
The carnivore diet, gaining traction once again, describes all vegetables and grains as being less than ideal for your body, focusing on protein and fat.
However, most modern diets, however different they may be, can agree on a few clean eating tenants. Lower or eliminate carbs altogether. Avoid prepackaged, premade snack foods that are loaded with sugar and preservatives. And it’s actually sugar, not fat, that is really bad for you.
With that in mind, let’s dive into the healthy eating tips that agree with these principles, so that no matter what type of diet you choose, you can eat well without sacrificing taste.
Replace Grains With Veggies
The standard American diet, SAD for short, is one that prioritizes grains at every meal. Some grains are considered to be good for you, such as whole grains.
But most people would agree that lowering your processed grain intake, and effectively lowering your carb intake, is a good idea. But we love bread, pizza crust, and pasta. So what can you do?
You can begin by replacing some of your weekly grains with veggies. For example, rather than using spaghetti noodles for your weekly pasta dinner, you can make noodles out of squash. This spaghetti made healthy will be just as delicious and actually activate your taste buds in a fresh, new way.
Those on the keto diet have discovered that cauliflower is an acceptable food on occasion. Many have started making pizza crusts out of cauliflower instead of grains, so they can still enjoy one of their favorite foods.
And rather than using a hamburger bun on burger night, which is completely unhealthy as it contains nothing but highly processed grain, you can use large-leafed lettuce for a crisp, tasty hamburger experience.
Make Healthy Sweets
Most people would agree that sweets, snacks, and desserts are some of the unhealthiest foods you can eat. But we sure are suckers for some chocolate, right?
Instead of eating store-bought, premade sweets, you can make alternative, healthy versions at home. This way, you can enjoy them without regret.
For example, you can ditch the candy and make your own super simple peanut butter cups. By combining cocoa powder, peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup, then freezing them, you can have guilt-free chocolates ready to go.
And you can ditch the ice cream, loaded with unhealthy dairy and sugars, by whipping up your own at home. By blending frozen bananas with peanut butter, cocoa powder, and almond milk, you can enjoy sweet, decadent ice cream with only a few healthy ingredients.
And lastly, you can beat your cookie habit by baking your own flour-free cookies. Use oats and peanut butter instead of processed flour to keep your cookie addiction going.
Prioritize Healthy Fats
Let’s be real; fat makes food good. And for many decades, the general public believed that all fat was bad for us. Today we know that this is simply not true.
There are different types of fats found in food, and much of it is actually good for our bodies. The good fat, eaten in moderation, will not make you fat. Actually, it can do the opposite.
Good fats are found in foods like eggs, avocados, and fatty fish such as salmon. You can also find healthy fats in nuts such as almonds, as well as olives, and olive oils. These foods are delicious and can make healthy meals taste much better.
On the flip side, foods labeled fat-free are often bad for you. By taking out the fat, food tastes bad. Food manufacturers solve this by adding sugars and other unhealthy taste-improving ingredients.
So rather than buying fat-free yogurt or sour cream, get the healthier, full-fat version which will taste better and do better for your body.
Don’t Forget the Salt
Salt is another unfortunate victim in the healthy eating discussion. Many believe salt to be terrible for our bodies and should be avoided at all costs.
This simply isn’t true. Too much salt can be a bad thing. But our bodies actually need a fair amount of salt each day in order to function at it’s best. Lucky for us, salt makes everything tastes better. Known how much salt you should be consuming on a daily basis and spread this amount out across all of your daily meals.
Healthy Eating Tastes Good
Every year, scientists, nutritionists, and doctors are learning more and more about what it means to eat clean. Therefore, healthy foods are always changing.
That doesn’t make it easy for us. But one thing we do know is this: with the simple tips listed above, you can begin to kick out many of the terrible foods quite easily, replacing them with alternatives that taste just as good.
Looking for more tips like this? Be sure to visit the rest of our blog today to keep reading.