Everything we put into our bodies has an impact on how our bodies function, hence the common cliché, “you are what you eat”. So, why would you want to fuel yourself with chemicals that can be found in highly processed foods? The obvious answer should be that you don’t want to, and the next step is to find out how to stay away from these foods. The solution is making sure you are eating food at its most natural state, which is simply practicing the act of what’s referred to as clean eating.
Clean eating may sound pretty abstract to the average American, so here are some starting tips to clean up your act and limit the “bad stuff” from your diet.
Clean Eating First Steps
The first step to clean eating is to cut down on sugar. Americans consume hundreds of unnecessary calories in sugar every day. Most of this sugar is contained in highly processed foods that pack in this harmful substance. When you crave something sweet. A smart choice is to reach for a piece of fruit, which is straight from the earth.
Next substance that is filling most processed foods and causing health problems across the country is salt. With many of us consuming takeout and processed foods in mass quantities, it’s been shown that Americans consume over 30% more sodium than they should. To decrease this, cook at home with natural ingredients, and add flavor using spices and skip on loading your meals with salt.
Now that we’ve cut back on our sugar and salt, let’s go ahead and toss out refined grains with them. You know the kind: white pasta, white bread, white rice. These products have been stripped of many of their minerals. So, while they add calories to your meal, they are lacking vital nutrients as well as fiber to fill you up and fuel you through your day. Instead, replace these with whole grains. One key to finding these is to inspect the ingredient list and look for the word “whole grain something” in the list.
Another harmful substance you want out of your life, and to start your clean eating journey is saturated fat. These are the fats that raise your LDL, which is the bad cholesterol. Coincidentally, there is often lots of saturated fats in processed packaged foods you find on the shelves of your local grocery.
Stay Away from Processed Foods
One common thread throughout this has been that foods that are highly processed are the enemies of keeping our diets clean. When you are at the grocery store a key is to stick to the outskirts that hold fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and all of the other minimally processed foods.
It’s the boxed foods lurking in isles that will load up on salt, sugar, saturated fat, and not give you a great deal of nutritional value. It may seem convenient and easy to grab pre-made or easy make meals at the grocery store, however clean eating requires just a little more time.
One last thing, always remember to drink lots of water, this aids in overall health and digestion of any food you eat. And, there is nothing much more natural than water!