What does clean eating actually mean?
Eating, buying and cooking clean is about the pathway that the food has taken from its origin to your plate. The focus is on wholefoods that have been minimally processed, refined or handled, making them as close to their natural state as possible.
Here are five ways to clean up your diet today.
Cut out heavily processed foods
Fresh fruit and vegetables straight off the vine, pulled from the tree or out of the ground, are wholefoods. So are fresh eggs, meat, fish and chicken and legumes such as chickpeas and lentils. “Processed” foods are those which have had their nutrients altered. This includes processed meats such as salami, bacon and sausages.
Choose unrefined or less refined
Unrefined seeds, nuts and wholegrains leave more of the healthy fibre in place and less destruction of the foods natural vitamins. Examples of these are quinoa, millet, amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, regular oats, brown rice and seeds such as chia, sunflower and sesame.
Be mindful of additives
Fresh wholefoods (especially those that don’t come with a label) may contain naturally occurring fats, salt and sugar so try not to add more. Clean foods such as olive oil should have a simple label with minimal ingredients and shouldn’t read like a science experiment with lists of additives and numbers.
Cook from scratch
While this may not always be feasible, it’s a great way to eat clean. Using fresh herbs and spices, onions and garlic with fresh vegetables and meats, chicken and fish eliminates the need for bottled sauces.
Keep to the perimeter
Rather than spend time trolling through the central packaged food aisles, stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, and dairy foods such as milk and yoghurt. Your tastebuds will come alive to taste more than the sugar that’s been added to processed products.