You have likely heard the phrase “clean eating” plenty of times over the past few years, but what does it actually mean?
Well, it simply means that you should avoid eating foods that have been overly processed, or contain too many artificial ingredients.
A “clean” diet will also limit the amount of salt and sugars you will consume too.
Usually if you decide to eat clean you will have to stick to a diet that contains plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lentils and beans, as well as healthy oils, fat and protein.
What are the benefits of clean eating?
There are numerous health benefits that you can experience by eating clean.
Firstly, cutting out the processed junk will surely be of benefit to your health, with the increase in nutrients obviously a bonus.
This increased health can lead to improved happiness, which will help boost energy levels and ensure you live a longer and happier life.
Clean eating, if done correctly could also save you money too. As the foods used are usually cheaper and more wholesome.
What foods are best for clean eating?
The following foods are ideal for anyone looking to eat more clean, remember these are just a suggestion there are plenty of options available for you to try:
- Fruits: Pineapple, watermelon, oranges, lemons, berries, tomatoes
- Vegetables: Avocado, cauliflower, spinach, kale, eggplant
- Nuts: Pistachios, walnuts
- Whole grains: Quinoa, brown rice, rolled oats, tortillas, almond flour, coconut flour
- Protein: Chicken, turkey, fish, black beans, egg whites
- Healthy oils: Olive, sesame, coconut
- Dairy: Non-fat greek yogurt, cottage cheese
- Extras: Garlic, chia seeds, unsweetened almond milk
While the above foods are certainly healthy than processed junk food, if you want to lose weight you still need to look at portion control too.
Even healthy foods contain calories so make sure you are only eating enough for your own needs.
Tips for a successful clean diet
To successfully stick to your clean diet the following tips could help:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Make sure to consume plenty of fresh fruit (2 daily) and vegetables (3 daily).
- Swap salt and other unhealthy condiments for spices and fresh herbs.
- Stick to lean slices of meat as certain types contain lots of saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Allow yourself the occasional treat. If your diet is too strict you may struggle to stick to it.
Now that you know what the benefits of clean eating are, perhaps you can give it a chance yourself. Your body will surely thank you for making these positive changes to your diet.