As you begin your journey of learning to live a more natural and holistic life, you will be much more aware of what you put in your body. Today, there are so many processed foods that contain chemicals, additives, MSG, and so much more. Take a look at your favorite snack and see if you know half of the ingredients there. If you don’t, then it’s time to rethink your diet. If you’re just starting your clean eating journey, here’s how to eat clean for beginners.
How to Eat Clean for Beginners: Know the Different Types of Food Additives
Let’s learn how to start eating clean by understanding what food additives might be in your food. This knowledge will tell you which direction to go.
Let us look closely at the ingredients of any processed food you eat, specifically for some of these ingredients:
High-fructose corn syrup
This is a type of food additive that makes your food sweeter. Corn syrup is used in foods that are already sweet.
For example, some store-bought pre-made chicken salad contains high fructose corn syrup. But this dish should be naturally sweet with the cranberries and apples used.
You’re putting those extra sugars in your body. We also won’t be able to appreciate the natural sweetness of the food we love when we always eat foods with sweeteners. So, next time you want to buy something, make sure there’s no high fructose corn syrup.
Nitrates and nitrites
These food additives are found in deli meats and other processed meats. This preservative helps keep the food fresher longer, and it also gives it the salty flavor you want.
Do you love pepperoni or other cured meats? Then, know that most of them contain nitrates and nitrites. The issue with these food additives is that they have been linked to a higher risk of certain cancers. It also affects higher cholesterol and is not a healthy or necessary additive.
Look at those cheesy fries you have there. Looks good, right? Did you know that this all-time favorite contains food coloring?
Look out for artificial food coloring in your food, yet another unnecessary ingredient often used in processed foods. All it does is change the color and brightness of food to make it look more appealing, but there is no reason to use it.
You might see ingredients like Yellow 6 or Red 40, which are just food dyes.
When to Choose a Clean and Lean Diet
Now that you understand what chemicals and artificial ingredients are added to our food, you might be eager to start practicing how to eat clean for beginners.
Many people may claim that their harvest is cheaper and organic, but how sure are you that they are organic? Without us knowing, we’re eating fruits and vegetables with most pesticides, and we have to stop it.
We need to know how to check if we’re buying organic. Here are some tips to take note of.
The dirty dozen
How familiar are you with the dirty dozen and the clean 15?
There is a list known as the dirty dozen that includes 12 fruits and vegetables that tend to contain more pesticides. If you can purchase these organic, that would be better.
The dirty dozen include spinach, kale, strawberries, grapes, cherries, peaches, apples, nectarines, celery, pears, potatoes, and tomatoes.
How clean is the skin?
Here’s a trick. One of the easiest ways to choose what produce you could buy organic is if you will eat the skin. For example, bananas get peeled, which means it doesn’t need to be purchased organic if you are on a budget.
But fruits and vegetables like apples and pears, you typically do eat the skin, so in this case, it might be better to choose the organic option.
Eggs, meat, and fish
Aside from produce, it is also a good idea to go organic. By eating fresh and organic, you’re sure that you are not putting your family in harm’s way.
Go for trusted vendors of farm-fresh and pasture-raised things like eggs, meat, poultry, and fish.
How to eat organic on a budget
Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of sticking to a budget. This allows you to have extra money for other areas of your new holistic living journey.
Remember that if you can’t afford some organic food, don’t worry too much about it. You can find different healthy alternatives.
What matters is that you’re aware of what you’re eating and that you have started learning how to eat clean for beginners. Love yourself and eat right.