Do you know what it means to eat clean?

While a term that’s thrown around regularly, it isn’t often understood.

Fortunately, we’re here to help break it down – so that you, too, can be sure you’re eating clean.

By eating clean, we mean minimally processed foods, free of artificial ingredients and additives. It’s food that helps you feel your best.

In particular, we have several tips that will help.

1.Eat more produce.

This means more fruit and vegetables, plain and simple – and even better, you can often pick it, clean it, eat it. It doesn’t get much simpler than that – and that’s pretty great, because they’re also an essential part of a healthy diet.

2. Limit processed foods.

Processed foods are full of all sorts of additives, chemicals, and ingredients you can’t pronounce. That’s hardly clean eating – and when you eat them, they take the place in your diet of foods that have real value. Try to avoid them whenever possible, and your body will thank you.

3. Avoid sugar

This seems straight-forward – until you look at ingredient lists. Nearly everything you buy at the store, if packaged, has extra sugar. This means you need to be vigilant in looking at labels – which brings us to our next tip…

4. Read labels

Something to keep in mind: The fewer ingredients, the more likely it is to make your body happy, and to constitute clean eating. If you can’t pronounce it, you probably don’t want to eat it, right?

5. Limit alcohol

While alcohol is a major social vice, it isn’t good for you – and it hardly makes your body happy. Even the few drinks with benefits – an occasional glass for red wine, for instance – don’t make up for the consequences of imbibing.

6. Drink water

If you aren’t peeing regularly, odds are good you’re just like the rest of us – chronically dehydrated. Water is 70% of our body – so for our body to work optimally, hydration is critical. And yes – it needs to be water. Other beverages just don’t have the same benefit – and many of them are packed with sugars, or otherwise have negative consequences.

7. Choose good animal products

This means free range, organic, and hopefully local – all things that your body will appreciate. Most conventional animal products are loaded up on corn and antibiotics, and just don’t have anywhere near the health benefits – and, in fact, can get you sick. Any animal products you consume should be consumed in moderation.

8. Avoid refined carbohydrates

Already processed to simple sugars, refined carbs are usually turned into fat by your body. Instead, you want complex, natural carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes, or whole wheat bread, which take time to digest courtesy their natural fibers. That helps spread out your energy absorption, too – which your body appreciates.

9. Cut out oils and spreads

As a general rule, these aren’t fats you want. Instead, use one of the following: butter (grass fed), coconut oil (cold pressed), ghee, or olive oil (cold pressed).