Clean eating is a lifestyle trend that has been growing in popularity over the past few years. Clean eating focuses on whole, unrefined foods rather than pre-cooked or processed alternatives.
The alternatives tend to have much of their nutritional value removed as a result of making them last longer or cost less. Does your diet consist mostly of fast food or instant meals? Here are a few of the things you can gain by adopting a clean eating lifestyle.
A Healthier Heart
Many whole foods can have a positive impact on your heart health. Nuts are high in heart-healthy nutrients such as vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Almonds are particularly high in monounsaturated fats, which help lower the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.
Whole grains such as brown rice, oats, or whole wheat bread are also great sources of fiber, which helps your body to process cholesterol. However you do it, lowering your blood cholesterol levels lowers your risk of heart disease.
Less Risk of Diabetes
Sugar tastes great. Which is unfortunate, because it’s not a healthy part of your diet. Sugar provides what are called “empty calories,” meaning that it offers no nutritional value other than calories.
Regularly eating too much sugar can also cause your body to build up an insulin resistance. This means that your cells are more resistant to insulin’s normal effect of transferring glucose into them from the bloodstream. Insulin resistance can contribute to the development of disorders including metabolic disorder and type II diabetes.
Processed foods have a high glycemic index, which means that they are broken down quickly by your body. They give you a sudden, short-term burst of energy due to the spike in your blood glucose levels. However, these sudden bursts also mean sudden declines, which has the potential to leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued.
Clean foods, on the other hand, tend to have a lower glycemic index. This means that they take longer for your body to break down and are a more stable source of energy over a longer period of time.
Expand Your Horizons
When you plan a menu around packaged or pre-prepared meals, you take some of the freedom out of your menu choices. It may not seem like this is the case, since there are so many different flavors and varieties of these packaged meals to choose from. But, there are countless recipes available from sources like cookbooks, cooking magazines and food-related websites. Look for recipes that stick to whole foods as much as possible.
Clean eating is all about getting the nutrients that your body needs without taking in extras which may be harmful. Eating clean can help reduce the risk of kidney damage, heart disease, type II diabetes and a stroke. Whole ingredients may be a bit more expensive, but the resulting health benefits are well worth the extra cost.