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5 Ways to Clean Up Your Diet

Posted Jul 21 2010 8:08am

Looking to clean up your diet so that it helps you reach your fitness and weight management goals? Try incorporating the following 5 principles to get on the path to better nutrition.

1. Make a No Junk Rule

Ok don’t freak out I’m not suggesting you make a rule about never having your favorite treat again! I’m a supporter of moderation when it comes to treats, but think limiting access to those treats is important to keeping consumption in check. The No Junk Rule just means you don’t buy junk food at the grocery store and keep it in your home. If your access to junk food in your home is eliminated, you are less likely to give into impulsive cravings.  You will have to put thought into your choice because you will have to leave the house to go get your treat.

2. Reduce the Added Sugars

Check your nutrition labels for the following:  Agave nectar, Brown sugar, Cane crystals, Cane sugar, Corn sweetener, Corn syrup, Crystalline fructose, Dextrose, Evaporated cane juice, Fructose, Fruit juice concentrates, Glucose, High-fructose corn syrup, Honey, Invert sugar, Lactose, Maltose, Malt syrup, Molasses, Raw sugar, Sucrose, Sugar, and Syrup. If you see any of those on your ingredients list then the product has added sugars.  Try looking for a comparable product that either doesn’t contain added sugars or the one with the least amount.

3. Reach for the Whole Grain Instead of Refined Products

Whole grain products contain more nutrition benefits then the refined versions. Look for whole grain versions of rice, bread, cereal, flour and pasta when shopping.  Check your ingredient lists for “whole” and make sure those whole grains appear among the first items in the list.  Try to choose items with at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving.

4. Prepare Your Own Food

Eating out regardless of the quality of restaurant almost always has far greater calories than food you would prepare yourself.  Also, because you aren’t preparing the food yourself, you don’t know the quality of the ingredients or the exact amounts.  Preparing your own food gives you complete control over the cooking method as well as the ingredients that are used.

5. Read Nutrition Labels and Ingredient Lists

By getting in the habit of reading the nutrition label and the ingredient list on food before buying it, you can make dramatic improvement s in the quality of your diet.  Not only will you be aware of the calorie content but you also will learn about the quality of those calories. Remember, knowledge is power, and when it comes to food knowing the nutritional profile that is on the nutrition label is the knowledge you must have.

Quote of the Day: “If we’re not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn’t settle for junk food.” ~ Sally Edwards

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