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The basic notion about healthy eating, or what’s now trendily referred to as ‘clean eating’, is to eat foods that are as nearer as possible to their natural form. This implies that rather than choose packaged foods, pick fresh wholesome foods. For instance eat fish instead of frozen fish fingers, or potatoes instead of chips, or apples instead of sugary apple flavoured drink, or corn pap instead of corn flakes. By dumping processed foods like chips, cookies, and ready-made restaurant meals, you reduce your intake of calories, salt, saturated fat, and sugar. Find below the clean foods you should be eating and the reasons why, as well as those to avoid.
Processed carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and rice have lost their nutrients during the manufacturing process. So replace them with whole wheat bread and pasta, brown or wild local rice. There are other great grains like oatmeal, maize, corn, barley, or bulgur. This healthy change comes with a great positive impact on your health. Researches confirm that a diet high in whole grains may be able to lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer.
Fruits and vegetables
We are not speaking about processed products, but natural fruits and vegetables that have become two staples of clean eating. There are diverse opinions on clean eating: some clean eaters insist all foods must be fresh; but others believe in the absence of fresh produce, frozen and canned options are good alternatives because they do contain just as many nutrients. In order to be certain you’re not getting extra sugar or salt, go through the label. Also choose whole fruits instead of juices, which have less fiber and more sugar. Try to get at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
Ease on salt and sugar
Clean foods are naturally low in salt and sugar, and adding them goes against the as-natural-as-possible approach. Since processed foods are a major source of salt and sugar, you can slash your intake when you avoid them. Alternatively, read food labels to search for hidden sweeteners and salt, even in foods that seem healthy, like bread, yogurt or tomato sauce. Also keep a close eye on how much you add to your foods and drinks. Try flavoring with spices and herbs instead.
Avoid artificial ingredients
Artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives, and other man-made ingredients are anathema to clean-eating diet. At the grocery store, read food labels and shun items with synthetic add-on.
Plenty of water is good
Rather than indulge in sugar-laden soft drinks and juices, drink low-calorie beverages, such as water and herbal tea. Water not only control your hunger and assist you in feeling full, but also stall tiredness and give you plenty energy. If you like your drinks flavoured, how about marinating your water with a slice of lemon, chunks of ginger, or a sprig of mint.
Rethink alcohol and caffeine
It’s good if you can remove them completely and replace with plenty of water. However, some people think it’s alright to drink them in moderation. Whether you’re a clean eater or not, expert advice an intake of no more than three to five 8-ounces cup of coffee per day, and one serving of alcohol for women and two for men. Also avoid adding sugar. Choose plain tea or coffee, and for alcohol, avoid sweet mixers.
Go easy on meat and dairy
Clean eaters avoid meat, dairy, and eggs bought in the supermarket, and instead choose organic or go for local sources that breed animals humanely without injecting growth hormones. A farmer’s market is a good place to learn more about where your meat and dairy come from. Seafood isn’t labeled as organic, so look for items low in mercury and that use sustainable fishing. The cleanest approach to protein is to get it from nuts, beans, and legumes.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons.