Q:

What is "clean eating"?

A:

Quick Answer

Clean eating is a lifestyle that opts for natural, whole, unprocessed foods over processed foods. Clean eating meals are smaller than traditional meals, are scheduled at two- to three-hour intervals and always include a small portion of protein.

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Full Answer

Select foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Avoid food that comes out of cans, bottles, boxes or packaging. Most ingredients should be fresh or dehydrated naturally.

Clean eating involves choosing unprocessed foods. For example, brown rice and steel-cut oats are preferable to white rice and instant oatmeal. Unrefined sweeteners are preferable to white sugar. Use honey or agave syrup to sweeten recipes. Avoid refined carbohydrates such as breads, pasta and pastries. Don't eat foods with high fat or sugar content. If possible, choose organic produce and organic, free-range meats. Include healthy fats from plant and fish sources, such as avocados and salmon.

Watch portion sizes carefully. A portion of meat is no larger than a deck of cards and a portion of complex carbs is no larger than a double handful. Plan each small meal so that approximately one-third of it is protein and two-thirds are complex carbohydrates.

Clean eating also means drinking plenty of clear water and green tea with meals. Coffee is acceptable as long as it doesn't contain dairy or white sugar. Try to prepare meals ahead of time, and eat at regularly scheduled intervals. This helps keep blood sugar levels steady and the body's metabolism rate up.

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