The single biggest factor that impacts your health is what you put in your body…
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and chronic disease and pain are all associated with a poor diet and dietary choices.
But instead of worrying so much about a growing list of good and bad foods, there is an easier way to know what foods you should be eating to avoid disease — and which could put you in an early grave…
All you have to do is focus on “clean eating.” But what does that really mean…
The basic premise is to stop polluting your body with toxic and health damaging consumables, and to add more health preserving and rejuvenating things in their place.
Makes sense, right?
Clean eating includes staying hydrated with plenty of clean, fresh water and avoiding beverages that are dehydrating and potentially toxic with extra sugars, sweeteners, elevated levels of alcohol and chemicals in them.
Clean eating also requires one to stop consuming all foods sprayed with toxic herbicides and pesticides. Additionally, forgoing foods with a long shelf life which requires chemical preservatives to accomplish. Those foods with hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils and trans fats, sugar, artificial colors should also be avoided. Packaged foods that are ok include organic broths, grains, rice and the like which have not been preserved with dangerous chemicals or are in a form close to their original nature.
In general, eat the organic and fresh fruits and vegetables and proteins on the outer walls of the grocery store that require refrigeration or have a short lifespan. Consuming foods as close to their original source and original form is generally a safe bet for clean eating.
Keep hydrated with water
Water is essential to life and plenty of fresh, clean water will help keep you clean on the inside. Water is needed in digestion, removal of toxins via sweat and the organs need it to help move waist through the system. Many don’t drink enough fluids in the first place, and to make it worse they consume too many beverages with high sugar, high fructose corn syrup or other chemical colors or preservatives in them.
Whatever you do, ditch the sodas. A recent study tested the hypothesis that soda may actually age you as much as smoking!
If you want to be healthy and pursue clean eating, then consuming fresh water is the first and most important step.
Avoid highly processed foods
A first big step is to avoid highly processed foods. Processed foods are easy to spot in their packages in the middle isles of the store, and include crackers, cookies, instant oatmeal, white flour, sugar, and the like. These foods are high in disease-causing calories and more.
Dangerous over-processed foods also include meats like luncheon meats, hot dogs and those holiday sausages that seem to last forever. One of the most alarming findings from a review of over 800 scientific studies was that eating 50 grams of processed meat daily increases your risk of colon cancer by a whopping 18 percent. If you’re eating a hot dog or BLT (with four strips of bacon) every day, this statistic applies to you. And in other studies, processed meat has been linked to an increased risk of an early death from all causes.
Consume more whole foods
Replace those refined foods for whole foods, including fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, potatoes, grains and organic lean animal proteins. Steel cut oatmeal is a great replacement for the instant, over refined version. Whole grain breads are a healthier choice than their refined white and wheat varieties. You’ll be amazed at what these better eating choices will do for you.
Less sugar, more fiber
As I wrote in a more detailed article on fiber here, fiber is unique because our body needs it to be healthy yet it does not digest it. Fiber remains largely unchanged in our body, but it provides bulk, suppresses appetite, binds with cholesterol, lowers blood sugar and speeds removal of toxic wastes from the bowels, thereby reducing the risk of constipation, high blood sugar, hemorrhoids, diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease and some cancers.
Consuming fruit juice or sugar and simple carbohydrates provides almost no fiber and causes an insulin response and blood sugar response that is very unhealthy for the body, leading over time to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes. Forget the sugar is there is no fiber around it.
A few basic changes to how you perceive food and the knowledge of how to make some horizontal choices (from, say, white bread to whole grain bread; from instant oats to steel cut; from fruit juice to a piece of fruit; etc.) can go a long way to moving you into a vibrant new life of clean eating and feeling amazing.
Editor’s note: If you want to make sense of superfoods, nutrients and the healthiest diets, then you need a copy of The Part-Time Health Nut, by Dr. Michael Cutler. Sure, we’d all love to be full-time health nuts, but who can keep up? Instead, this quintessential guide is perfect for people like you who prefer a no-nonsense approach to getting and enjoying your best health ever. Click here for a preview!