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A Fool-proof Guide for Beginners

Eating clean may seem like some new buzzword, but the idea has really been around for quite a while. Clean eating means filling your plate with better choices and learning to moderate the not-so-good stuff. Here are some quick tips to help you eat cleaner, healthier meals.

 

Bump Up the Veggies

Yeah, you’ve probably heard this one over and over again, but it’s important! Vegetables are low in calories and packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that help keep your waistline in check, your heart healthy, and your bones strong. Toss in some spinach to your smoothie, tuck a few snap peas in your sandwiches, or start out your meals with a salad. It’s a lot easier than you think!

 

Limit Your Processed Food

A lot of these foods are filled with a lot more sodium, sugar, and fat than necessary. Decreasing the amount of packaged food you and your family eats is an easy win for eating clean. But remember, just because it comes in a package doesn’t mean it’s bad for you. Take a look at the ingredient list and if the list is long and full of words you can’t pronounce, try to stay away from it.

 

Choose Whole Grains

Start your day with steel-cut oats, or add quinoa to your salads. Replacing refined grains (food made with white flour) with whole grains will boost your body with great nutrients and extra fiber.

 

Sweets Be Gone

According to the American Heart Association, the average American will eat almost 22 teaspoons of sugar each day when women on average should be getting about six teaspoons (and nine teaspoons for men). You don’t need to cut sugar completely, but clean up your diet by limiting soda, baked goods, and candy. Look for foods without sugar or make sure it’s listed towards the bottom of the ingredient list.

 

Cut Down on Saturated Fat

Don’t feel like you have to cut out fats when you’re eating clean, just opt for healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish over the saturated fats (butter, cheese, etc). The good fats are truly good for you (in moderation, of course) and can help raise your good HDL cholesterol. Need help picking out the bad stuff? Here’s a tip: saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature. So, instead of cheese, top your salads with nuts; instead of mayonnaise on your sandwich, try avocado. These are simple swaps that won’t leave your tummy rumbling.

Embrace the idea of eating clean with open arms! Your body will be sure to thank you.

 

By Jenna Carda