Friday, October 24, 2014

Clean Eating for Beginners

"Clean Eating" has been popping up more and more these days as people are more cautious of what they are putting in their mouths and learning what clean eating truly is. Have you ever wondered what eating clean means??

Clean eating is simply the practice of avoiding processed and refined foods and basing your diet on whole foods. But there’s much more to this plan. You can structure your diet to get proper nutrition, help manage diseases, avoid developing diseases, lose weight, remove toxins, and just feel better in general.  WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO REAP THESE BENEFITS??!!

The Basic Principles of Eating Clean

Eating clean involves not only choosing the right foods to eat but also avoiding all of the junk foods and processed foods that are so readily available. The following principles hold the keys to good health and proper nutrition.
  • Eat whole foods: Whole foods are foods that haven’t been tampered with, in the lab or the manufacturing plant. The foods you eat on this plan are straight from the farm: whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, grass-fed and free-range meats, low fat dairy products, unsalted nuts, and seeds.
  • Avoid processed foods: Processed foods are any food that has a label. A label means that more than one ingredient was used to make that food. You don’t have to eliminate all processed foods (like whole grain pasta or natural cheeses), but if you can’t pronounce an ingredient on a label, don’t put that food in your shopping basket.
  • Eliminate refined sugar. Refined sugar provides nothing but calories. Other sweeteners can be used, but with all the good foods you add to your diet, refined sugar really has very little place in the eating clean plan.
  • Eat five or six small meals a day. By eating smaller meals throughout the day you can help speed up your metabolism and reduce the chance that you’ll eat junk food. You never get so hungry on this plan that you’ll feel deprived or feel the need to cheat.
  • Cook your own meals. Instead of buying meals in a box, cook meals from scratch. That’s not as hard as it sounds! Clean, whole foods need little preparation beyond chopping and sautéing to make satisfying, delicious meals your family will love.
  • Combine protein with carbs. When you do snack or eat a meal, make sure that meal is balanced. For the most satisfaction from your diet, and so you’ll be less tempted to eat junk food, combine protein with carbs or carbs and fat. This simple act will fuel your body and squash hunger pangs.

How Whole Foods and Eating Clean Help You Stay Healthy

What you eat really does have an effect on how you feel. Eating whole foods and avoiding junk food, a clean eating lifestyle, can keep you healthy or help you regain your health if you haven't been well. Follow these ideas below and you will have a better chance at living an active life:
  • It’s easier to maintain a healthy weight, which reduces the risk of several diseases.
  • Eating a good variety of foods ensures you get adequate amounts of most essential nutrients.
  • Relying on whole foods is the best way to get a good combination of micronutrients.
  • Whole foods keep you satisfied longer so you’re less tempted by junk foods.
  • Foods high in micronutrients can help reduce cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar.
  • There are some nutrients we haven’t yet identified that are present in whole foods but not in supplements.
  • Whole foods help keep your digestive system regular.
  • Eating a healthy diet makes you stronger so you can stay more active.
  • Avoiding artificial ingredients keeps your cells strong so your body systems work efficiently.
  • If you feel good, you’re more likely to take care of yourself in other ways

    *Adapted from Eating Clean for Dummies

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