9 Tenets of Clean Eating and How to Adjust to This Lifestyle

The clean eating lifestyle is a simple, nutritionally sound way of eating that can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, increase energy, and prevent diseases correlated to diet.

Eating whole foods is the best way to get a healthy combination of micronutrients and fiber, which work in tandem to keep you sated for longer than processed, refined foods do. There are some yet-to-be-identified nutrients that exist in whole foods that aren't present in vitamins or supplements, so the only way to reap the benefits of these mysterious phytonutrients are to chew them in their natural form. 

A whole-foods lifestyle can even help cut down on junk food cravings.

The bottom line: If you feel good, you're more likely to be active, and take better care of yourself and your loved ones. Here's what you need to know to start a clean eating lifestyle.

Tenets of Clean Eating

Choose natural foods: Buy foods that appear as close to nature as possible. Some clean eating enthusiasts might argue that dairy should be off the menu, but you can opt to eat organic dairy with minimal ingredient lists (milk, enzymes, salt). Purists might also say that eating anything that comes in a jar, can or plastic bag is a no-no, but if you need to purchase convenience items such as canned beans, make sure to read labels carefully, and select items with short ingredient lists that preferably come in BPA-free containers.

More: Organic Foods: Better, Safer, More Nutritious?

Minimize processed foods: You don't have to eliminate all processed foods like natural cheeses or whole-wheat pasta, but try to select products that include ingredients you can pronounce.

Choose unrefined foods as much as possible, and eliminate refined sugar: Incorporate whole grains such as millet, quinoa and farro over processed grains, like multi-grain dried pasta, when possible. Read food labels carefully, and you'll realize how much added sugar, salt and fat there is in the majority of foods available on grocery store shelves.

More: Active Cookbook: Healthy Carbs for Endurance Athletes

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