Clean eating is a current term for a long-standing movement. Many people believe that cleaning up the way we eat increases health benefits and energy levels.

The earliest signs of this trend began in the 1960’s and were visible in the health food stores that cropped up. Now, mainstream society has caught on to putting an emphasis on eating organic, whole foods, and cutting back on sugar.

What can clean eating do for you? Find out what foods to eat and how to eat them.

Benefits of Clean Eating

1. Take good care of your health. Intelligent food choices reduce your risk of disease, including heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers. You’ll also keep your body fit and strong.

2. Lose weight. Empty calories will cause weight gain, especially as we grow older. Healthy, nutrient-dense foods can help you eat less.

3. Enjoy flexibility. It’s difficult to stick to diets with a long list of forbidden foods. Clean eating lets you enjoy all different kinds of flavors and cuisines.

4. Eating healthy, whole foods also protects the environment. Clean eating is good for the planet as well as for those who inhabit it. Do your part to promote a sustainable food supply with green practices, such as buying local and choosing organic produce.

What to Eat

1. Switch to organic whole foods. Get most of your calories from foods in their natural state. Opt for brown rice instead of white. Consider a snack consisting of fresh fruit or vegetables instead of fruit-flavored cereal bars that are loaded with sugar.

2. Focus on eating vegetables and fruits with each meal. Aim for at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. It’s easier to do if you plan snacks and meals around soups, salads, and stir-fries.

3. Consuming healthy fats is not considered part of a healthy diet. The types of fats you eat may be more important than the volume. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as omega-3s, are good for your heart and brain when you consume them in moderation.

4. Spread out the protein. Beans, fish, and lean cuts of meat that are preferably grass-fed beef or free-range chicken are excellent sources of protein. Your body breaks down protein more effectively when you eat small portions more frequently, rather than saving it all for dinner.

5. Drink alcohol responsibly. Fancy cocktails are often loaded with sugar and calories. On the other hand, a single glass of wine provides antioxidants and other important health benefits.

6. Stay hydrated. Our bodies need water even more urgently than food. The old saying about drinking 8 glasses a day is still a good rule of thumb.

How to Eat

1. Make time for breakfast. Start the day with a hearty breakfast. If you’re in a rush, pick something you can eat on the go, like a smoothie with yogurt, kale, and berries.

2. Read labels. Perhaps you rely on some convenience foods in order to juggle your busy schedule, family responsibilities, and busy travel. Make the best of your situation by learning to pay attention to nutrition labels. High-quality protein powder may be a good option when you are on the go. Frozen dinners high in salt and saturated fat may be a choice you want to eliminate from your daily dietary consumption.

3. Control portions. Almost any food can be adapted for clean eating. If you love bacon, choose lower fat versions, like turkey or Canadian bacon, and limit how much you eat. Asparagus lovers can indulge all they want, as long as they go easy on the butter.

4. Learn to cook. Preparing your own meals gives you more control over what you put in your body and will save you money also. Browse online for easy to use recipes, such as salads made with various veggies and chicken, or quick dinners with eggs and a variety of leftovers.

Makeover your diet with clean eating. Choose organic natural foods, and steer clear of artificial ingredients. You’ll look and feel better, and you may even live longer with a higher quality of life.