Diet Menus for Eating Clean

by Jessica Bruso

Fill your plate with plenty of vegetables mixed with some protein.

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Coming up with a menu for eating clean doesn't have to be hard. Once you understand the basic principles behind clean eating, which includes eating primarily unprocessed or minimally processed foods and limiting sugar, salt and saturated fat, you can combine ingredients to make clean-eating versions of the dishes you enjoy.

What to Eat

Plan to eat five to six times per day, including three main meals and two snacks, with each meal including some protein, fat and carbohydrate. Choose unprocessed or minimally processed foods, such as fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits, dried legumes, eggs, nuts, whole grains, hormone-free, low-fat dairy products and unprocessed meat and poultry. Opt for foods that are organic and not genetically modified when possible. Make your own versions of processed foods that typically contain a lot of additives, such as dressings and sauces.

What to Avoid

Avoid any foods that contain ingredients you can't pronounce or that wouldn't be in a typical kitchen, including those with artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Skip refined grains, replacing them with whole grains. For example, trade flavored yogurt for plain yogurt topped with fresh or frozen fruit. Use natural peanut butter instead of peanut butter with added sugar, and make your own olive oil and vinegar dressing instead of prepared dressings from the store.

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