Clean eating calls on us to change our way of living to improve our health. While many naysayers may try to label this way of eating as a tagline, fad or “a latest craze” diet, low carb clean eating continues to receive praises for its impact on people’s lives.
It challenges us to make healthier decisions about what it is we put into our mouths. It forces us to ask the hard question –am I eating processed food or that which comes from nature?
This way of life enables us to enjoy a plethora of health benefits including the prevention of heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Low-carb, clean eating can improve our mood and boost our energy levels.
What constitutes a “low-carb diet” may vary depending on who it is you ask. Eating Well suggests that at a minimum, you should aim for a minimum of 40 percent of your calories to come from carbs or 120 milligrams per day. This balance ensures that you maintain a healthy distribution of nutrients in your diet. Others will challenge you to aim for a lesser carb count, possibly around 80 milligrams per day.
Should you choose to embark on this method of eating, there are a few principles associated with low carb clean eating that you will need to consider.
Stick with Whole, Natural Foods
Your goal should be to stick with whole, natural foods or eating foods as close as possible to how they are in their original state while avoiding highly processed foods that come in a package, box, bag or can.
Clean eating experts remind us however that there are a few exceptions to this rule. Frozen veggies in a bag, for example, are not necessarily a bad thing. Also, your goal should be to eat whole, natural foods most of the time. The keyword here is most. In all likelihood, you will deviate from this standard voluntarily or involuntarily.
Go for the Unrefined Foods in Place of Refined Foods
If you are genuinely trying to stay in the low-carb zone, most carb-laden foods like rice or quinoa will be off limits to you. However, if you do decide step out of the low-carb lane from time to time, eat whole grain, unrefined foods like quinoa, amaranth, millet or brown rice and reduce your portions of these foods to keep the carb count low.
Shirataki rice or noodles may be another option for you if you are looking to eat rice or noodles that do not have any carbs. Prevention Magazine magazine suggests that if you do deviate from the hard rule of avoiding highly processed foods, make a conscious effort to choose the option of least processed food option.
Reduced Salt and Sugar Intake
When you choose to follow a low carb clean eating practice, you naturally reduce your salt and sugar intake. Your goal is to avoid foods that contain sugar and even those that claim to be sugar-free including cookies, cakes, sodas, diet drinks, and juices as much as possible.
Studies continue to show that sweeteners are not necessarily having the positive impact in the way of reduced sugar as once thought. Your best option will be to stay away from these foods or minimize your interaction with them. The great thing about following a low-carb diet is that it reduces your craving for sugar over time.
Avoid Artificial Ingredients
Clean eating encourages us to eat real food and banish the fake stuff which contains a bevy of additives, artificial colors, and preservatives. Again, stay with the mantra of eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Revisit Your Coffee and Tea Habit
If you are one who cannot drink a cup of coffee without a dash of sweetness and a splash of creamer, you may want to rethink your sugar habit. Over time, you should make it a goal to slowly decrease the frequency in which you add these condiments to your coffee.
Drink More Water
You may notice that your water intake will increase thanks in part to the requisite reduction of sodas and juices in the world of low carb clean eating. Increasing your water consumption will have several positive effects on your body including more energy and the sense of fullness. Not a fan of water?
There are several ways to give your water flavor. Try adding slices of citrus fruit like lemons or lime to your water for a bit of taste.
These are a few principles of low-carb clean eating. Take your time adopting this way of eating. Begin with slow changes. Sweeping changes can be overwhelming to establish a plan that allows for a gradual transition.