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Benefits of Clean Eating

written by: Fitnessmom • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 8/12/2010

The term "clean eating" refers to a lifestyle of eating foods that are healthy and nutritious. Learn how easy it can be to follow this new way to eat without dieting ever again! In keeping with this lifestyle, you will experience the true benefits of clean eating.

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    Benefits From Clean Eating

    One of the biggest benefits of clean eating, is the boost in energy you get from ditching junk food and eating healthier. Ever notice the days you have a burger and fries, then chase it down with a hot-fudge sundae, and feel sick just a short while later? That's your body telling you something. By making cleaner food choices, you feel and look better. Another of the benefits from clean eating is that it helps to prevent disease and inflammation in both the nervous and digestive systems. What food we put into our body directly affects how healthy our blood is, and how well we process food for nourishment. For those with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and fibromyalgia, eating clean is vital to living a longer, happier life.

    Lastly, but perhaps the most noticeable benefit, is the effect clean eating has on the outward appearance of the body. By making the decision to eat clean, you see your physique transform into a leaner, more limber frame. Lower back pain is diminished from the lack of belly fat that weakens the abdominal muscles, and knees and hips stop hurting from all that excess weight bearing down on the joints. Most of all, with this often comes the newfound self-confidence to be active again.

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    Clean and Simple

    Clean eating starts with buying foods that are nutritious and preferably fresh, free from being overly processed and full of extra additives. This means not adding butter and salt to all your foods, and instead using other alternatives such as natural seasonings to make food more flavorful. Here is a basic food list to help you to understand how to eat clean. Remember to buy fresh, raw fruits and vegetables whenever possible.

    • 100% Whole wheat Bread (includes muffins, tortillas, etc.)
    • Plain brown rice or wild rice (no instant or boxed varieties)
    • Whole wheat pasta
    • High protein, high fiber cereals
    • 100% Whole wheat or corn tortillas
    • Plain oatmeal
    • Oat bran
    • Wheat germ
    • Whole wheat crackers
    • Beans (drained if canned, low fat varieties)
    • All varieties of vegetables are great, greens are best
    • Sweet potatoes or yams
    • Red potatoes
    • All fruits are great, berries (especially blueberries) are best
    • Turkey breast extra lean (no skin)
    • Chicken breast (no skin)
    • Fish (all types, no breading)
    • Red meat, very lean only
    • Extra lean turkey bacon
    • Egg substitute or egg whites
    • Fat free milk. any type
    • Fat free/lowfat cheeses
    • Fat free/lowfat yogurt and cottage cheese
    • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • Canola oil
    • Avocados
    • Nuts - low salt or raw, almonds are best
    • Peppers all varieties
    • Fresh herbs are better, bottled herbs should be under 300 mg sodium

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    Balancing It Out

    Now that you have the proper list to clean eating, it's time to show you how to put it to use to get the full benefits of clean eating. Start by making it a habit to eat smaller meals (around 300-400 calories depending on size of individual), every two to three hours. This will increase energy, and keep your blood sugar from crashing throughout the day. Take care to balance out carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats at each of these meals. One simple way to do this is to have equal parts protein and carbohydrates, with the remaining calories from fats. By using these principles to changing your eating lifestyle, you can truly reap all the many benefits of clean eating.

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    References

    What's Fresh?-www.cleaneatingmag.com

    Total Nutrition: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need-from the Mount Sanai School of Medicine, 1995

    The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno, 2007