Clean Eating: Essential Information for Eating Healthier
You may have heard of clean eating before, but what does it entail? This concept’s emphasis on choosing healthier food choices has been beneficial for many. Clean eating doesn’t require your food to be bland, and you don’t have to miss out on your favourite dishes, making it a popular choice for people looking to lose weight or improve their health.
No matter your lifestyle or dietary restrictions, you can choose clean eating. At Wholistically Healthy, we understand the confusion behind clean eating and approaching it. We provide you with vital information to help you adapt to clean eating.
What Is Clean Eating?
Clean eating represents a relatively new lifestyle that focuses on eating minimally processed foods and restricting your intake of refined foods. Clean eating varies for many people. For some, clean eating limits them to only organic and natural foods, while others interpret it to remove only the highest processed foods.
Whether your definition of clean eating means removing certain modernised ingredients, eating as naturally as possible, or somewhere in between, you can incorporate this lifestyle with conscious choices.
The Benefits of Clean Eating
Although clean eating has no complex strategy behind it, you can clearly see its advantages. Studies confirm that decreasing processed foods and increasing natural foods help you achieve a balanced diet more efficiently. Clean eating boasts many benefits, including:
- Better health and nutrition
- Weight loss
- Muscle gain
- Sustainable and ethical consumption
Higher Nutrient Intake
By decreasing your processed food intake, you open your diet to healthier foods. Processed foods contain high levels of harmful fats and empty calories. Eliminating crisps, white bread, and other unhealthy foods makes room for foods with whole grains, natural sugars, and more nutrients.
Despite the increased nutrient intake, you’ll still need to watch your portion size and calculate macros. Keeping your diet balanced is vital to successful clean eating.
You can easily adjust your food intake through clean eating. By removing empty calories and unhealthy snacks and replacing them with healthy options, you stay fuller for longer and reap the nutritional benefits.
Improves Your Health
Another obvious benefit of clean eating includes improved health. A high-fibre, low-fat, high protein diet is easily achievable through clean eating. Limiting sugars, simple carbs, and fats helps fight heart disease, improve blood sugar, and reduce your risk for gastrointestinal problems.
Diets heavy on plant-based dishes prove incredibly successful in improving your health. Vital proteins, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables are essential in a balanced diet.
Remember that clean eating isn’t the only step in improving your health. Be mindful of your portion intake, macronutrient levels, and food group ratios to ensure you get the proper amounts of each food. You’ll get the most results when pairing clean eating with exercise.
Helps You Lose Weight
A common benefit of clean eating is fat loss. A large portion of body fat comes from eating processed foods, corn syrup, and harmful additives. Removing processed snacks, sweet treats, and high-calorie beverages eliminates empty calories that pile on the pounds.
The new increase of nutrients and healthy, filling calories makes it easier to go longer without snacking or help eliminate it. Many people report feelings of sluggishness, irritability, cravings, and other problems disappearing.
However, eating cleanly is only half the battle. You’ll need a caloric deficit to help you lose fat and ensure you get your necessary macronutrients. Replacing lost weight with muscle may require a different plan and diet adjustment.
Increases Muscle Mass
People looking to improve muscle mass while losing weight should turn to clean eating. Lean proteins, including poultry, fish, and eggs, comprise the standard components of a clean diet due to their versatility and nutritional benefits.
A clean diet helps avoid empty calories and processed proteins during bulking periods. You’ll gain more muscle and less fat by choosing lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats like nut butter or fatty fish. You can tailor your clean diet to be as strict or lenient as you wish.
You will find much controversy on clean bulking versus regular weight gain. While dirty bulking is faster, clean bulking is healthier.
Better for People and the Environment
A significant element of clean eating lies in choosing ethically sourced foods. Chickens, pigs, cows, and more spend their lives in tiny, unsanitary, cramped cages in factory farms. They get antibiotic treatments and hormone injections, and many have grain diets.
Studies confirm that factory farms contribute negatively to animal welfare and the environment. Methane from cattle traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, increasing global warming. The added hormones and antibiotics remain in food and impact your health.
By choosing grass-fed beef or free-range chicken eggs, your health benefits, and you avoid contributing to environmental destruction. Clean eating eliminates the need for factory farms. Ethically sourced protein results in healthier lives and a smaller environmental footprint.
Eight Tips for Eating Clean
Clean eating seems simple enough for anyone to start. Establish your nutrient needs based on goals to improve health, lose weight, or increase muscle, then find whole foods you like to reach these goals. You can reap the benefits no matter your age.
1. Track Your Macros
Macronutrients are your essential nutrients, specifically protein, carbohydrates, and fats. These nutrients exist in the food you eat and help you build muscle, lose fat, and gain energy. Knowing how many grams of each macronutrient will help you maintain your goal.
You can use a macronutrient calculator to figure out your ideal levels. From there, keep a log of your meals and tailor your food options to meet these nutritional goals. Combined with exercise and consistent healthy choices, you can see results quickly.
2. Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs
Fructose is a leading cause of weight gain, diabetes, and many severe health issues. Granulated sugar and corn syrup have high amounts of fructose. You can avoid cancer and other diseases by choosing foods with no added sugars.
Your diet may allow small amounts of natural sugars, but natural maple syrup and honey can also cause health problems. Natural sugars also appear in fruit. Consider your serving size when eating cherries, grapes, and other sweet fruits.
Sugar additives do not align with clean eating. Added sugar often goes undetected. Be sure to check the ingredients before buying sauces and other foods that aren’t sweet.
Refined carbohydrates include white bread, crackers, and other processed carbs that provide empty calories. They increase your risk for inflammation issues, obesity, and insulin resistance.
Clean eating involves choosing whole-grain bread, flour, pasta, and more. Whole grains consist of complex carbs, which take longer for the body to digest but have more nutrients. Whole grain cereals and minimally processed carbs eliminate inflammation and belly fat.
3. Boost Your Fruit and Veggie Intake
The benefits of fruits and vegetables are plentiful. Both contain high amounts of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. High fruit and veggie intake links to lessened risks for heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.
Fruits and vegetables form the foundations of clean eating for their convenience and nutritional value. However, not everyone likes eating fruits and veggies. You can increase your fruit and vegetable intake easily by:
- Adding fresh fruit to salads, sandwiches, and other dishes
- Loading your dishes with colourful vegetables
- Putting produce you dislike into smoothies
4. Stick to Water
Water makes the best, most natural beverage option available. Water is essential for hydration and helps maintain your body’s systems. Because it has no sugar or harmful ingredients, you can drink water throughout your clean eating lifestyle.
Avoid sodas and other sugary drinks. High-fructose corn syrup is the first ingredient in many beverages and has links to obesity and diabetes. Fruit juices include too much sugar for a truly clean diet.
If you don’t like water, try unsweetened tea or coffee. It may take time to find the right caffeine level. Decaffeinated options help you retain water, while you may increase dehydration by relying solely on caffeinated coffee and tea.
5. Cut Out Processed Foods
The primary purpose of clean eating is to remove as many processed foods as possible from your diet. Processed foods no longer occur in their natural form. Foods lose many nutrients and gain sugar and other additives during processing.
The chemicals in processed foods may cause heart disease, increased inflammation, and other severe conditions. While some additives are for preservation purposes, they can also be harmful.
Whole foods have the benefit of full nutritional value. Clean eating prevents your exposure to:
- Pesticides on produce
- Hormones and antibiotics in meat
- Unnecessary ingredients and chemicals
- Harmful sugar additives
6. Read Labels
Despite whole foods’ minimal processing, some foods may still have preservatives or unhealthy ingredients. It’s crucial to read labels to avoid added sugar, sodium, and more. Packaged foods generally undergo more processing than natural or whole foods.
Be sure to read labels for all your food. You may be surprised to find sugar in food that doesn’t taste sweet or trans fats in foods that seem like healthy alternatives. For example, condiments such as tomato ketchup and barbeque sauce often have added sugars.
Labels and ingredient lists also address additional components of packaged foods. Check salad dressing packets and separate food packages for unfamiliar ingredients. Stay mindful of cross-contamination if you have food allergies.
7. Be Consistent
Adapting to new eating habits takes time. Starting small and limiting foods slowly will help you ease into the new lifestyle. Focus on consistency versus always making the right food choices, and establish realistic goals to reach your health ideals.
By maintaining consistency and still allowing yourself some leniency, you’ll:
- Enjoy clean eating more
- Avoid a negative relationship with food
- Naturally integrate smart food choices into your everyday life
- Stick to the lifestyle for longer
8. Be Patient
If you’ve switched to clean eating to lose weight or improve your health, be patient. Processed foods contain many chemicals and additives. It takes time for the body to adjust to new changes and rid itself of these toxins.
From there, it can take weeks to months before you see progress. Depending on your goals, progress may already be happening. Be mindful of your physical and mental feelings and note how you feel each day.
If you’re not satisfied with your results, make changes. You may need to implement a more rigorous exercise routine or cut down further on processed foods. Keeping a journal of your clean eating diet or developing a menu can help you pass the time.
Easy Clean Eating With Wholistically Healthy
Are you curious about whether clean eating is possible with a meal delivery service? At Wholistically Healthy, we provide healthy, tasty meals that encourage clean eating. Our meals are fresh, nutritious, and natural.
“We make Healthy taste good” is the motto we live by
Start your journey to clean eating with help from Wholistically Healthy in Perth. Try our flavourful, healthy meals at affordable prices. Contact us at email@example.com for more information or view our menu and order online today.