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Eating Clean or Dieting: Which is Right for You?

By Stepy Kamei

One of the most common health and wellness struggles Americans face every day is the challenge to eat healthier foods which contain a higher nutritional value than the meals we normally consume. As you no doubt know, eating clean has more benefits than living in the fast food drive-thru. Eating healthy meals on a regular basis is one of the most important things a person can do in order to improve and maintain a high standard of health and wellness when it comes to both their physical and their mental health and well-being.

Many of us are aware of the concept of dieting, and have more than likely been exposed to multiple types of dieting plans during the course of our quests to find healthier ways to eat. However, many of these diets tend to be based in fads, false claims, or involve drastic reductions of certain food groups which may cause more harm than good. There are certainly instances and circumstances where particular diets are useful, or even necessary. Still, for the most part, most of us would benefit much more from simply cleaning up the eating habits which we already have rather than making drastic changes to them.

How to Eat Clean

Nutritionists and healthcare experts agree that one of the biggest downfalls to the health and well-being of Americans is the consumption of processed foods on a regular, if not constant, basis. Processed foods are foods and food products which are found in bags or other containers, and often contain artificial ingredients, colors, sweeteners, and preservatives in order to increase their shelf life. Since these foods are not completely natural, they aren't exactly providing the body with all the nutrients it needs in order to function properly. As a result, many people who consume lots of processed foods often feel hungrier more often because they aren't getting enough vital nutrients such as protein and fiber. To compensate, they eat more processed foods, which still leaves them feeling hungry, and thus a negative cycle begins.

When to Consider a Diet

By simply choosing to eat more wholesome foods, which have been minimally processed, you may be surprised at how much better you feel physically, as well as mentally. Getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and legumes can really make a difference in the way you feel. However, if you find that you're still struggling with particular health concerns, such as severe stomach pains or fatigue, you'll want to meet with a healthcare specialist to see what's really ailing you.

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