Six Basic Rules of Clean Eating
Maybe a new raw cafe has sprung up in your neighbourhood. Or you’ve read about actresses Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow being fans. Or you’ve been following a food blogger on Instagram. You may have noticed that clean eating is gaining a bit of traction.
When we say clean eating, we don’t mean washing the nectarine you just bought at the fruit stall. The foundation of clean eating is choosing foods that are closest to their natural state. That means having fresh fruit instead of juice and whole grains rather than white bread, for instance.
Clean eating is about making choices that promote optimum long-term health for your body. The occasional indulgence is fine. But cleaning up your daily diet is one of the best moves you can make to benefit your long-term health.
Getting clean might mean tweaking what you’re already doing, or it might require you to turn over a whole new leaf. In either case, here are six clean eating rules to bear in mind:
- Stop with the processed food
One of the easiest ways to get started is to replace processed grub with natural, or minimally processed foods. The rule of thumb is, if it grows out of the ground or is raised on a farm, it’s clean. Fresh fruit and vegetables; meat, fish and raw nuts and seeds are all clean foods.
And if you can, go organic. It’s the cleanest kind of food you can get, on account of it being grown without the use of pesticides, insecticides, chemical fertilisers, or growth hormones.
- Skip the added sugars
If your taste buds have been overloaded by sugar in the past, it’s time to clean things up. Natural sugar from fruit is what you’re looking for on a clean-eating plan, while the two-heaped spoonful’s you have in your tea (three times a day) is not.
Start being fastidious about reading labels and skipping added sugars wherever possible.
- Keep an eye on the salt
We all know that too much salt is a bad thing. But as with sugar, salt is one of those ingredients that manages to sneak its way into all sorts of foods we eat every day, like cottage cheese, bread, and cereal.
The worst culprits for added salt are processed and pre-packaged foods. But you also need to keep an eye on the amount of salt you add to your food at the dinner table, to beat bloat and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and more.
- Swap white for brown
Eating clean does not restrict specific foods per se, but making the switch means exchanging some larder staples for their healthier cousins. Refined grains such as white bread, white rice, and white pasta are considered ‘dirty’ foods. Their clean equivalents are 100% whole grain bread, brown rice, and 100% whole grain pasta. And as its illegal to advertise a product as ‘whole grain’ if it’s only 50% whole grain, all you need to do is check the label. The increase in fibre that’ll result from skipping refined grains could help you reach the 25-38 grams of fibre you should be getting in your diet every day.
- Cut Back on the caffeine
One cup of high-quality coffee is approved on most clean-eating plans, but you need to resist the urge to chain-drink it. Too much caffeine can mess with your energy and anxiety levels and undo all the hard work you’re putting in with your clean food choices.
If you must, sub in your second cup for a green tea to stay on course.
- Cook at home
Most meals from restaurants, takeaways, and supermarkets are high in sugar and made with processed ingredients. The great thing about home cooked food is you choose exactly what goes into your food and body. This is the best way to ensure you’re eating clean.
7. Have a massage
You don’t have to stop at eating clean. Why not add therapeutic massage to your clean lifestyle? At Castle Thai Spa, we offer a wide range of natural treatments, from massages to facials, that will complement your clean eating habits, while boosting your physical and mental health. Call us on 0131 629 0794.