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11 Simple Ways to Start Clean Eating Today



The term "clean eating" has become very popular in the health community. This lifestyle can be easy and enjoyable as long as you follow a few general guidelines.

Here are 11 simple tips to start eating clean.

What is Clean Eating?
            
            
        

Clean eating doesn't have anything to do with food being clean or dirty.

It simply involves minimally processed, real foods that provide maximum nutritional benefits.

Summary

Clean eating involves choosing foods that are minimally processed, ethically. raised and rich in naturally occurring nutrients.

1. Eat More Vegetables and Fruits
            
            
        

Vegetables and fruits are undeniably healthy.

They're loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and compounds that help fight inflammation and protect your cells from damage (1)

In fact, many large observational studies link high fruit and vegetable intake to reduced risk of illnesses like cancer and heart disease (2, 3, 4, 5).

Fresh vegetables and fruits are ideal for clean eating, as can be consumed raw immediately after picking and

Choosing organic produce can help you clean eating one step further by reducing pesticide exposure and potentially boosting your health (6)

Here are some easy ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet:

  • ]
  • Add berries, chopped apples or orange slices to your favorite dishes.
  • Wash and chop veggies, tosses them with olive oil and herbs and place them in a container in your refrigerator for easy access Summary

    Vegetables and fruits should form the basis of a clean eating lifestyle. These whole foods require little preparation and provide many health benefits.

2. Limit Processed Foods
            
            
        

Processed foods are directly up to the clean eating lifestyle, as they've been modified from their natural state.

Most processed items have lost some of their fiber and nutrients, but have sugar, chemicals or other ingredients. What's more, increased foods have been linked to inflammation and increased risk of heart disease (7).

Even if unhealthy ingredients aren't added to these goods, they still have a lot of benefits provided by whole foods.

Summary

Processed foods conflict with clean eating principles due to their preservatives and varnishes or nutrients. Read Labels
            
            
        

Although clean eating is based on whole, fresh foods, certain types of packaged foods, such as packaged vegetables, nuts and meat.

However, it is important to read labels to make sure there aren't any preservatives, added sugars or unhealthy fats.

It is best to eat raw nuts – or at your own low temperature.

Additionally, pre-washed salad mixes can save time and may also be harbor additives – especially in the salad dressing which is often included.

Summary

To maintain a clean eating lifestyle, read labels to ensure that packaged produce, nuts, meats and other foods contain no questionable ingredients.

4. Stop Eating Refined Carbs
            
            
        

Refined carbs are highly processed that are easy to deliver yet provide little nutritional value.

Research has linked refined carb consumption to inflammation, insulin resistance, fatty liver and obesity (8, 9, 10).

In contrast, whole grains – which provide more nutrients and fiber – can reduce inflammation and promote better health (11, 12). In one study in 2,834 people, those who consume mostly whole grains were less likely to have excess belly than those who are focused on refined grains (13). Stay away from ready-to-eat cereals, white bread and other refined carbs.

Summary

Refined grains are inflammatory, as they lack fiber and other valuable nutrients. To eat clean, choose minimally processed grains – or avoid them altogether.

5. Avoid Vegetable Oils and Spreads
            
            
        

For starters, they're produced via chemical extraction, making them highly processed

Some oils also contain high levels of the omega-6. fat linoleic acid. Studies in animals and cells suggest that it increases inflammation, potentially raising your risk of weight gain and heart disease (14, 15, 16).

While artificial trans fats have been banned in the United States and other countries, some margarines and spreads may still contain small amounts (17, 18).

Although clean eating discourages all vegetable oils and spreads, it is important to eat a moderate amount of healthy fats. These include fatty fish, nuts and avocado. If you can avoid vegetable oils completely, choose olive oil.

Summary

Margarines and some vegetable oils are highly processed and linked to increased risk of disease. Opt for healthy, minimally processed oils and fats.

6. Steer Clear of Added Sugar in Any Form
            
            
        

It's vital to avoid adding sugar if you're trying to eat clean. Yet, added sugar is very common – and even found foods that do not taste particularly sweet, like sauces and condiments.

Studies suggest that this compound may play a role in obesity, diabetes, fatty liver and cancer, among other health problems (19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26).

Depending on your health, you can occasionally eat small amounts of natural sugar – such as honey or maple syrup – while eating clean.

However, if you have diabetes, metabolic syndrome or similar health issues, it is best to avoid all forms of concentrated sugar – including those from natural sources.

For truly clean eating, try to consume foods in their natural, unsweetened state. Learn to appreciate the sweetness of fruit and the subtle flavors of nuts and other whole foods.

Summary

Sugar is highly processed and linked to several health problems. If you're trying to clean clean, use small amounts of natural sweeteners occasionally or avoid sugar altogether.

7. Limit Alcohol Consumption
            
            
        

Alcohol is made by adding to crushed grains, fruits or vegetables and allowing the mixture to ferment.

Moderate intakes of certain types of alcohol – particularly wine – may boost your heart health (27). , frequent alcohol consumption has been shown to promote inflammation and may contribute to a number of health problems, such as liver disease, digestive disorders and excess belly (28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34).

When you have a clean eating lifestyle, minimize or eliminate your alcohol intake.

Summary

Although moderate wine can help protect heart health, alcohol is linked to increased risk of several diseases . Alcohol consumption should be restricted when practicing clean eating.

8. Substitute Vegetables in Recipes
            
            
        

For example, cauliflower can be chopped finely to mimic rice, mashed like potatoes or used in pizza crust.

What's more, spaghetti squash is a natural replacement for pasta because it separates into long, thin strands after cooking. Zucchini makes great noodles as well.

Summary

When eating clean, replace pasta, rice and other refined grains with vegetables to boost the nutritional value of your meal. . Avoid Packaged Snack Foods
            
            
        

Crackers, granola bars, muffins and similar snack foods usually contain refined grains, sugar refined vegetables and other unhealthy ingredients.

These processed foods provide little nutritional value

To avoid grabbing these items when you get hungry between meals, make sure to have healthy snacks on hand

Good options include nuts, vegetables and fruits. These foods are tasty, rich in nutrients and may help protect against disease (1, 35, 36).

Summary

Instead of packaged snack foods made from refined grains, choose nutrient -the whole foods like nuts, fruits and vegetables

10. Make Water Your Primary Beverage
            
            
        

Water is the healthiest and most natural beverage you can drink.

It harbors no additives, sugars, artificial sweeteners or other questionable ingredients. By definition, it's the cleanest beverage you can drink

Water can keep you hydrated and can also help you achieve a healthy weight (37).

By contrast, sugar-sweetened beverages have consistently been linked to diabetes, obesity and other diseases. What's more, fruit juice may cause many of the same problems due to its high sugar content (38, 39).

Unsweetened coffee and tea are also good choices and provide several health benefits, but people who are sensitive to caffeine may need

Water is incredibly healthy and should be your main beverage when following a clean eating lifestyle. Choose Food From Ethically Raised Animals
            
            
        

In addition to fresh, unprocessed foods, clean eating involves selecting food that comes from ethically raised animals.

Livestock are often raised in crowded, unsanitary factory farms. The animals are typically given antibiotics to prevent infection and injected with hormones like estrogen and testosterone to maximize growth.

Moreover, most cattle on industrial farms are more than their natural diet of grass. Studies show that grass-fed beef is higher in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and antioxidants than grain-fed beef (41, 42, 43). 45)

Humanely raised meat is often better for your health and the planet as a whole.

Summary

Choosing meat from animals raised humanely on small farms is consistent with clean eating principles

The Bottom Line
            
            
        

Clean eating emphasizes fresh, nutritious and minimally processed foods.

This way of eating not only boost your health but also help you appreciate foods' natural flavors.

In addition, it supports sustainable agriculture and environmentally sound food practices

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

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