How to Improve Your Health Through Clean Eating
Clean eating is the healthy alternative to the traditional, industrialized, highly processed and unhealthy diets we have grown up eating. It is all about eating natural foods in their most natural state. It is about choosing healthy, fresh foods in their most natural form. It is about eating wholesome, nutritious foods from natural, sustainable sources. The food pyramid is one way to describe this concept.
What is clean eating?
Cleaning up your eating is not just about your diet. It’s a way of life that relies on whole foods, minimally processed ingredients and avoids chemicals and harmful additives.
It improves your immunity and fights cravings, while helping you lose unhealthy fat and keeping your body fit and healthy.
Whether you want to lose weight or improve your health, a clean diet helps you achieve both. All you have to do is make a few changes to the way you cook.
Remember, this is a step-by-step process and needs a change in lifestyle.
What is a food pyramid?
Because food needs vary with age and activity level, a good diet should include a variety of foods that satisfy each person’s nutritional needs. The foods on the food pyramid are a good place to start. The foods on the food pyramid are balanced and not overly restrictive, as they are easily incorporated into most people’s lifestyles.
The original food pyramid was designed to encourage children to eat a varied diet and to get regular physical activity. The items included were white bread, brown bread, rice, cereal, margarine, whole milk, butter, milk, sugar, salt, fruit juice, and apples, pears, and oranges.
The new version of the food pyramid is intended for both adults and children and is especially helpful for parents who are struggling to make food choices for their children. The updated food pyramid replaces foods like cereal and sugar with foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry, and nuts.
What are the advantages of clean eating?
A clean diet includes fresh foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and fish. It also includes foods that are minimally processed and have a limited number of ingredients.
Clean eating doesn’t include anything that isn’t organic, non-GMO, or grass fed. Eating a clean diet is a healthy way to manage weight and help to improve your overall health.
– Improves your health, saves you money and helps you to lose weight.
– An eating plan that allows you to eat all the healthy, natural, wholesome foods you want, without eliminating any food groups. It is a healthy eating plan for all ages, genders, and body types.
– Essential for a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy spirit.
– Helps you to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
– Helps you to lose weight, get more energy, and reduce your risk of diseases like diabetes.
What are different types of diets?
– Whole food diet: Emphasizes whole (fresh) foods (fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and other foods found in their natural state) as much as possible.
– High-protein diet: Builds and repairs muscle, helps the body to lose excess fat, maintains a healthier heart, and enhances brain functions.
– Low-carb diet: Improves your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, reduces your appetite, boosts weight loss and lowers your triglycerides.
– Paleo diet: Prioritizes whole, real foods, not highly processed foods that are stripped of all their natural nutrients. It’s basically a way of eating that follows the eating patterns of our ancestors.
– Regular diet: Sticking to your original diet based on geography, availability and genetic factors. For instance if you live in the northern parts of India, a grain-based diet makes sense. And if you live down south, a rice-based diet is more practical. In short, moderation is key when it comes to eating.
What constitutes a healthy diet?
A healthy diet consists of a wide variety of foods, ranging from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish to dairy, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy products, and fresh or frozen low-fat or fat-free foods.
There’s no single diet that can be considered ideal. Having said that, there is a broad consensus on what constitutes a healthy diet.
– It provides all the vitamins and minerals you need.
– It means consuming more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
– It contains plenty of fiber, which makes you feel full for longer.
– It means avoiding processed foods, which are loaded with sugars and artificial ingredients
– It means consuming whole foods.
What are some foods to avoid?
Processed foods are full of sugars, fats and salt you don’t need. They lull you into a state of inertia where you cannot differentiate between good food and bad. Some foods you must consume in moderation are given below:
– Fried foods
– White bread
– Canned foods
– Canned fruits and vegetables
– Processed fruits and vegetables
– Sugary drinks
– Dairy products
What about stored food?
Ideally, you should not stock up on food items, barring a few exceptions. But we are living in a less-than-ideal pandemic-ravaged world. Your mobility is restricted and supplies are erratic. And you could do with a little less exposure to crowded places like supermarkets and grocery stores if you can help it.
But you would also want to ensure your family gets their quota of nutrients. Storing food can be tricky because not all healthy foods can be stored for extended periods of time. For example, nuts and seeds are great sources of protein and healthy fats. However, their shelf life varies greatly between regions. So pay attention to expiration dates.
How to safely store and use food for clean eating?
Grains: Grains are a favourite of insects and rodents. As they tend to absorb moisture and other odours, they should be stored in airtight jars and kept in a cool, dark, dry place.
Oils: Coconut oil and ghee are best stored in cool, dry places with little temperature fluctuation. This helps maintain taste, smell and quality of the fats.
Herbs & Spices: Spices have been a part of Indian diets for centuries. Their medicinal properties are well documented to elaborate in this article.
Vegetables: Always go for fresh ones, make sure you wash them clean of pesticides. Don’t overcook vegetables because they lose their nutrients.
Fruits: Go for seasonal fruits. Again wash them thoroughly to get rid of the chemicals. Always eat fruits on an empty stomach for maximum benefits. Diabetics should avoid mangoes, cherries, and grapes and instead go for low-sugar varieties like the Blackberries and raspberries.
Healthy Snacks: Make sure your snacks are unjunked, they are free of refined sugar, maida and trans-fat.
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