Clean Eating Ingredient Guidelines
Eating clean is about consuming food in its most natural, unprocessed state. Find out what types of foods are clean choices in this handy clean food list you can print out and take with you to the grocery store.
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1. Healthy fats
Cook with and consume healthy fats on a daily basis. Opt for fats such as:
- Olive oil
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Organic unsalted butter (preferably grass-fed)
- Organic ghee
- High-oleic safflower oil
- Sunflower oil
- Grape seed oil
2. Flours and grains
Look for 100% whole grain varieties of the following, and look for options without additives or preservatives.
- Ancient Grains such as quinoa
- Soba noodles
- Bread crumbs (or panko)
Gluten-free flours such as coconut, brown rice (no white rice flours) are also acceptable.
Use full-fat organic (and grass-fed where possible) options of the following:
- Plain yogurt
- Greek yogurt
- Sour cream
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Cheese (goat, Parmesan, ricotta, etc.)
4. Nondairy/Protein Alternatives
Unsweetened plain almond, soy, rice and coconut milks (made without additives such as carrageenan)
- Organic tofu
- Organic tempeh
Sustainable fish and shellfish (check seafoodwatch.org for a list of best choices).
Purchase organic vegetables and fruits on ‘The Dirty Dozen’ list (ewg.org) but otherwise conventional produce is acceptable.
Additive-free frozen fruits and vegetables are permitted.
Opt for hormone- and antibiotic-free organic lean meats whenever possible (and grass-fed if your budget allows).
- Lean red meats
- All-natural/organic bacon or sausages
- Uncured, all-natural nitrite- and nitrate-free deli meats such as lean ham
8. Salts and Herbs
- Sea salt or kosher salt (not table salt)
- Herbs should be free of additives and artificial ingredients
9. Nuts and Seeds
- Raw unsalted nuts and seeds
- Natural or organic unsalted nut and seed butters
Try to limit added sugar intake as much as possible, but when you want a sweet treat or are making dessert, the following sweeteners are CE-approved:
- Date sugar
- Raw honey
- Pure maple syrup
- Organic evaporated cane juice
- Cacao nibs
- Dark chocolate – at least 70%
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- Pure vanilla extract
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Lemon and lime juice must be fresh and 100% juice
- 100% fruit juices (not from concentrate)
- Cold-pressed (preferably homemade) juices made of 100% fruits and vegetables
- Tapioca starch
- Potato starch
13. Canned and Jarred Ingredients
If buying canned beans or tomatoes, only purchase ones that are available in BPA-free cans. Jarred or boxed tomatoes are also great options. Coconut milk from BPA-free cans is also acceptable.
Make your own salad dressings and condiments whenever possible; however, the following store-bought condiments can be used in recipes. Always read the label to ensure the product contains no added sugars, additives or preservatives.
- Hot sauce
- Vinegars (red wine vinegar, balsamic, apple cider, etc.)
- Dijon mustard
- Reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
15. Miscellaneous Ingredients
- Unsalted tomato paste
- Agar agar or unflavored gelatin
- Low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- Natural liquid smoke
- Unsweetened dried berries or unsweetened 100% fruit sauce