There are lots of different diets out there, but eating clean is not one of them.
Have you heard of clean eating and thought that it’s just another diet plan that promises quick results and will starve you to death?
Well, clean eating is everything but that. Clean eating is not a diet, it’s a way of life.
Clean eating is all about eating more healthier and real foods and less processed and non-healthy food.
It involves cutting down on processed food full of artificial ingredients, preservatives, and colours, on refined grains and sugars, and increasing intake of healthy food like vegetables and fruits, lean meats, free-range eggs, and pastured dairy.
It also involves including more organic and homemade ingredients.
If you want to consider clean eating, do it because of the health benefits that will bring you, not because of possible weight loss.
Clean eating is about health, choosing healthy food to nourish our body and to improve our overall health. Weight loss is something that often happens after we cut with not so healthy food.
Real food is good for us and it will make us healthier and happier.
I want to try clean eating. Where do I start?
There are some ingredients you need to stop eating and then some you need to start eating.
Mostly everything is based on your own life and you can eat clean as much as you decide to.
This can be a full transformation of your life and can change all of your eating habits for good, or you can go slow, changing one habit at the time, slowly.
Even slight changes can make a big impact on your health.
For example, giving up soda drinks can be a life-changing moment as most people are not aware of how bad soda drinks actually are for their health.
Give up processed food with artificial ingredients
Our body needs real, non-processed food for it to function.
You don’t want to feed your body with food that you can’t even recognize and with ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. If you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it. It’s that simple.
When buying your food, read the labels and check the ingredients. You don’t want a long list of ingredients listed on your food.
Watch for added sugar and artificial sweeteners and colours, hydrogenate oils and refined grains. There are a lot of them even in products that are marketed as healthy. Read the labels.
There are some foods that are processed but are healthy like plain yoghurt and cheese or whole wheat pasta. However, the majority of processed food is not a healthy choice so we need to be careful.
You can also avoid food packed in plastic or canned food as some plastic and canned food are containing BPA and other chemicals that can be dangerous for your health.
Eat more vegetables and fruits
Most people don’t eat near enough veggies and fruits as they should be eating.
Fruits and vegetables are extremely important for our health and incorporating them into our diet can be very beneficial.
Fruits and vegetables are helpful in reducing the number of chronic diseases like heart diseases, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer.
The fibres in vegetables and fruits are important for our digestion. They help with digestion and prevent constipation.
They also have natural containing prebiotics, much-needed food for good bacteria in your gut. This is very important for your immune system, prevention of autoimmune diseases and fighting off the pathogens.
Eat whole-grain food
Whole grain food is the one that’s least processed.
When you think of whole grains, think about it like grains in their natural form: wild oats, rice, and wheat.
Whole grains are richer in essential nutrients, minerals, and fibres than processed grains since the processed ones lost most of the good stuff during processing.
If you can, always choose whole grains instead of processed grains. You don’t have to eat only whole oats and brown rice, there are options like whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread as well so make sure to check them out.
Be careful when buying products for yourself, there shouldn’t be a long list of ingredients on your products and also no additional sugars or any kind of additives.
This is especially important with cereal since we all love them. Cereals are often sold as “healthy” while containing unbelievable amounts of sugar so make sure you check the ingredients list before you decide if they are indeed healthy.
Just because the packaging says so, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy!
Limit your sodium intake
Most people take too much sodium in their diet, this is a fact.
This is the same as with sugar, sodium (often called salt) is everywhere and convenience food is making us take too much sodium without even realizing.
Recommended daily dose is one teaspoon of salt. But real intakes are much higher.
Just cutting down on processed and packaged food can help you decrease your sodium intake to more than a half since a majority of sodium comes from convenience foods.
When you start cooking your own food and using real spices to season it, you’ll have sodium levels decreased dramatically.
Start doing more home cooking if you can, use real spices when flavouring your food, use kosher salt or Himalayan salt rather than normal table salt.
It is important to know more about the food we eat, educate ourselves to know where our food is coming from and how was is it made.
This way we can make smarter choices for our own health and well-being.
Because exercising alone won’t take us far – some say 80% of the progress comes from the food and just 20% from the workouts. Be aware of that before your every meal!