It is everywhere!!! You hear it every day! Your friends are talking about it. CLEAN EATING.
But What does that REALLY mean?
Eating clean is basically the practice of eating whole, natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. It also means staying away from the junk that typically makes up the diet of Americans nowadays. These types of food include man-made sugar, bad fats (hydrogenated, trans-fat), preservatives, white bread, and any other ingredients that are unnecessary. It is not a diet but it’s a lifestyle, with built-in flexibility, meaning it can be adapted to fit most any kind of routine.
The principles are based on current nutrition science and are similar to recommendations made by public health organizations. This sound approach to eating and living well maximizes your energy and optimizes your health, making it more than just a diet. It’s a lifestyle, with built-in flexibility, meaning it can be adapted to fit most any kind of routine.
Seven Basics of Eating Clean:
1. Choose whole, natural foods and seek to eliminate or minimize processed foods.
Processed foods are anything in a box, bag, can, or package.
2. Choose unrefined over refined foods.
While it may not be possible all the times, you can up your intake of whole grains like brown rice, millet, amaranth, and quinoa. Beans and legumes are also important. Choose whole grains and complex carbohydrates to give you more energy and keep you feeling fuller longer. Clean sugars include honey, maple syrup, and dehydrated sugar cane juice.
3. Include some protein, carbohydrate and fat at every meal.
Most of us typically do well with carbohydrates and fat, but we often lack protein, especially in the early part of the day, like at breakfast and lunch. Protein is an important muscle-builder, and it can also help curb your appetite. When eaten throughout the day, it keeps us feeling full longer. Be aware of the kinds of meals you put together and space out your protein.
4. Watch out for fat, salt, and sugar.
This is easier than you think, particularly if you’ve cut out processed foods, which are responsible for most of our excess calories and high levels of fat, sugar, and salt. Clean foods are usually naturally low in all of these ingredients.
5. Eat five to six small meals throughout the day.
This usually pans out into three main meals and two or three hefty snacks. Eating this way prevents you from skipping meals and overeating. It also keeps your blood sugar levels steady so energy doesn’t lag.
6. Don’t drink your calories.
High calorie drinks like specialty coffees and soft drinks, on average, tack on an extra 400 to 500 calories a day. Choose water first, or my personal favorite, unsweetened tea (any flavor). Other clean drinks: low-fat or skim milk and 100 percent fruit juice diluted with sparkling water.
7. Get moving.
Regular physical activity is a must for many reasons. Not only does it decrease fat, strengthen and build muscle, and help you burn more energy at rest, it keeps your heart, lungs, and bones healthy and strong.
What Are CLEAN foods?
Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with health benefits and abundant in flavor. Fruits and vegetables are also low in calories. Go for an assortment of colors when creating meals because different colors are markers of various nutrients and antioxidants.
Whole grains are excellent for controlling weight and are considered a clean food. Naturally low in fat, whole grains are grains that have not been refined and provide exceptional levels of fiber, selenium and magnesium. Whole grain products include barley, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, oatmeal, whole-grain breads and pastas and wild rice. Many clean eaters choose sprouted grain breads for even more nutritional benefits.
Lean proteins are low in fat, calories, cholesterol and are great diet foods that are also clean. Most often, people who eat clean food purchase naturally fed and organic animal proteins to avoid added chemicals and growth hormones. For leaner options, try turkey and chicken instead of beef, egg whites instead of a whole egg, beans and fish fillets.
Water is a healthful option for dieters and clean eaters. Your body needs water to function normally and drinking enough of it helps your body flush out toxins and fats that keep you from achieving optimal performance and people eating clean try to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
Eating Clean Websites
I have listed some sites/blogs below that have a lot of good information about clean eating, check ‘em out!