How to Eat Clean: 5 Tips to Keep You on Track

From reading nutrition labels to watching your added sugar intake, you'll be eating healthier in no time!

Clean eating is all the rage these days, but what does it entail? Ultimately, it boils down to eating whole, minimally processed foods. Here are five tips on how to eat clean that will keep you on track and eating healthfully.

Start your journey by stocking up on these clean-eating foods.

Read Nutrition Labels

Cutting out packaged foods entirely may be too tall an order when starting to eat clean. One great way to improve the quality of the packaged foods you’re buying is to read the nutrition label, specifically the ingredients. Look for products made with whole foods that you recognize. You’ll want to stay away from foods with ingredients you’ve never seen before or that you can’t pronounce.

Cut Down on Added Sugar

Significantly decreasing how much added sugar is in your diet is a big part of eating clean. This goes hand-in-hand with cutting down on processed foods that tend to have added sugar. Rethinking the sweetener you add to your morning coffee is a great start, and steering clear of packaged foods with refined cane sugar is the biggest step you can make here.

Add More Produce

Starting your clean eating journey may look a lot like an elimination diet, however it’s important that you’re also adding new healthy foods. The foundation to this diet are foods that come directly from the earth—fruits and vegetables. Produce is full of complex carbs like fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals. The fiber in fruits and veggies will keep you satisfied, healthy and full of energy. Check out this clean-eating meal plan to get started.

Choose Whole Grains

Refined grains found in white bread, white rice, traditional white pasta, desserts and snack foods are many people’s most commonly purchased food. The processing required to make these products strips them of their nutrition. A great way to start steering away from refined grains is to choose products made with 100% whole grains. Try these whole-grain recipes that include brown rice, whole wheat bread and whole grain pasta.

Cook More

One important key to eating clean is to cook your own food. By cooking more, you’ll automatically be eating fewer processed foods. It’s also a good idea to start making products that you would typically buy packaged—tomato sauce or salad dressing. By making foods like these, and even baking bread from scratch, you’re ensuring that whole, clean ingredients are going into them. Not only will they be better for you—they’ll certainly taste better.

With these five tips, you can start changing your diet and have a better understanding on how to eat clean. Ditching those packaged foods and embracing the produce section are great ways to start leading a healthier lifestyle!

Clean Eating Recipes You'll Want to Try
1 / 55

Christina Manian, RDN
Christina Manian is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist based out of Boulder, Colorado. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, she has been involved with the nutrition departments of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Mass General Hospital. She completed her nutrition education at the Mayo Clinic with a focus on medical nutrition therapy and most recently practiced clinical nutrition at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. While her background has largely been in the clinical setting, Christina embraces and is shifting her focus towards wellness nutrition as the backbone to optimum health.