If you’re ready to start making healthier choices about what food you’re eating, knowing where to begin is often a challenge. There’s so much dieting advice out there telling you what to eat and what not to eat. And the advice doesn’t always agree, which just makes things more confusing.
One diet-style won’t work for everyone. With our different genetics, activity levels, ages, genders, it doesn’t make sense to say that we’d all need to eat the exact same foods or the same amounts of food. That’s why I advise people focus on eating foods with fewer chemicals and more nutrients that come from healthy sources. We call this “clean eating,” and it’s a good place to start your journey toward putting healthier food into your body.
Look For Healthy Swaps
Take a good look at what you’re eating now and see what you can swap for a healthier option. Foods that are heavily processed, full of sugar, contain refined grains, or have low nutritional value shouldn’t be making up a large part of your diet. It might help to keep a food diary while you work on tracking and changing your eating habits.
Making healthy changes doesn’t always mean giving up the foods you love. If you love hamburgers, for example, you don’t have to give them up. But instead of stopping for fast-food you can buy grass-fed beef, cook your own hamburger, then serve it on whole-grain bread with fresh vegetables for toppings and sides. Another example of a healthy swap is eating raw grapes instead of that packet of gummy snacks.
Focus On Plant Foods
Most Americans eat too much meat. You don’t have to swear-off meat or animal products like eggs and dairy in order to eat clean, but most of your nutrients should come from plant sources. Eating more vegetables and fruits is one of the most important changes you can make to your diet. Raw and lightly cooked plant foods are packed full of healthy nutrients. And the complex carbohydrates in fiber-rich green foods help keep you feeling full for longer.
Another change you’ll want to make involves the grains you eat. Refined grains might come from plants, but the refining process strips out most of the nutrients. Switch to whole grains for your breads, pastas, crackers, breakfast cereal, and any other foods that contain grain. Whole grains help keep your heart healthy, stabilize blood sugar levels, and control weight. Click here for four easy tips to get you eating more whole grains.
Check Out The Food’s Source
Where a food comes from is often a good indication of whether or not it qualifies as “clean.” Man-made ingredients like artificial colors, sweeteners, and preservatives don’t belong in a healthy diet. Foods shouldn’t come from a lab. And, in general, the closer a food is to its natural form the better. Eggs from free-range chickens are better than eggs from hens kept in cages. Local, organic fruits and veggies are better than conventionally grown produce with pesticide residue.
At Crucial FOUR, we take this approach to our products as well. All too often, vitamin and diet supplements don’t come from natural sources and they’re not in the best form for your body to process. But we’re not selling traditional “supplements” — we’re selling the most powerful super-foods on the planet packaged in a form that’s easy for you to add to your diet. And we carefully select foods that will help you fill in the nutrition gaps that a typical modern diet leaves in your life. Check out our store for a full selection of our healthy, clean-eating products.