What Is a Clean Eating Plan?
A clean eating plan simply means that you compare the food products available for you or your family to eat and you choose to consume the ones that are the most natural.
Almost all of the food found in the frozen section of your grocery store started out in their natural state. Clean eating is stepping back from the ready to serve and preparing or consuming products as they were grown.
Convenience of time and money are just a couple of the reasons a lot of shoppers buy these processed foods. However, when you weigh this convenience against being healthier, there really is no convenience.
Sure, it will take you a little more time to prepare foods that are in their natural state, but they are so much better for you physically and even emotionally in the long run. It’s better emotionally because of the proven link between processed foods and depression just like there’s a link between sugar laden foods and addictive behavior.
Clean eating doesn’t mean you only eat raw products. For example, choosing food in a natural form would mean selecting an apple over the applesauce. If your only choice was between an apple turnover or applesauce, then you would want to select the applesauce because it’s the least processed.
Similar to if you had the choice between an orange, orange juice or orange soda, then you would choose the orange. If that option wasn’t available, then you go with the next most natural choice.
If you wanted to eat fruit and the only option was in a can, then you would choose the fruit that was packed in water or in light syrup over heavy syrup.
Buying lunch meat would mean buying it from the meat counter and not the packaged cooler area. It’s healthier to pick up deli lunch meat rather than buying the processed kind that’s already packaged. When buying meats, look for ones that are grass fed over grain fed.
Limit or make bagged and frozen meats your last choice. Select low fat milk and yogurt that don’t have any flavoring added. The flavorings are chemical additives that aren’t healthy. Add your own fresh fruit at home to flavor it if needed.
If bread is a must have and you choose not to make your own, always select a whole grain first. Remove completely or at least make white bread your last option because it is so packed with additives and is the least healthy option of all prepared breads.
Think of it this way, your foods should be as direct from nature to your plate as possible. If you can pick up whole foods such as fruits or vegetables, these would be you best choice.
The same consideration is made to products that need to be cooked. Steaming would keep the natural product but in a cooked state. This is better than baking and baking is better than frying.
It’s all about choices. By making better choices, even if not always the best possible one, you can improve your health through eating better food.