The Eat Clean Diet is all about eating unprocessed, natural foods in moderate portion sizes in five to six mini meals each day. Knowing which foods you should and shouldn’t eat is pretty easy. Anything processed and high in fat or sugar is off limits–say goodbye to fast food and all of the packaged goodies on the inner aisles of the grocery store. For clarity, here are foods that you’ll need to avoid on the Eat Clean Diet.
1. Soda and Carbonated Beverages
Looking for empty calories? Look no further than soda and other sugar-laded carbonated drinks. At an average of 120 calories and nearly seven teaspoons of refined sugar per can, there isn’t anything nutritionally redeeming about consuming soda. It’s no wonder people lose weight and have more energy when they cut soda from their diets! Stick to water.
2. French Fries
French fries are another contender for a food with no nutritional value. Say hello again to empty calories. At least when you eat a cheeseburger from your local drive through you’re getting some protein, iron and fiber. The same can’t be said for fries. The one thing they deliver on is mass amounts of saturated and trans fats–two of the key things you should be avoiding at all costs. The next time you have a fast food craving, skip the fries and opt for a healthier side instead, like a side salad or a yogurt cup.
3. Processed Meats
The Eat Clean Diet stresses the importance of consuming adequate amounts of protein, but only in lean forms like chicken breast, turkey meat, fish and beans. Processed meats, like bacon, hot dogs and bologna, have no place in this diet. These meats are high in animal fat, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Fortunately, you have enough lean meat choices to keep you from consuming these fattier kinds.
4. Sugary Cereals
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You’re not doing yourself any favors by consuming the empty calories found in sugary cereals. Instead, choose a cereal that contains little sugar and more fiber and whole grains.
Do you see a trend starting here? If refined sugar is one of the key ingredients, it has no place in the Eat Clean Diet. Candy has little, if anything, by way of nutritional value. You’re much better off eating a small piece of fruit or a handful of almonds mid afternoon than you are hitting up the candy bowl. Save yourself the calories–and cut back on the sugar.
6. Fake Fruit Juices
When you’re purchasing fruit juice, read the label very carefully. Many juices claiming to have “real fruit juice” actually contain more high fructose corn syrup and refined sugars than anything else. Again, you’re consuming nothing but empty calories and loads of sugar. You’re better off eating a piece of fruit than consuming a juice. If juice is one of your favorites, consider purchasing a juicer and making your drinks at home.