July 2nd, 2010
Clean eating is a diet program based on the idea that the best way to eat is to abundantly enjoy whole foods — that is, foods as close to their natural state and you can get them. This means eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins instead of pre-packaged, processed foods or fast food. Clean eating is also committed to replacing saturated fats with healthy fats. Many on the plan don’t count calories, but instead trust in good quality, healthy food.
Step 1 Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Choose fresh, unprocessed foods over canned or processed products. Clean eating enthusiasts believe that we were meant to survive on fresh fruits and vegetables and that processing them reduces their nutritional value and fiber content and adds salt, fat, sugar and chemicals. Choose fruit instead of fruit juice and if you must pick a processed vegetable, frozen is always better than canned.
Step 2 Balance protein and complex carbohydrates. Incorporate whole grains like brown rice or millet over processed grains. Eat lean meats, and choose organic or grass fed meats when possible as these foods are usually clean of pesticides, hormones and additives. Grill, broil or steam your meats rather than frying.
Step 3 Avoid sodas and high calorie, sugary drinks. Follow the tenant of clean eating that aims to remove added sugars from the diet. Choose water or tea for your beverages, or juice your own fruits and vegetables and enjoy them without added sugars or preservatives.
Step 4 Trade bad fats for good fats. One of the most important aspects of clean eating is removing saturated fats from the diet. Lower your saturated fat intake by avoiding fast food, choosing lean cuts of meat and getting your fat calories from foods like nuts and fatty fish.
Step 5 Eat several small meals to keep blood sugar stable and to avoid overeating. Choose snacks like nuts, low-fat or fat free dairy and fruits and vegetables. Note that some people who live a clean eating lifestyle don’t eat dairy products while others adapt clean eating to a vegetarian lifestyle.
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Originally posted on The Huffington Post