A typical American diet is loaded with sugar, fat, and sodium, which often leads to high blood pressure, low energy, and an unhealthy digestive system. The best way to reduce your risk for many diseases and health issues is to choose natural and minimally processed foods. We call it “eating clean.”
The Benefits of Clean Eating
Eating clean is about choosing the least processed, most nutrient-dense foods available to you. This means choosing fresh foods over boxed alternatives. A clean diet focuses on choosing foods that are high in fiber and loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. Eating the least processed foods helps control blood sugar, stabilizes energy, and provides your body with sufficient amounts of fiber to help with digestion.
Clean foods, unlike processed foods, are also loaded with natural enzymes that aid digestion. They help decrease inflammation and improve circulation, which encourages the body to remove waste. These foods are also high in fiber, which is needed to maintain a healthy digestive system.
These foods give you more of the nutrients your body and mind needs to move, heal, function and think with less of the things that can wear us down, or negatively affect our weight or health. Many packaged products are loaded with chemicals and hard-to-pronounce ingredients. If you can’t decipher the ingredients, why put it in your body?
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is a key part of the clean eating lifestyle. While it would be ideal to eat the freshest foods all the time, no one has a perfect diet. Adopting the 80/20 rule gives you guidelines for how to eat your healthiest while leaving room to indulge on occasion. The rule simply requires that 80 percent of the time, you eat clean, nutrient-dense foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, minimally processed high fiber starches, lean protein, and healthy fats like nuts, seeds and avocado. The other 20 percent of the time, eat the foods you enjoy and celebrate the great taste of food. Have a drink with friends, a sweet treat, or your favorite takeout.
Following the 80/20 rule is a great way to establish habits for more sustainable energy and a healthier lifestyle. By allowing yourself to enjoy the foods you crave, you’re less likely to have major cravings that send you on an unhealthy eating binge.
Learn more about fueling your body with clean eating. Visit the Customer Service Desk and schedule a consultation with Mercy Fitness Center’s Registered Dietitian, Justin Klein. Proper nutrition is one of the EXOS 4 Pillars of good health, and now you can ask Justin your nutrition questions at no cost to you the first Monday of each month. Call or come by the Customer Service Desk for details.
Courtesy of EXOS