The latest buzz among health-conscious consumers involves adopting a clean diet. Eating clean involves changing your diet so that there’s a greater focus on whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, protein and healthy fats, and less reliance on processed or refined foods.
The basic idea of clean eating is to choose foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. The concept stresses healthy, whole, unprocessed foods. The benefits include reduced incidence of disease, increased quality of life, and a longer life expectancy, just to name a few.
Clean eating sounds like a no-brainer, but ditching donuts, pizza and mocha lattes can be a lot tougher than it sounds. Here are five ways to make clean eating a way of life:
- Eat more whole grains: Refined carbs, such as white bread, pasta, and rice, lose nutrients during the manufacturing process. Trade them for whole wheat bread and pasta and brown or wild rice. Or opt for other whole grains like oatmeal, popcorn, or barley. This change can have a big impact: Studies show that a diet high in whole grains can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer.
- Drink plenty of water: Water can curb your hunger and help you feel full, but it can also fend off fatigue and give you more energy. Miss flavored drinks? Try infusing your water with a slice of citrus or sprig of mint.
- Load up on fruits and veggies: Aim to get at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day, depending on the calories you need and your level of physical activity.
- Be smart about meat and dairy: Meat, dairy, and eggs you buy at the store may come from animals that get growth hormones and antibiotics. Clean eaters avoid them and choose organic or opt for local sources that raise animals humanely. The cleanest approach to protein? Get most of it from nuts, beans, and legumes.
- Watch out for salt and added sugar: Clean foods are naturally low in salt and sugar. Read food labels to look for added sweeteners and salt, even in foods that seem healthy, such as yogurt or tomato sauce. Also keep tabs on how much you add to your foods and drinks!
Before starting a new diet, it’s always prudent to check with your doctor. For a physical or if you are feeling ill, please call us at Prosperity Internal Medicine at 703-876-9300for an appointment. Our group uses the latest advances in medicine, offering our patients access to innovative health management technologies, proactive team-based care, and an evidence-based, patient-centered approach.