Clean eating is more than a movement; it is a habit that you need to build. It’s a holistic approach to food that can lead to a tougher immune system, increased energy levels, a stronger heart, improved brain health and so much more.
The first question we need to answer though is what really is clean eating?
Clean eating means following a whole food diet, which consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats, while limiting the consumption of processed snack foods, sweets and other packaged goods. Clean eating there by means eating simple, nutritious and fresh food. This is exactly what our mom’s tell us over and over again yet it is so hard to do. At the drop of a hat we end up ordering our favorite pizza, catch a can of soda beverage, or even worse eat chips, biscuits and desserts like there is no tomorrow.
The next best question is what really are the benefits of clean eating? Well there are many: weight loss, reduced risk of cancer, blood sugar management, heart health and stroke prevention, strong bones and teeth, improved memory, improved digestion and better sleep.
The essence of clean eating lies in creating healthy habits. Here are some tips for you to build better habits:
Shop smart for your clean food diet - Clean eating begins in the grocery store, not your fridge. Consider these tips when you’re shopping online or in a grocery store. Look for foods that have shorter ingredient lists. When reading food labels, we recommend that consumers check key nutrients and understand what you’re looking for and map it against what does the product contain. Not all fats are bad, and total sugars can include both natural and added sugars. Stick to the area of a grocery store, where you are more likely to find fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods.
Eat organic when you plan for clean eating. There are plenty of advantages to eating organic foods—products that don’t contain any pesticides, fertilizers, solvents or additives are basically damn good for your health. While not everyone can afford to limit their diet to organic food, it doesn’t need to limit healthier choices. If you can afford organic, that’s fantastic and you can replace most food items with organic options. But non-organic foods are still nutritious. So if you can’t afford them, don’t let that stop you from eating fresh produce. Just pick what’s good and leave out what’s bad.
Lastly, clean eating should be a life goal, not a daily obsession. There’s a fine line between being conscious and trying to eat clean and becoming obsessed with healthy eating. Cutting out sugar-loaded and fatty foods can certainly improve your mood and boost your energy levels. But eliminating entire categories of food, such as carbs or grains, can be counter-productive. Just eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains rather than foods that are processed, stick to this rule.
Identifying how to start a whole food diet is all about finding balance, making smart, thoughtful choices about what to purchase and cook while educating yourself and prioritizing self-improvement.