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Everyone is always talking about clean eating, how important it is to be eating clean, and how you will feel like a new person when you eat clean. Guess what? They’re so right! I bet you’re probably wondering, Does that mean that I have to wash my fruits and vegetables ten times before eating them? Yes, you should be washing your fruits and vegetables before eating them, but that’s not exactly what clean eating is. Clean eating can be defined in many different ways, but the simplest way to put it is eating “real” food. By “real,” we mean eating more food that is homemade and eating little to no processed/packaged foods. By eating foods that are made at home, you will be able to control what is being put into your food. 


What counts as processed/packaged foods? Why are they not the best choice?

Foods that are not kept in their natural state are considered to be processed/packaged foods. Some examples would be a potato being made into potato chips or corn being made into cornflakes. Processed/packaged foods are usually high in trans fat and having a diet high in trans fat can lead to high cholesterol and many other diseases . We know that it may be hard for you to stay away from processed/packaged foods completely, but one rule of thumb is that if there are any words that you cannot pronounce while you’re reading the ingredients on the food label, stay away from it!


What about alcohol?

Never drink it again. OK, we’re just kidding! If you are of age, it is completely fine to still drink alcohol, but it is important to stay within your range depending on your gender. Ladies, you shouldn’t be drinking more than one drink a day and for you guys out there, no more than two drinks a day. Alcohol contains a huge amount of calories and drinking it in excessive amounts will only hinder your personal results from your clean eating goals.


What is the “cleanest” or healthiest type of alcohol to drink?

The type of alcohol with the most health benefits is red wine. Red wine has been proven to lower bad cholesterol and lowers the risks of cancer, depression, and diabetes. 



What are some tips for shopping clean?

Registered Dietitian, Marissa Lippert says, “If you’re shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store, that’s always a good start.” Think about it, when you walk into a grocery store, the first thing you see are the fresh fruits and vegetables, in the back is the meats, and on the far end are the dairy products. The middle aisles are primarily processed/packaged foods. When you’re shopping, stick to the perimeter!


Why is clean eating important?

Besides feeling amazing all the time, you will improve your overall health. You will have more energy to do certain activities, lower your chances of getting life-threatening diseases, and help with weight management. By clean eating, healthier and glowing skin will also be in your future!  


What foods should you try?

  • Legumes (Green Beans, Lentils, Soybeans)
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Salmon
  • Tilapia
  • Chicken breast
  • Extra lean ground turkey
  • Greek yogurt
  • Brown rice
  • Nuts


Photo Credit: 1, 2

Jennifer is a Feature Writer for Her Campus Montclair and a junior at Montclair State University. Jennifer is majoring in nutrition with a concentration in dietetics with a biology minor. She absolutely loves to write and dance and enjoys expressing her creativity through writing and dancing! She recently began practicing yoga and she loves it very much. Jennifer hopes to become a Registered Dietitian and one day write for a health & fitness magazine. Health is very important to Jennifer and she wants to share her love of health and fitness with the world!
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