You’ve probably heard a lot about why clean eating is important—the benefits range from disease prevention and extra energy to better moods, increased memory, restful sleep, and a whole lot more. Even your feet get a nice boost, as cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and nerve health are critical for healthy, happy feet.
But clean eating is about a whole lot more than just eating a few vegetables every day. It’s a comprehensive approach to diet and lifestyle that replaces processed and refined foods with healthier alternatives. It doesn’t mean you have to totally give up great-tasting food and eat kale all day, but it does mean that you have to be both knowledgeable and intentional about what you’re putting into your body.
Here are some handy basics to get you eating cleaner and living healthier:
Opt For Whole Foods Over Processed
Choose an apple over applesauce, fresh strawberries over preserves, fresh fruit over canned, fresh poultry and meat over deli-sliced, etc. Although moderately processed foods (such as applesauce or orange juice) containing natural ingredients can still be chosen from time to time, that extra processing step almost always removes some of the original nutritional value and may add salt or other preservatives that aren’t so good for you. Generally speaking, the closer you can get to the food’s natural state, with fewer steps between the farm and your table, the better.
Know What Your Food Has Been Fed
The quality of nutrition that meat and dairy animals receive directly affects the quality of nutrition you receive from them. Beef from grass-fed, free-range cows has more nutrients and healthier fats than that of their grain-fed, factory-farmed brethren. Likewise, pasture-raised eggs have significantly less saturated fat and significantly more Vitamin A and healthy omega-3s than eggs from coop-raised chickens (even those claiming to be “fortified” in omega-3s).
Whenever Possible, Cook Your Own Meals
We know that making your own meals from scratch sounds like a daunting task for many, but it’s really not that hard! There are plenty of great recipes made from fresh, whole components that can be prepared in just minutes; in fact, most fresh food doesn’t really need much work at all, beyond chopping and cooking or sautéing. Plus, there’s no denying that a soup built from scratch tastes better than one heated from a can.
Eat More Frequent, Smaller Meals
Having one big lunch and one big dinner may be the local tradition, but it can result in wild swings in energy and tempt you to reach for that unhealthy between-meal snack. Instead, opt for five or six small meals throughout the day. You won’t be as hungry, your metabolism will be stronger and more active, and you’ll be better at avoiding and resisting sudden cravings.
Why You Should Care
Few, if any, things have the power to change your life for the better like a healthy diet: we are, literally, what we eat. Clean eating can help you maintain a healthy body weight and prevent future disease. If you haven’t been feeling well, there’s a good chance cleaner eating can restore your previous health and energy levels. Energy levels, fatigue, digestive health, immune system health, brain functioning, and more are tied to diet, and in many cases, making a lifestyle change now will have a much greater affect than going on medication later.
For more foot, ankle, and whole body health tips, please read our blogs and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Pinterest. For help with any foot or ankle issues, contact Victoria L. Melhuish, DPM to set up an appointment, we're always available to serve Carson City, Gardnerville, Minden, and Reno patients. You can reach us online, or by dialing (775) 783-8037.