The Lowdown On Clean Eating
Written by: Brandi Monasco
You’ve probably heard at least one of your friends say that they’re “eating clean.” And you’re probably confused about what they meant. Do they mean that they wash their food?
Clean eating means that you are eating foods that are minimally processed. When a food is processed, it means that is has been changed in some way or form before it is eaten.
“It includes food that has been cooked, canned, frozen, packaged or changed in nutritional composition with fortifying, preserving or preparing in different ways.” – Eatright.org
Processed foods can also include anything that has added sugars, sodium and fat.
Clean eating is about eating foods in their more natural form, meaning that they are less processed, less refined and less handled.
How To Eat Clean
- Avoid Processed Foods. This includes any food that has an additive of any kind such as sugar, salt, fat and even added flavor and preservatives that keep food from spoiling too quickly. Processed food can also include food that has been changed from its natural form, such as removing the germ and bran from whole grains to create refined bread.
- Eat More Fruit And Vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are usually loaded with important nutrients that your body needs, such as minerals, vitamins and even fiber. Many fruits and vegetables also contain antioxidants that help protect your body against free radical damage and can help guard against the anti-aging process.
What’s considered as “clean” fruit and vegetables:
- Any fresh fruit or vegetable
- Frozen fruit with no added sugar
- Frozen vegetables without added sauce or salt
- Canned fruit with no added sugar
- Canned vegetables without added sauce or salt
- Dried fruit with no added sugar
- Eat More Whole Grains. Whole grains are excellent sources of fiber and other nutrients that your body requires, such as potassium and magnesium. Whole grains are unrefined and still contain their germ and bran.
Clean Whole Grains:
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Single-ingredient grains such as millet, oats, quinoa, brown rice
- Sprouted whole-grain bread
- Eat More Protein. If you eat meat, you will want to choose lean meats such as chicken, sirloin and lean ground beef. Meat provides your body with iron, protein and vitamin B12. You will want to stay away from hot dogs, pepperoni, bologna and salami – these are highly processed meats. You can also choose to eat seafood such as fish and shellfish as they provide you with protein and healthy omega-3 fats.
- Single-ingredient meat such as chicken, ground beef
- Seafood such as shrimp and wild salmon
- Unflavored nuts such as almonds and walnuts
- Plain nut butters that do not contain added sugar
- Dried beans
- Canned beans
It is always best to remember that eating clean is not a diet, but more of a lifestyle change.
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Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
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