Surely, you’ve heard off all the latest in fad diets from the Atkins Diet to South Beach, but many popular diet plans promise weight loss while depriving your body of vital nutrients. However, the concept of clean eating is an entirely different approach. It doesn’t require fancy subscriptions or pre-packaged meals. It’s simply a plan that involves a commitment to a healthier diet.
While clean eating can result in weight loss, the benefits of clean eating go beyond a drop in the numbers on the scale. When you eat clean, you choose natural whole foods rather than processed options. This increases the amount of nutrients that your body receives which boosts your immune system, increases your energy, and improves the health of your heart and brain.
What It Means to Eat Clean
No, clean eating doesn’t mean that you wash an apple thoroughly before chomping down on it. Clean eating means selecting food items that are closest to their natural forms and avoiding processed foods which contain preservatives. Many people are constantly in a rush nowadays and tend to make a quick run through the nearest drive thru for the sake of convenience, but we shouldn’t overlook the importance of healthy food in our lives.
Fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) are a staple in clean eating. They are naturally whole foods items that are chock-full of vitamins. Instead of munching on packaged snack foods, enjoy a piece of fruit or even some nuts. Avoid canned fruits and vegetables which may contain added sugars and preservatives, and look for ways to substitute vegetables for carbs.
Clean eating also involves choosing whole grains over refined carbs. No, you don’t have to swear off bread. Just opt for a whole wheat wrap instead of white bread. Meats are also encouraged in clean eating as a means to obtain protein provided the livestock has been organically raised without antibiotics and grass fed.
So, what’s the catch? Clean eating does involve some level of deprivation, but in a good way. Part of clean eating means swearing off the butter and sugar, restricting processed foods and alcohol consumption, drinking a lot of water, and always reading labels prior to making a purchase. Yes, clean eating may take some adjusting, but the health benefits of clean eating are well worth making this commitment.
Health Benefits of Clean Eating
There are many health benefits of clean eating. Although, every diet fad in the history of dieting has come with promises of quick weight loss that may or may not have ever transpired for those who have tried the diet, clean eating is different. It’s not the latest gimmick. It’s based upon the importance of healthy food in our lives, and it’s been known from back in the days when Mom insisted that we eat our vegetables that choosing healthy foods is beneficial.
Benefits of clean eating include reducing levels of inflammation, improving the appearance of your skin, helping you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, elevating your mood, increasing the level of your energy, boosting your immune system response, improving focus and concentration, lowering your risk of cancer and heart disease, and even helping you to get a good night’s rest.
Yes, you’ll have to pass on that box of donuts your co-worker brought in to work, choose bottled water over that diet soda, and enjoy a turkey wrap for lunch instead of a greasy cheeseburger, but you don’t have to starve yourself. Actually, some clean eating experts recommend eating six small meals a day. It’s not about eating less. It’s about making healthier food choices.
The Importance of Healthy Food in Our Lives
Clean eating isn’t a fad diet. It’s a decision to engage in a healthier lifestyle. Of course, you may have heard of the food pyramid or possibly your physician may have encouraged you to eat a balanced diet. The importance of healthy food in our lives goes beyond losing a few pounds. It means providing your body with the vitamins and nutrients that it needs, exercising, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding foods that aren’t good for you to achieve better overall health.
You don’t need to participate in the latest fad diet. You just need to make smarter food choices. Yes, it takes willpower and dedication, but it’s part of taking proper care of your body. If you have the strength to reach for a banana instead of a box of cookies, you are headed in the right direction.