What Exactly is Clean Eating?

I'm sure you've heard the phrase 'clean eating' – it's something of a buzzword in the health community at the moment. So I wanted to write a blog post to clear up any confusion as to what clean eating really is.

At its core, 'clean eating' is really just another term for healthy eating – it's not another fad diet or quick fix. It involves eating whole, fresh, 'clean' foods which are free from chemicals and other additives. Refined white bread, pasta, sweets and cakes are out and plenty of fresh fruit and veg, lean meats, grains, legumes and nuts are in!

Want to start eating clean? Here are a few simple guidelines to consider on your next shopping trip.

Fruits and Vegetables
Eating food which has come straight from nature, without being processed in any way, is the best way to be healthy. Buy plenty of fresh fruit and veg - organically grown is best, but don't worry if you can't afford this. Obviously it's better to eat non-organic vegetables than no vegetables at all.

If you eat meat, venture down to your local butcher where you'll be able to purchase cuts of real meat - none of these packaged meat 'products' from the supermarket (you never know what else is in them). Your butcher will be more than happy to cut, dice or grind your meat for you if you ask.

Eat grains that are 'complete', not ones which have been tampered with by humans and stripped of all their nutrients. You should be eating brown rice, whole wheat flour and other whole grains including quinoa (technically a seed), barley, millet and buckwheat.

Stock up on legumes such as beans, lentils and chickpeas. These are all great choices for a clean eating plan as they've come straight from nature and have hardly been messed with at all.

Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are extremely beneficial to the human body - they offer protein, healthy fats and a wealth of vitamins and minerals. There's such a huge variety out there that you're sure to find at least a few you like. Just make sure to buy them plain and not covered in salt or other flavourings.

Read Labels
Most of the food you buy shouldn't have a label because it should be fresh, whole produce. However, if you do buy something in a packet, read the nutrition label well. If the product has more than four ingredients, don't buy it. If it has any words you don't recognise or can't pronounce, put it back on the shelf. These are usually chemicals produced in a lab – not something you should be putting into your body if you want to keep it clean.

Are you a fan of clean eating? Leave a comment and let me know how much fresh food you usually buy.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
All You Need to Know About the Paleo Diet