The newest diet trend of “eating clean” is about simplifying your daily food and drink choices. This trend is about getting “back to basics” with real foods that have real health-boosting nutrients (not added), just as Mother Nature intended. Here are a few simple tips to set you down the path of eating clean...
The newest diet trend of “eating clean” is about simplifying your daily food and drink choices. This trend is about getting “back to basics” with real foods that have real health-boosting nutrients (not added), just as Mother Nature intended. If you tend to gravitate towards all foods that are in a wrapper or box, and steer clear of fresh foods, you may want to consider a diet “clean up.”
Here are a few simple tips to set you down the path of eating clean:
- Fill your plate with fresh: No matter what the meal or snack, aim for mostly fresh foods—fruits, vegetables and lean protein sources that are minimally prepared. A salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots and snap peas topped with chopped hard-boiled eggs and oil/vinegar dressing, and a hearty slice of 100% whole grain bread, makes a great midday meal. And fruit dipped in plain organic yogurt sweetened with honey is a perfect snack.
- Limit processed food selections: If you can make it yourself and with recognizable ingredients, opt for the DIY way. If you usually reach for highly refined foods—snack crackers or treats made with added sugars, hydrogenated fats and additives—look for simpler packaged versions. Sometimes the certified organic choice is made with fewer ingredients—check the label to make sure.
- Become a sodium sleuth: Sodium abounds in processed foods, as it’s mostly added for taste. This mineral, while essential, can spell trouble for many of us when consumed in excess. Studies show too little potassium (a mineral in fresh fruits and veggies) along with high sodium intake (from processed foods) is strongly linked with high blood pressure. Check labels of packaged foods and opt for the fresh version when possible.
- Opt for organic: Often the organic selection, especially true for produce, contains fewer potential contaminants and pesticide residues. While our food supply in the US is considered very safe, the principle with clean eating is to keep exposure to potentially harmful or undesirable ingredients and contaminants to a minimum.
Article originally published in September of 2015 and updated in October of 2022.