What is Clean Eating?
Clean eating isn’t a diet, and it’s not about deprivation or limitation. In its simplest form, clean eating is a lifestyle that emphasizes selecting “whole foods” or “real foods” over highly processed foods. Here are some characteristics of “whole foods” that make them easily recognizable when you’re grocery shopping:
- They are close to the original state in which they are grown or raised
- They spoil faster than processed foods
- They’re things your great-grandparents would have recognized as food
- They don’t usually have ingredient lists or, if they do, the list should be short
- They’re often sold without packaging
- They’re typically found around the perimeter of the grocery store
3 Easy Tips for Clean Eating
- Simpler is better. When it’s not possible to eat foods in their completely unprocessed form, select foods as close to their true form as possible. For instance, choose peanut butter with no added oils, sweeteners or salt as opposed to brands packed with sugar, salt and added fat.
- Start easy. When you’re starting out, try adding fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes to what you’re already eating rather than cleaning out your pantry. Do you typically have oatmeal for breakfast? Great, now add a topping of blueberries, strawberries, bananas or apples. Sprinkle bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, zucchini or spinach over your favorite pizza. And if you’re having a burger, add a crisp salad on the side packed with veggies and spiked with beans or a whole grain for heartiness.
- Plan ahead. Having a meal plan for the week makes creating a clean-eating shopping list simple. The Whole Foods™ Diet has easy-to-follow weekly menus that cover breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, or take a look at some sample meal plans here.