With so much conflicting info out there on what we should and shouldn’t eat, things can get pretty confusing when talking about clean eating. While one week it seems like the keto diet is in, the next we’re told to eat more plant-based foods.
So, what gives? What does it really mean to “eat clean” We’re here to clear the confusion and get back to the basics of healthy eating.
Here’s a quick go-to beginners guide to clean eating that we all could benefit from.
The Top 5 Things to Keep in Mind to Keep Your Eating Habits Clean
All diets aside, let’s just get to the basics here. Clean eating is all about saying no to the processed junk and adding in plenty of whole foods. Whole foods are things like fresh fruits, veggies, and legumes.
Think about it this way. When eating clean, you want to eat more foods that don’t have a food label. When you start adding in processed and packaged foods with an endless ingredient list is when we run into issues. We want more of those anti-inflammatory whole and nutrient-dense foods and less of the refined and inflammation-promoting options.
So, here are five very simple and straightforward tips to help clear the air on what clean eating really means.
#1 No Matter What Diet You Follow, Ditch the Junk
It doesn’t matter if you’re keto, Paleo, vegan, or somewhere in between. The one “rule” here is to skip the junk. Skip as many foods in a box as possible, and stay far away from any foods that contain ingredients like high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), MSG, and trans fats.
#2 Add More Fiber
Fiber is the bomb for promoting satiety and feeding the healthy bacteria in the gut. Adding more fiber to your diet in the form of dark leafy greens, cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts) and legumes is ideal. Fiber helps keep the bowels regular (because, healthy poop habits matter), and can also support stable blood sugar by helping to slow the release of those sugars found in carbs. So, get your fiber on, girl. Your body will thank you later.
#3 Add More Color
We all could benefit from a colorful diet, and that’s true no matter what diet you follow. Adding more color to your diet by adding in lots of colorful fruits and veggies will help support your body’s nutritional demands. Fruits and veggies pack in tons of antioxidants to help keep inflammation at bay.
#4 Say No to Sugar
We aren’t going to be the sugar police here, but trying to find small ways to reduce your sugar intake is a huge part of clean eating. Even if it means reducing how much sugar you put in your morning cup of coffee by half, that’s a huge step! You can also try swapping out refined sugar for more natural options like raw honey or pure maple syrup. Just be sure to keep these natural sweeteners in moderation as well.
#5 Keep Blood Sugar Stable
Another big part of eating clean is to keep your blood sugar levels in check. This means avoiding the refined sugar foods and eating more fiber-rich nutrient-dense options. It also means eating regularly and not skipping meals. The better you stay on top of your blood sugar levels, the better you will feel.
Don’t Look at Clean Eating as A “Diet”
When talking about clean eating, it’s important to remember that it’s not a diet. It’s a way of life. You can eat clean no matter what diet you follow. What is really comes down to it focusing on quality and nutrient-dense foods that will nourish your body.
So, try adding these five tips for clean eating into your current eating practices because clean eating is always a good idea.