Between 2015 and 2018, 17% of US adults over 20 were on a special diet. The majority of adults were on a weight loss or low-calorie diet. In recent years, many adults have prioritized eating clean, too.
What is clean eating, exactly? Want to learn how to start eating clean? Keep reading to learn everything you need!
After reading this guide, you can make an informed change to your diet. You can prioritize consuming the vitamins and minerals you need.
You might have an easier time accomplishing your weight loss or health goals, too.
Read on to discover how to eat clean today!
What is Eating Clean?
First, let’s answer the question that likely brought you here: what does eating clean mean?
Most people assume that clean eating involves avoiding dirty foods. Rather, a clean eating lifestyle prioritizes consuming real foods. To eat clean, you’ll need to choose foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
At the same time, you’ll need to avoid processed foods.
Eating real, clean foods can maximize the nutritional benefits you’ll experience. Some people focus on eating ethical and sustainable foods, too.
To follow a clean eating lifestyle, you’ll need to avoid refined and processed foods. You’ll also need to cut out foods with artificial ingredients.
Artificial ingredients can include additives and certain preservatives.
Instead, you can focus on eating whole, natural foods.
Many people have different ideas of what it means to eat clean, though. For example, some people refuse to eat foods treated with:
Other practitioners might avoid eating pre-packaged foods.
Defining how to eat clean can vary based on your own distinct needs. Consider consulting a dietitian or doctor before you get started.
How to Eat Clean
Now that we’ve answered the question “what is clean eating,” let’s discuss making the change. Here are a few ways you can learn how to eat clean this year.
1. Consume Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibers. They also contain plant compounds that can fight inflammation. Consuming more fruits and vegetables could protect your cells from future damage.
Fruits and vegetables might even decrease your risk of diseases like heart disease and cancer.
You can eat fruits and vegetables raw or add them as a side to your favorite dishes.
Some people who follow a clean eating lifestyle choose organic produce. Eating organic produce can reduce your pesticide exposure. It might benefit your overall health as well.
Try creating a colorful salad that mixes different fruits and vegetables. Consider eating fruits and vegetables you’ve never tried before, too.
You can top your favorite veggies off with cottonseed oil whole30, too.
2. Read the Label
As you start learning how to eat clean, make it a habit to eat the labels on any food items you purchase. You might purchase packed nuts, vegetables, or meat as part of your new lifestyle.
Reading labels can help you confirm there aren’t any unhealthy fats, preservatives, or added sugars.
For example, some nuts are roasted in vegetable oil. Vegetable oil could expose them to heat-related damage. Try to eat raw nuts instead.
3. Limit Processed Foods
As part of eating clean, it’s important to limit your intake of processed foods. Processed foods have been modified from their original state.
Some of these items no longer contain their natural nutrients. They might have gained chemicals and sugar, too.
Consuming processed foods could increase your risk of heart disease, inflammation, and other health issues.
Many processed foods lack the benefits you can experience by eating whole foods, too.
4. Avoid Oils and Spreads
Avoid using vegetable oils or margarine if you plan on eating clean.
Instead, try healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and fatty fish. Try using olive oil as well.
5. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Try limiting your alcohol consumption this year. Alcohol is created by adding yeast to fruits, vegetables, or crushed grains. Frequent alcohol consumption could increase your inflammation.
It could contribute to excess belly fat, too.
6. Avoid Refined Carbs
Refined carbs provide little nutritional value. They could increase your risk of obesity and inflammation.
Instead, try to eat more whole grains this year. Whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrients. They could promote better gut health as well.
Avoid ready-to-eat cereals, white bread, and other refined carbs.
7. Use Vegetable Substitutes
You can replace refined grains with vegetable substitutes instead.
For example, you can purchase cauliflower rice instead of eating white rice. Consider spaghetti squash or zucchini instead of traditional noodles.
8. Avoid Added Sugar
As part of eating clean, it’s important to avoid sugar. High-fructose corn syrup and table sugar are high in fructose. Fructose could increase your risk of cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
Instead, consider small amounts of natural sugar, including honey or maple syrup.
9. Drink More Water
As you start eating clean this year, try drinking more water. Water contains no artificial sweeteners, sugars, or additives. Drinking more water can help remove harmful toxins from your body, too.
Otherwise, consider drinking unsweetened coffee or green tea.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine, keep track of your intake.
10. Avoid Packaged Snacks
As you learn how to start eating clean, make sure to avoid pre-packaged foods. These include:
- Granola bars
These foods often contain sugar, vegetable oils, and refined grains. Don’t forget to read the label before you start shopping.
Instead of snacking on pre-packaged foods, try eating more fruits and vegetables. You can pack nuts as a snack, too. Eating these foods will provide your body with the necessary nutrients.
Eating Clean: 10 Tips for a Healthy, Nutritious Diet
The next time you want to grab a snack pack, consider your health goals for the year. Use these tips to start eating clean. Adjusting your diet could help you avoid health issues like heart disease in the future.
Make a change for the better! Experience the benefits of clean eating with these tips today.
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