(Photo: Jason Varney)
Try all you want to avoid pesticides, sugar, and GMOs, you’re still getting duped by confusing claims, hidden chemicals, and faux “healthy” labels. No longer: Eat Clean, Stay Lean is our clarifying new guide to dirty, clean, and superclean versions of your favorite foods. Below, check out the cleanest (and dirtiest!) versions of 10 of your favorite foods.
Hard-boiled eggs add protein and healthy fat to your salad and can help you absorb eight times more carotenoid antioxidants from veggies. But eggs produced by grain-fed chickens raised in cramped indoor cages aren’t nearly as humane, nutritious, or safe as eggs produced by happy hens that roam freely in the sunshine and nosh on a natural diet. Here’s how to make sense of the confusing labels:
Bars are booming and can be a healthy, convenient way to snack on the go—provided they’re not filled with sugar and junk, which most are. Here’s how to choose a cleaner nosh:
Related: 4 Best Foods For Your Brain
Adding the cleanest versions of these pint-size superfoods to your salad delivers up to 6 g of protein and 3 g of fiber per serving—way more than carb-heavy croutons or sugar-packed raisins. Nuts have even been shown to keep you so full that you eat less at your next meal, a phenomenon known as the second-meal effect. But keep it simple—the wrong choice can result in excess salt, sugar, and sketchy oils.
Don’t even think about reaching for a diet drink: Artificially sweetened beverages have already been linked to heart disease, while a recent study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society finds that even one diet drink a day is associated with increased belly fat. (Find out what happens when you finally stop drinking diet soda.) Want to guzzle? Here are your cleanest bottled choices:
Choose the wrong bunch and you could get chemicals, along with a side of pathogens that can make you sick. Greens and veggies grown in rows have caused more than one-third of all E. coli sicknesses in the US in the past 5 years, says a government report.
Don’t let a drizzle derail your dinner. You wouldn’t put a bumper sticker on a Bentley, would you? Then why would you pour an unhealthy dressing on a first-class designer salad? Most store-bought brands are full of sugar, chemical emulsifiers, artificial colors and flavors, and genetically modified oils. Instead, try one of these five-ingredient salad dressing recipes.
Confused by which brands of “healthy” packaged foods are best? Join the club. Here’s what to look for when choosing pita chips:
Lean, low-calorie protein that doesn’t need to be cooked? That’s one reason we love the cleanest canned fish, along with its heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. But some canned fish can be big on toxins like mercury, so choose your species wisely. Then opt for one that hasn’t been packed in a can with BPA, a synthetic chemical linked to weight gain, heart arrhythmias, certain cancers, asthma, and other health problems. Look for “BPA-free” on the label.
Yes, you can lose weight and lower your cholesterol with filling oatmeal—if you choose the right kind. Here’s how to ensure you’re getting the best breakfast bowl:
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without it. But funky flavorings and antibiotics are nothing to be grateful for, so pick a bird with only the good stuff.
By The Editors of Prevention
This article ‘The 10 Cleanest Foods You Can Eat–And The Dirtiest’ originally ran on Prevention.com.