When it comes to healthy lifestyles and diets that keep making headlines, the popularity around “clean eating” has kept it at the top of the buzz list for the last few years, fueling a clean-eating industry, with how-to books, blogs and recipe collections.
What is clean eating?
While there is no strict formula for clean eating, it’s based on the general principles of eating whole foods in their natural state. The focus is on building meals and snacks around fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
That also means avoiding heavily processed foods, or things that have a lot of added salt or refined sugar. Artificial colors, sweeteners and preservatives are also shunned.
For beverages, clean-eaters gravitate toward water and herbal tea instead of soda or sugary drinks.
Many aspects of the clean-eating fascination mirror the basic tenets of the common idea of healthy diet, with a focus on filling your plates with good-for-you grains, vegetables, nuts, fish and fruits.
Holiday Zanetti, a senior research scientist and clinical investigator for Nutrilite, said clean eating can be a smart decision if carried out correctly.
“I think it’s wise to pay attention to what you eat, how much you eat, the ingredients you eat, and processing,” she said.
If you’re new to clean eating, or just curious about the trend, Holiday offers some tips for how to get started.
1. Read the entire label
Look at the back of the food label or package. Don’t simply rely on the front or be fooled by catchy branding that declares a food “free of” this additive or that ingredient, Holiday said.
All the “free of,” “no” and “non,” can be overwhelming. Instead, focus on the back of a product’s label and ingredient panel to truly understand what the product includes.
2. Aim for variety
The purpose of healthy eating is to nourish your body, Holiday said. Don’t get hung up on one combination of food—like only eating whole-grain oats and an apple for breakfast each day because it’s the only clean meal you can think of.
The key to satisfying your palate and avoiding boredom is a varied diet. So aim for a wide variety of foods in sensible quantities.
3. Avoid processed, refined foods:
This is what you’re looking for when you’re reading the entire label on a product. The ingredient list on processed or refined foods is much longer than their counterparts and often includes words that are difficult to pronounce.
That’s where added salt, sugars and preservatives lurk, and that’s what you should avoid.
4. Eat more plants
Whole fruits and vegetables are the ideal. Some food products may tout that they are “plant-based,” but that does not always mean they are a good choice, Holiday said.
5. Moderation is key
Everyone needs some wiggle room. If you don’t give yourself some in your efforts to eat better, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
“Don’t let cleaning eating consume you, enjoy eating and remember tomorrow is a new day,” Holiday said.
If you’re ready to give clean eating a try, these simple tips will help keep you get started. If you’re worried about getting enough nutrients while you’re changing your eating habits, consider adding a nutritional supplement to your daily routine.
The Nutrilite™ Perfect Pack is a trio of daily supplements that gives your body the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients you may not get from your diet alone.
For some guidance on choosing the right nutritional supplement for you, visit the Nutrilite Supplement Recommender and take the quiz. To learn more about the Nutrilite™ Perfect Pack and other Nutrilite products, visit the website for Amway US or Amway Canada.