3 Steps To A Cleaner Diet
As more and more people learn about the dangers of eating chemical-laden, processed foods, there’s been an increased interest in eating a clean diet. This simply means consuming foods as close to their natural state as possible, and clean eating comes with a range of health benefits. Ditching the processed junk and eating clean has been linked to improved mood, enhanced brain function and better sleep, so here’s an overview of three easy steps you can take to clean up your diet:
Be Intentional When Buying Produce
Switching to organic produce will greatly reduce your exposure to pesticides, but eating a 100% organic diet isn’t always possible due to the increased cost and limited availability of a wide-range of organic produce in some areas. One compromise is to use the Environmental Working Group’s list of clean and dirty conventional produce as a guide. Items from the clean conventional produce list contain minimal pesticide residue, while those from the dirty conventional produce list have a high level of pesticide residue and are best replaced with organically grown varieties.
Filter Your Water
Would it surprise you to learn your tap water contains a number of pesticides, traces of harmful heavy metals and bacteria? Cooking with and drinking unfiltered water exposes you and your family to dangerous chemicals such as chlorine, which has been linked to a rise in birth abnormalities. Filtering your water is an effective, easy way to reduce your exposure to toxins, and home water filters aren’t expensive.
If you are happy to filter your tap water 1-2 litres at a time, a jug filter might be a good option for you. You simply fill the jug with water and it passes through a filter containing activated charcoal before reaching the main water storage compartment. The charcoal draws out impurities, but you’ll need to change the filter every few months. If you want constant access to filtered water, an under the sink model is ideal. These filters connect to your water pipes and, depending on the model, use either activated charcoal or reverse osmosis to remove toxins from the water. An under the sink water filter ensures you get freshly filtered water every time you turn on the tap, and most models are easy to fit, so you won’t necessarily need the help of a plumber.
Ditch The Refined Sugar
Refined sugar seems to be present in just about every type of packaged food you can buy, but it adds no value to your diet and has been linked to a number of health problems including liver damage, heart disease and a decrease in cognitive ability. Ditch the refined sugar for a couple of weeks and see for yourself what a difference it makes in how you feel. Worried about satisfying your sweet tooth? Experiment with using natural sugars in place of refined sugars. For example, sweeten your muffins with mashed bananas, or stir homemade apple sauce into your morning porridge.
Don’t risk becoming overwhelmed by implementing all of these steps at once. Pick the one that speaks loudest to you and go from there.