Clean eating is labeled as a diet. For many, clean eating is a lifestyle. Whatever side you choose, clean eating can be a healthy way to not only lose weight but nourish your body.
But with everything in life, there are rules to follow. Clean eating is no exception! Don’t worry, clean eating is a straightforward easy lifestyle to maintain.
Rules For Clean Eating
1. Prioritize Fruits and Vegetables
With every meal always ask yourself, “What veggie or fruit can I add to this dish?”
Fruit and vegetables will provide you with the most nutrients. They also have a low-calorie density which will only aid to your weight loss. Low-calorie density foods contain low calories and are filled with lots of water to leave you feeling fuller longer!
Try some of the low-calorie density foods to add to your meals:
- Root vegetables like sweet potatoes
- Brussel sprouts
2. Limit Processed Foods
In today’s society it’s not easy to eliminate all processed foods. But limiting processed food i the key to a clean eating lifestyle!
Processed foods are defined as any foods that have been altered from its natural state. When foods are “processed” they are devoid of many nutrients they once had and now contain added chemicals and sugars.
Some processed foods include:
- Prepackaged or ready-made meals
- Snacks like chips and prepackaged cupcakes and cookies
- Meet products like bacon and sausage
- Breakfast cereals
There are many more processed foods, but this quick list gives you an idea of what processed foods look like.
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3. Reach For Whole Grains
Whole grains are minimally processed and still contain nutrients like fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, and magnesium. If you ever wonder if something is a whole grain, just look at the color. Grains that are white in color like white bread and white rice are not whole grains.
Instead, try substituting “white” grains for these whole grains:
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
4. Stick To Natural Sugars
What’s the difference between refined and natural sugar? Refined sugar comes from sugar beets and sugar cane that’s processed to extract the sugar. These same sugars are chemically altered to make things like high fruitos corn syrup that’s added to many prepacked foods to enhance taste.
One of the main reasons to limit processed foods!
Natural sugars are sugars that are found naturally in foods (like fruit) and have not been processed or altered.
Natural sugar alternatives to refined sugar include:
- Stevia (stevia is argued to be “not natural,” but that depends on who you ask)
- Monk fruit
- Maple syrup
- Coconut sugar
- Date sugar and paste
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5. Limit Alcohol
This is one of the not so fun rules of clean eating. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Don’t drink your calories?” Alcohol like soda contains large amounts of sugars and added components for taste. Like soda, specialty coffees, and more, alcohol adds unnecessary calories and is not considered 100% “clean.”
When clean eating always opt for water first. But get creative! You don’t have to drink plain water. Try unsweetened teas, sparkling water, and infused water with organic fruits like berries.
6. Opt For Organic
Organic is always best when clean eating because it reduces your exposure of antibiotics in meats, pesticides on fruits and vegetables, and hormones added to a variety of foods.
If you can’t afford to buy organic (as it does get expensive), then always make sure to properly wash your produce well before eating.
7. Read Labels
Labels are everything when it comes to the rules for clean eating! But labels are very sneaky! It’s important to read labels because there are many different names for added sweeteners and chemical components added to foods.
Here is a full list of 56 different names for added refined sugars that are listed on nutrition labels often.
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There are many rules for clean eating. But overall, these rules are not absurd. Instead of thinking about all the things you cannot have on a clean eating diet, think about all the benefits you are receiving from clean eating.
On a clean eating diet, you receive the benefits of…
- Limiting exposure to chemicals, antibiotics, and hormones
- Stead blood sugar levels with eating clean small meals
- Weight loss
- Eating more healthy foods like fruit and vegetables
- Limiting “junk food” from your diet for a healthy you
If you haven’t started a clean eating lifestyle, follow these rules for clean eating and you can’t go wrong! Clean eating is a sustainable way to receive many benefits for a healthy, better you!