Clean eating seems to be something most people have heard of- but struggle through grasping the concept. America hasn't really been "taught" how to eat clean. Our aisles are packed with convenience food & meals found in packages because we are all always on the run. We shove foods that are packed full of artificial flavor eventually causing our palates crave them. What we don't realize is that it is THIS epidemic that is causing so many of us lifelong health problems. Food was never meant to sit on shelves for years without spoiling rather to help provide our bodies with necessary essentials for health and survival. In fact, the health industry is a MULTI MILLION DOLLAR A DAY industry. Why? We all want to be healthy and to lose weight, but we are all searching for the magic pill that doesn't exist. So these companies sell you food-like products to guarantee your results... but many of them may not connect the gap between exercise & actually eating simple WHOLE FOODS. Plus, once you quit the product- all the weight COMES BACK WITH A VENGEANCE making it even HARDER to lose next time (dang metabolism gets confused!). So, let's refresh your eating habits! We will give you a few tips about what clean eating is all about! (Eating the best and healthiest options). You will need to embrace WHOLE FOODS likes like vegetables, grains, proteins and fats. You will NEED to cut back (eliminate) on refined grains, added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats.
1. Avoid Processed Foods
The majority of processed foods are full of excess sodium, sugar and fat. A good way to start to clean up your diet is to look at the ingredient list on packaged foods. If the list is long or includes lots of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, try to stay away from it. Food that are minimally processed and provide good-for-you nutrients like fiber and vitamins.
2. Bump up You Veggies
Vegetables are full of vitamins that essential for healthy vision, immune function & healthy bones. Vegetables are also high in healthy fiber, which can help you feel more satisfied. Plus, veggies are low in calories, so you can eat lots of them without damaging your waistline. Fresh vegetables are as clean as they come since they are unprocessed and come straight from the farm (just don’t forget to wash them before you eat them!).
3. Cut Down on Saturated Fat
You don’t have to cut out fats when you’re eating clean; instead just focus on healthy fats. It’s as simple as swapping out saturated fats (like those in cheese and high-fat meats) in favor of healthy fats like olive oil, canola oil and the kind found in nuts and fatty fish.
4. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Having a cleaner diet also includes cleaning up what you drink. You can still have alcohol, but limit. Alcohol dehydrates you and adds excess calories to your diet. Steer clear of mixed drinks with lots of added sugar; it’s probably safe to assume that if your drink is neon-colored or came out of a frozen machine, it’s not all that clean.
5. Un-sweeten Your Diet
Most people eat too many added sugars. The American Heart Association recommends no more than about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men (which is already A LOT of sugar!). To clean up your diet, cut down on added sugars in your diet by limiting sweets like soda, candy, excess fruits and baked goods. Also keep an eye on sugars added to healthier foods like yogurt, tomato sauce and cereal.
6. Watch the Salt
Eating too much salt can increase your blood pressure. Many Americans eat more than the recommended 2,300 mg of sodium per day (that’s about one teaspoon of salt). Cutting back on processed foods will help you reduce your salt intake, as most packaged foods contain more sodium than homemade versions. To help minimize salt while you cook, flavor your food with herbs and spices, citrus and vinegar.
7. Choose Whole Grains
Whole grains include more nutrients than refined grains because the bran and germ are not removed. Look for the word “whole” with the first ingredient in breads and pastas—for example, make sure it says “whole wheat,” not just “wheat.” In fact, instead of Whole Wheat at all- choose whole grains like quinoa, oats, high carb veggies and brown rice.