What Is Clean Eating?

So what is eating clean, anyway? Eating clean food is as easy as these simple guidelines! Post them on your fridge, give them a glance every so often to refresh your memory, and reap the benefits of a clean diet!
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So what is eating clean, anyway? Eating clean food is as easy as these simple guidelines! Post them on your fridge, give them a glance every so often to refresh your memory, and reap the benefits of a clean diet!

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The soul of eating clean is consuming food the way nature delivered it, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it's a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life - one meal at a time.

Eat five to six times a day

Three meals and two to three small snacks. Include a lean protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. The steady intake of clean food keeps your body energized and burning calories efficiently all day long.

Choose organic clean foods whenever possible

If your budget limits you, make meat, eggs, dairy and the Dirty Dozen your organic priorities. To learn about what makes clean food organic, see What is Organic Farming, Really?

Drink at least two liters of water a day

Preferably from a reusable canteen, not plastic; we're friends of the environment here! Limit your alcohol intake to one glass of antioxidant-rich red wine a day. For tips on tap water testing and purification as a part of eating clean, see Reconsider Tap Water: The Healthiest Water Options. 

Get label savvy

Clean foods contain just one or two ingredients. Any product with a long ingredient list is human-made and not considered part of a clean diet.

Avoid processed and refined foods

This includes white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains instead. Avoid these clean eating foes.

Know thy enemies

Steer clear of anything high in trans fats, anything fried or anything high in sugar. Avoid preservatives, color additives and toxic binders, stabilizers, emulsifiers and fat replacers. Check out this list of the top ten food additives to avoidSee alsoClean Eating Ingredient Guidelines.

Consume healthy fats

Aim to have essential fatty acids, or EFAs, incorporated into your clean diet every day. See this list of clean foods and CE-approved healthy oils.

Learn about portion sizes

Work towards eating within them. When eating clean, diet is as much about quantity as it is quality.

Reduce your carbon footprint

Eat produce that is seasonal and local. It is less taxing on your wallet and our environment.

Shop with a conscience

Consume humanely raised local meats and ocean-friendly seafood. Visit seachoice.org for a printable pamphlet.

Practice mindful eating

Never rush through a meal. Food tastes best when savored. Enjoy every bite!

Take it to go

Pack a cooler for work or outings so you always have clean food on the go.

Make it a family affair

Food is a social glue that should be shared with loved ones. Improve the quality of your family's life along with your own by eating clean as a team.

See also10 Reasons to Eat Clean.

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