Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Clean Eating" Grocery List

Written By: 
Sara Police, PhD

"Clean eating” is frequently used in media and health news as a term referring to a preferable means of eating. But in fact, the term is subjective -- it's definition depends on the website or health professional you consider. A clean diet is devoid of sugars, preservatives, unrecognizable ingredients and artificial flavors or colors, according to registered dietitian and author Cynthia Sass. To Terry Walters--author of "Clean Food"--it also means eating seasonal foods from local sources. The focus for a “clean”, healthful diet should be whole food items, recognizable in nature or as minimally processed whenever possible.

Fresh Vegetables

Eating whole foods is a key point to clean eating. Fresh vegetables should be a major component of a clean-eating grocery shopping list. Pre-cut carrots, celery, peppers and cherry tomatoes are portable and make convenient, delicious and healthy snacks. Vegetable dip is easily made from Greek yogurt, herbs and spices. Consider buying a variety of potatoes – such as new, red, golden or sweet potatoes -- instead of potato chips. Toss with herbs and sea salt and then roast until tender, or slice then and bake until crispy. Other vegetables to consider are mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, greens, lettuce, squash, onions and asparagus.

Fabulous Fruits

Fresh or frozen fruits are another part of a healthy shopping list. Apples, bananas, oranges, berries, melon, grapes and plums are examples. Instead of buying sweetened applesauce, consider buying whole apples and making your own in a crock pot or on the stove top. Homemade applesauce is naturally sweet, easy to make and cost-effective, especially when apples are purchased in bulk. Freeze over-ripe bananas for a creamy and sweet addition to “clean” ice cream or smoothie recipes. Avocados are naturally a rich source of heart-healthy fats and therefore another wise addition to your diet.

Meat and Seafood

If you choose to eat animal products, eggs, beef, wild game, poultry and seafood are options for your grocery list. For beef, select lean cuts and choose grass-fed whenever possible. When purchasing poultry, whole chickens are usually the best value. Boneless, skinless poultry breasts are a rich source of protein and vitamins. Be aware of mercury content in various types of fish and choose sustainable wild-caught over farm-raised more often.

Good For You Grains

Breads, crackers and tortillas are notoriously full of preservatives, added sugars and artificial colors or flavors. To avoid undesirable ingredients, consider purchasing brands of breads found in the freezer section. Buy whole wheat flour, rice flour, coconut flour or almond flour to experiment with different "clean" recipes to make your own breads, crackers or tortillas. Some experts and consumers may exclude gluten in a clean eating regimen. In this instance, gluten-free grains such as rice, oats, corn or millet--among others--are options.

Condiments, Nuts and Legumes

Honey and pure maple syrup are natural sweeteners, as opposed to those containing high fructose corn syrup or refined sugar. Consider making your own sauces instead of relying on bottled versions, which can be high in additives. For example, a little brown rice vinegar, citrus juice, garlic and ginger are a nice combination for stir fry. When you buy nuts or dry legumes, the only ingredients listed should be the foods themselves.

How do you "eat clean"?  Leave a comment to let us know!

Terry Walters: Eat Clean Live Well


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