If you’re interested in improving your health, you may have heard about the idea of clean eating. But what does it really mean to eat clean? The answer isn’t as clear cut as you might think. In fact, there’s more than one way to do it.
Clean eating isn’t an actual diet program that has strict rules. The good news is you don’t have to count a single calorie, fat gram, or carb. This makes clean eating a very popular choice for people who want to be healthy and lose weight but don’t want to have to apply math to their daily eating plan.
With clean eating you look to eat as much of your diet from whole, natural foods. While there are different ways of doing this, most people agree that clean eating means getting rid of processed foods, added sugar, artificial chemicals, preservatives, and trans fats.
It’s really up to you to come up with your own definition of clean eating, but there are some basic guidelines to consider. For example, it’s important that if you eat grains you eat whole grains that are unrefined. That means saying goodbye to white flour.
Clean eating also means eating a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic and even better if they come from local sources. When you choose to partake of meat and dairy, clean eating principles often suggest free-range or grass-fed animals.
It’s also a good idea to eliminate any soda from your diet – even though diet soda has no calories it’s full of artificial ingredients. Instead, focus on drinking water, tea, coffee, and other no calorie drinks that are natural.
You should also eat plenty of healthy fats that come from plant sources. For example, nuts and avocados are chock full of healthy fat. Cooking with olive oil and coconut oil is also a great choice for adding heart healthy fats.
When it comes to cooking, you should bake, steam, and saute‚ rather than deep fry foods. Most people find that eating clean does require them to cook more at home to avoid processed foods that are found in many restaurants.
Eating clean should be a simple and easy thing to do. It’s not full of complicated recipes or formulas. Just work to eat as many natural foods as you’re able to. Clean eating can vary for individuals. For example, some people choose to eliminate grains or dairy.
But that isn’t necessary for everyone working to adopt a clean lifestyle. Just by focusing on whole foods you’ll likely be doing better than you have in the past. And there will be times you want to enjoy a treat. Many people choose to eat clean 80% of the time and enjoy some indulgences the other 20%.