9 Clean Eating Diet Basics
The hashtag of #cleaneating not only surfaced on social media outlets, but emerged into a phrase of continuous action in the health world. And while the practice is not necessarily brushing off “dirty” food, clean eating implies the importance of reducing packaged products and incorporating whole, real foods for a happier, healthier you. Learn the basics and practices of clean eating here!
Practices of A Clean Eating Diet
1. Construct Well-Balanced Meals and Snacks
Consuming the right balance of nutrients at meals helps keep the body running efficiently well keeping hunger at bay. Well-balanced meals include a lean protein and complex carb source, along with plenty veggies and fruit, while snacks should include both a protein and fiber source. Nutrition experts tend to encourage three meals and two snacks per day, though they further stress the importance of listening to internal cues and eating based on true hunger.
2. Be Mindful
While the practice of clean eating still allows indulgences every now and then, it also supports individuals to focus on the quality of foods. Along with listening to hunger and satiety cues, be mindful of the foods you choose to eat along with identifying and appreciating how they affect the body.
3. Reduce Processed, Boxed Foods
One of the foundations of clean eating is reducing processed, boxed foods. Most of these products contain added fillers and unwanted ingredients, posing the risk of consuming empty calories without obtaining any sort nutritional value.
4. Choose Unrefined Over Refined Products
In the sense of food, refining is essentially manipulating the product by removing some of its elements. Refined products tend to offer lesser contents of nutrients, including white flours, breads, pastas, and pastries. So compared to refined products, unrefined foods offer more fiber, vitamins, and minerals, especially in the form of whole grains such as wheat, barley, oats, quinoa, rice, and corn.
5. Go for Color
The more colorful the food in nature, generally the more nutrients they exhibit. Colorfying the plate with veggies, fruits, and herbs is a simple clean eating practice to ensure adequate nutrients and fiber, along with naturally keeping calories in check. At least half the plate should be filled with vivacious veggies, adding naturally-sweetened fruit as a complement to meals.
6. Watch Out for Salt, Sugar, and Fats
Although limiting highly processed products and embracing colorful, whole foods naturally, it is still important to take advantage of both the nutrition facts and ingredients labels. Food companies also may be hiding sugar contents by using “natural” sugars in products, applying numerous sugars in the ingredients label, slapping on perceived health claims, and adding to “healthy” foods.
7. Drink Water
Drink clean, too! One of the simplest ways to keep the diet clean is by swapping out sugary beverages with water. But if desiring refreshing flavors, these water recipes feature natural fruits and herbs!
8. Shop Local
Along with supporting community vendors and reducing a carbon footprint, shopping local can fortify the appreciation of wholesome foods. Most products at farmer’s markets also reflects the seasonality of crops, which tend to be more nutrient-rich when consumed in their appropriate harvesting period.
9. Stay Prepared
Whether preparing lunches for work or anticipating, it is important to stay stocked and prepared to lessen the temptation of impulse vending machine or drive thru runs. Especially if new to the prepping practice, find your complete beginner’s guide here, filled with tips and recipes to ensure success!