You may have heard of the term “clean eating” before, but some of you may be wondering what the term really means.
Clean eating refers to eating food the way nature intended it to be or as close to it as possible. For instance, drinking water instead of Crystal Light. Clean eating isn’t considered a diet, but rather, a way to improve your life and feel great at the same time.
Clean Eating On A Budget
Since 2017 is in full swing, I wanted to share some ways you can transform your current eating habits to a 100 percent clean eating diet one step at a time, while budgeting at the same time. You will find it isn’t as expensive as you think.
1. Choose Organic Foods When Possible
The word “organic” may sound scary to some who budget, but in all honesty, eating organic doesn’t have to be expensive if you know what to purchase and when to purchase.
Organic eggs, for example, will cost $2 more per dozen than non-organic. The same can be said about popular organic fruits and vegetables.
As per our table below, you can see that organic, most of the time, will only cost you 20 percent more, on average.
According to EWG, the cleanest 15 fruits and vegetables you can purchase includes the following:
- Avocados ($2.99 organic vs. $1.99 conventional)
- Sweet Corn ($2.89 organic vs. $1.69 conventional)
- Pineapples ($5.99 organic vs. $3.99 conventional)
- Cabbage ($2.89 organic vs. $1.69 conventional)
- Sweet Peas ($1.59 organic vs. $1.59 conventional)
- Onions ($1.29 organic vs. $0.99 conventional)
- Asparagus ($4.99 organic vs. $2.99 conventional)
- Mangos ($1.99 with no organic options)
- Papayas ($1.25 organic vs. $1 conventional)
- Kiwi ($0.42 organic vs. $0.31 conventional)
- Eggplant ($2.89 organic vs. $1.69 conventional)
- Honeydew ($2.89 organic vs. $1.69 conventional)
- Cantaloupe ($2.89 organic vs. $1.69 conventional)
- Cauliflower ($1.88 organic vs. $1.09 conventional)
Choosing organic allows you to bypass the pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, GMOs and more. Plus, the most important part – it’s going to be a lot better for your body.
I could go on about choosing organic foods for clean eating, but Prevention Magazine goes in depth, explaining why you should go organic.
2. Drink Water
Water is as natural as it gets when it comes to hydration, especially if it’s coming straight from the tap. If at all possible, help the environment by using a refillable canteen and try to drink at least two liters of water each day.
Even if you’re not a fan, adding a slice of lemon or any fruit for that matter can add more flavor than you think.
If you’re in the habit of drinking diet soda or even some sort of artificial sugar packet in your water bottle, it’s time to reconsider.
Drinks with any artificial sweetener has been linked to an increase in Type II diabetes, depression and an increased risk of metabolic syndrome.
The best part of water, however? It’s free!
3. Learn How To Read The Labels
Clean foods, on average, will have less than four ingredients, which will be very easy to pronounce.
If you flip over any item at the grocery store, pay close attention to the ingredient label and see what’s inside. If it’s something you can’t pronounce or have no idea what it is, it’s best to look for another alternative that could be much healthier.
Like the organic items mentioned above, buying “clean” foods with a few ingredients could cost more or it could be about the same, depending on what you purchase.
If at all possible, always avoid these ingredients:
- Artificial sweeteners;
- High fructose corn syrup;
- MSG, also known as Monosodium Glutamate;
- Trans fat;
- Food dyes;
- Sodium Sulfite;
- Sodium Nitrate;
- Sulfur Dioxide;
- Potassium Bromate.
Summing It Up
Reading the labels, purchasing organic ingredients and sticking to plain water is really all there is to clean eating.
As you can see, your budget could be affected just a pinch, but you really have to ask yourself: “Is it worth spending 10 to 20 percent more to have a cleaner/healthier body?”
Remember, while you don’t see the repercussions now, those high health bills could haunt you in the future.