Have you also been seeing influencers dropping their clean eating diets all over the ‘gram? Well, the latest health trend is taking the internet by storm and everyone wants to eat clean. But if you are wondering what clean eating actually is, allow us to break it down. The concept of clean eating is to lead a healthier lifestyle by making conscious and mindful food choices. However, there is not one single definition that fits the narrative. So, read below to understand how to clean up your diet and life through food.
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What does #eatclean actually mean?
The idea behind eating clean is consuming fresh, whole foods that are minimally processed and close to their natural state. This allows your body to get the maximum nutritional benefit of foods and cuts down on added sugar, salt, and fat. Clean eating, however, can vary from person to person. For some people, eating a homemade salad is eating clean, while others prefer consuming organic produce in their clean diets.
Even though it can sound pretty overwhelming, in reality, it’s actually quite simple. Just focus on reading labels, eating fresh food, practise mindful eating, and skip processed foods as much as you can.
So what can you include in your diet?
Fresh fruits and lots of vegetables are the best foods to include in your diet. This is because they are full of fibre, vitamins, and minerals and can help in cleansing your body and skin. Since fruits and vegetables go through minimal processing, they can be consumed raw. Also, preparing these items takes little time and can do a lot of benefit to your body and lifestyle in general. You can also add chicken, meat, dried fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
Reduce your intake of fried, sugary, and processed foods. This includes ready-to-eat foods, white bread, refined carbs, and more. When opting for salads, keep the market-bought spreads, dressing, and vegetable oils to a minimum or skip them altogether. Instead, make a fresh batch of dressings and store them in your fridge, and substitute olive oil with your vegetable oil.
Now, just because we are talking about fresh produce, should you skip everything frozen or pre-packed? Well, no, you don’t have to. Some frozen and packaged foods can also be nutritious if they don’t have added preservatives. So, read your food labels beforehand to understand what’s clean and what is just being marketed as clean. This way, you can actually enjoy eating clean rather than just posting about it on your social and dumping it in the bin later.
Benefits of clean eating
Now that you have finally understood the concept of #eatclean, here are some actual benefits of this health trend.
- You don’t have to follow monotonous diets and you can actually switch up your meals every now and then. This allows you to play around with nutrition, taste, and new recipes.
- Eating clean is a lifestyle choice that will benefit you in the long run. This is because it naturally reduces your risk of developing many health problems caused by unhealthy and junk food habits.
- Once you are in control of what you consume, you will start feeling more energetic throughout the day. This also allows you to be more mindful of what you are consuming and help you in making sustainable and healthy choices.
- Since you are consuming all things good, your body will be fitter and you might even lose any excess weight once you cut out all the processed and sugary food from your diet.
Risks of clean eating
While clean eating sounds like the perfect solution to a healthier lifestyle, it doesn’t come without its share of risks and problems.
- For most people, it is a conscious choice, but for people with an eating disorder, clean eating might turn into an obsession. They might focus on eating just healthy and completely avoid anything that strays from their idea of healthy.
- Clean eating refers to eating minimally processed and natural food but, sometimes, people can starve themselves and end up eating just salads all day long.
- People can feel guilty, anxious, and shameful if they don’t strictly follow their clean diet and indulge in an occasional pizza or their favourite dessert. This can lead to extreme mood swings.
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