fiveThere are so many ways to make clean eating part of your daily routine and lifestyle for the New Year. There are varying degrees of strictness when it comes to maintaining a “clean” diet, but in this blog we will focus on 5 simple ways to clean up your diet in general. These steps are easy to remember and can make a world of difference in your overall health, energy level, and fitness goals. At first, these changes may be difficult to make, especially if you particularly struggle with one of the food groups mentioned. However, as time goes on you will find that these goals are not only worth pursuing, but are also worth every ounce of energy and determination you’ll use to achieve them.

How to Make Your Goal of Clean Eating a Reality

1. Swap Fats

Let’s be honest. Saturated fat is usually our favorite fat. It’s found in products like butter, cheese, and milk and can cause a rise in cholesterol. You do need a certain amount of fat in your diet, but getting the unsaturated version from plant sources, rather than the saturated fat in animal sources, is a wise choice.

2. Don’t Let Processed Foods Make the Cut

Clean eating can be defined in a variety of ways. But one consistent focus of any clean eating plan is the avoidance of highly processed foods. The reason? These foods contain loads of unhealthy ingredients like too much salt, sugar, trans fat, and artificial ingredients. When you are grocery shopping, avoid products that come in boxes and cans and instead opt for their whole food counterparts.

3. Give Salt its Proper Place

Salt tends to show up in high amounts in most processed foods, so if you adhere to tip #2 you will be winning a major part of this battle already. Americans consume much more salt than the human body needs. This consumption is linked with increased heart problems and various other avoidable health issues. When preparing food, add only small amounts of salt when necessary. The great thing about this ingredient is that a little goes a long way. The truth is, most of our taste buds just need to be re-adjusted!

4. Drink More Water

Water is vital to our bodies’ natural functions and should be on hand constantly. Sadly, many of us do not consume nearly the amount of water that our bodies are really craving. Eating clean can simply start with the purchase of a nice, sturdy, glass water bottle that will encourage you to drink more of this good stuff throughout the day.

5. Start With VegetablesStart With Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables have so many great benefits to offer those looking to enhance their diets. For one thing, they taste great and there are so many to choose from. But let’s not forget the more important part – they’re packed with phytonutrients that help our bodies run better! A simple way to implement this tip is to begin meals with vegetable as the main dish and work from there rather than the typical approach of letting meat, starch, or grain play the main role at dinner time.

We hope these healthy eating tips have inspired you to make the necessary adjustments to your diet in 2014! Remember, many of the foods you love are still fine… as long as they’re in moderation!