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September 15th 2021, 7:01 PM
By Perk Hero

4 Do’s & Don’ts Of Clean Eating

First of all, congratulations on wanting to take a more natural approach to food! 🌱🎉 You’ve probably heard of clean eating before, but not quite sure what it really means. Maybe you looked into it when you wanted to get healthier, or perhaps you’re trying to lose weight. Regardless of what your motivations are, we’re here to help!  

Clean eating is the practice of eating simple, nutrient-dense food in its most organic state. Although picking out ingredients and prepping them takes a lot more time than zapping a frozen dinner in the microwave, it has tons of benefits that your body will appreciate in the long run. 

In just a few weeks of eating clean, you might notice that you have more energy and focus throughout the day. Some people also experience less bloating as they pay attention to the amount of salt and sugar they consume. Clean eating can also set the foundation of wellness and prevent chronic health issues in the future. 

That said, many people are overwhelmed by clean eating because they don’t know where to start. Here are four tips and tricks to help you navigate the exciting world of eating wholesome food. 

Make A Habit Of Reading Food Labels

Let’s be honest—there’s no way to avoid supermarkets. So the next best thing to do is make reading nutrition labels and ingredients lists your second nature. 

These labels are required by Health Canada (the Canadian equivalent of the FDA) to present your food products’ entire contents and nutritional value. Sometimes, you might even be surprised by unnecessary ingredients and chemicals found in ‘healthy’ products that you love. 

The nutritional label tells you how many grams of fibre, protein, or fat you consume, giving you the option to cut down or increase as you see fit. This goes a long way in helping you maintain a diet and eat healthier. 

Don’t: Buy Products With Labels You Can’t Pronounce

As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t buy products with an unpronounceable ingredient (Butylated Hydroxyanisole, anyone?). Besides that, you shouldn’t buy products with commonly used additives and flavours like aspartame, xanthan gum, and monosodium glutamate. 

Instead, try shopping for products with a shorter ingredients list that almost always speaks to their organicness. For example, you can substitute your average potato chips with some nuts. Or better yet—the Arise n Go Simply Seasoned Lily Seeds

Made with only six ingredients, this delicious snack gives you the crunch and flavour without artificial flavours, sweeteners, and alcohol. Not only that, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties. 

Cut Down On Processed Foods

Bacon, sweets, and Kraft Dinners might be delicious, but do you know that they often contain more than the recommended daily amount of sugar, fats, and salt? Besides that, these highly processed foods also make it very difficult to keep track of your calories and may cause harmful long-term effects. 

That’s why one of the fundamentals of eating clean is to cut down on processed food. By opting for more organic choices, you’re taking full advantage of the natural vitamins and minerals in your food. Having high-fibre produce like vegetables and fruits can also go a long way in maintaining your physical and mental health

Don’t: Chuck All Your Processed Food

That said, some processed food can be convenient AND healthy. Frozen vegetables, for example, can be as healthy as fresh vegetables since they are harvested at their peak and snap-frozen quickly after to retain their nutritional value. On the flip side, fresh vegetables can become less nourishing as they lose nutrients to your local grocery store during long transports. 

You might also get more out of certain breakfast foods like fortified milk or healthy breakfast cereal. It’s important to remember that you might not be able to get rid of processed food completely. In that case, all you can do is focus on picking and choosing the right food for your body’s needs. 

Try To Maintain A Good Plant-Based Diet

You don’t need to go vegetarian or vegan immediately, but maintaining a plant-based diet does involve a lot of vegetables, seeds, nuts, spices, and fruits. 

A plant-based diet is very high in fibre, which helps move your digestive system along and makes you feel fuller and more satisfied. Not only that, but it’ll also lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic health problems. 

In terms of the environmental impact, practicing a plant-based diet helps reduce the carbon footprint from food packaging and transport. You’d also be able to explore your local market, support your local farmers, and even expand your palette by using seasonal produce! 

Don’t: Forget Your Proteins

Getting your daily intake of protein is super important, especially if you’re forgoing meat. We love this Organic Tara Protein Powder from Miski Organics since it gives you 23g of protein per serving. Vegan-friendly and packed with dietary fibre, this superfood delivers all your body needs to function optimally.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With Naturally

Many people have difficulties cutting out desserts and treats, which is no wonder since scientists suggest that sugar might be as addictive as cocaine. But don’t worry—nature offers plenty of sweetness to satiate your sweet tooth.

For one, honey is one of the most commonly found and versatile organic sugars that you must have in your kitchen. The liquid raw honey from Alberta’s MOB Honey is ‘ultra-unpasteurized’ with zero heat applied during the process. But if you’re looking for something more adventurous, this spicy honey blend packs a punch for any charcuterie board. With ethical beekeeping, no bees are harmed to bring honey to your table! 

Don’t: Succumb To Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners play a trick on your mind as food with artificial sweeteners often tastes better but with less nutritional value. That’s because they are created to satisfy a sweet craving without adding to your waistline. So, for the sake of your health, try to cut them out completely. 

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Perk Hero partners with many indie food brands across Canada that offer organic and clean snack options. But did you know that you’ll also save money when you shop on our platform? With every dollar you spend, you get extra cashback that you can use for your next purchase. Sign-up is free, so let us help you in your journey into clean eating today!