What is Clean Eating – is it Important?
The fact that over 60% of our population is obese has caused an increase in enthusiasm for clean eating. So eating the right kind of foods and avoiding ‘bad foods’ is a growing trend. The growth of this movement has created quite a stir in many phases of the dieting and food industry with everyone having a different definition of what clean eating is. Either way, it all points to eating certain foods that are healthy and avoiding those categorized as ‘not healthy.’
We all want to ensure that we eat correctly and stay healthy as a result. We are what we eat and must of us understand that.
Clean eating can also be called eating real foods. When we speak about real foods, we mean foods that are as close as possible to their natural state. The shortest route of getting it to your plate usually is preferred over packaging, flavoring, and coloring and all refining processes. The lack of refining helps keep our food free from chemicals, unhealthy fats, and all sorts of junk that may lead to future illness.
This article and my next three articles have the information you need to understand how to make the right food choices; know what to eat, the right amount, and what you are supposed to avoid.
The guiding principles and rationale of clean eating are adequately explained to you step by step. You will understand the importance of eating real foods as compared to your pizza and pasta, and why you should consider salads and other right quality foods instead.
If you have never tried eating correctly, or have no idea what it involves, then you are not to worry. In the following articles, I will list some simple homemade recipes. These recipes will show you the way to provide you and your family with great healthy meals.
So Why is Clean Eating so Important?
You’ve probably heard before about clean eating but do not precisely know what it’s about and how to join the health trend. Clean eating is consuming whole foods that are near as possible to their natural state. In other words, it is eating only foods that have undergone minimal processes of refining, processing, and handling, making them as close to their natural state as possible. It does not involve eating a specific amount of food or less of something, but being mindful of where the food comes from, its process, and how you finally put it on your plate.
Today, it is difficult to find foods that have not been refined or processed in some way. It is a real challenge if you decide to start eating clean.
The foundation of eating right emphasizes raw food options such as fruits and vegetables while eliminating refined grains, sugars, salt, and unhealthy fats and proteins.
Should You Be Eating Clean?
It all comes down to what you want for you and your family. As we have said, you are what you eat. To give your family a healthy diet, you should go for clean foods. Eating clean is very easy to follow and does not require any strenuous effort apart from being mindful of your food choices.
Unlike dieting, you are not restricted to any specific amount of food and hence calories. You can eat as much as you would like to, or less for that matter. It is essential to ensure that you make healthy food choices by selecting foods that are not refined or processed.
Choose foods that are as close to their natural and raw state as much as possible.
How to Go about Eating Clean Food and Why it is Important to You?
There are a lot of dietary benefits that come along with eating clean foods. You should note that knowing how to make the right food choices is only the beginning. Everyone needs a place to start. I have given you a few pointers. It is vital that you follow these steps to be able to eat clean.
- Eliminate processed foods: Processed foods have undergone various refining stages. Additives and other chemical ingredients cause them to be unhealthy. To begin with, check whether the ingredient list has anything classified as an additive or artificial colors. Many refined foods have sodium, sugar, and fat, which do not qualify them as clean foods. There are, however, clean packaged foods such as whole-wheat pasta, baby spinach, and chickpeas, and you will find others if you check carefully.
- Eat more veggies: Vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins A and K, which help improve your vision and immune system. Fresh vegetables you obtain straight from the farm; are unprocessed and clean.
- Eat healthy fats: You do not need to cut back on all fat, but instead opt for healthy fats. Swap out saturated fats such as those found in meat, cheese, and butter. Healthy fats are vital in improving the health of your heart and also in raising the level of the good cholesterol, HDL cholesterol.
- Reduce alcohol: This may contain unhealthy sugars and an excess amount of calories, which is not healthy. Avoid mixed drinks containing lots of sugars. Be moderate in your alcohol intake-one drink per day for women and two for men.
- Monitor your salt intake: Many people use way salt than the recommended limit of 2,300 mg of sodium per day. Eating a lot of salt can cause high blood pressure. You should avoid packaged foods that are high in sodium.
- Eat whole grains: Choose whole grains that contain bran and germ, unlike refined grains which have them removed during processing. When shopping, check the label to ascertain that it is ‘whole wheat’ and not just ‘wheat.’ Read the label with care.
- Check the portion size of meat: Eat less meat. But this does not mean that you eliminate any prospect of meat. Certain meats have saturated fat, which does not constitute healthy eating. Lean meat is a preferred option.
- Eat more fruits: Fruits are naturally sweet, delicious, rich in potassium and vitamin C. Take 1½ to 2 cups of fruit per day to obtain the recommended vitamins. Go for whole, unprocessed fruits that are raw and purchased straight from the farm.
You must make a deliberate effort.
To enjoy the benefits of clean eating, you must make a deliberate effort to choose the right foods for your body. It is not hard once you form a habit of deciding how you are going to eat.
It is not difficult once you are aware of what you should be eating and what to avoid. Avoid or cut back on anything refined or containing unknown ingredients that form a lengthy list on the label. The process makes them unclean foods.
My next article will be on maintaining your health through clean eating.