Eating clean is an important factor in healthy living. Most, if not all, the people I’ve interviewed who lost weight attest to this. Simply put, “clean eating” means eating foods as close to nature as possible.
How do you eat clean? Put effort into planning meals and cooking the food yourself. Significantly reduce or omit sugary beverages such as soda, cut back on alcohol, reduce sodium intake, cut back on saturated fat and trade refined grains for whole grains.
A difficult change may be reducing or omitting heavily processed foods, especially for those on a shoestring budget. Heavily processed food is loaded with sodium, high fructose corn syrup and hard-to-pronounce artificial additives. Ingredients commonly found in boxed meals, snack foods, breads, fast food and drink include: monosodium glutamate, partially-hydrogenated oils, ammonium sulfate, silicon dioxide and BHT.
These items ensure a long shelf life and hold costs down. If these ingredients prevent food from decaying on the shelf, what happens when they enter our bodies?
Let that marinate.
All of these items are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and deemed safe. However, if a food product isn’t found in home cupboards, should we eat it? And then there’s genetically modified foods. Enough said.
Unless you grow or raise food, chances are you’re going to get a little of what you don’t want and what your body doesn’t need. But there are ways to reduce exposure to unhealthy things.
Eat something new and healthy. Eat out less often and cook more. Limit how often you eat prepackaged food.
Try a new whole grain. Don’t just stick with whole wheat pasta and brown rice. Try millet, quinoa, barley or wild rice. The choices are numerous.
It’s hard to find inexpensive organic meat without hormones, pesticides and other additives. But give it a try.
Be cautious about sugar. Americans typically consume about 76.7 pounds of sugar each year. Sugar, in many forms, is found in just about all foods. It’s a cause of obesity, tooth rot and other health maladies. And it’s addictive.
Read food labels. Look at the ingredients listed. Watch food serving portions and educate yourself about food.
Food should be for fueling and healing the body — not destroying it.