Clean Foods

A good way to ensure that you obtain clean whole foods is to buy mostly fresh ingredients that you will find around the perimeter of the grocery store. That is where you’ll find the produce, meat, fresh fish, dairy, and freshly baked bread. You can then supplement with whole grains, beans, and frozen items.

Fresh fruit and vegetables: When possible, buy organic produce. If you choose pre-chopped vegetables or fruit, be sure there aren’t any added ingredients.

Herbs and spices

For spice blends, choose pure and organic blends without any added sodium or sugar. Italian seasoning, for example, should only include dried herbs like thyme, basil, and oregano.

Dairy

Buy organic milk, cheese, and yogurt whenever possible. Choose unsweetened varieties of yogurt. If you’re limiting dairy products or just want to try something different, unsweetened coconut milk, almond milk, and rice milk are healthy options. Also use organic butter or organic spread and steer clear of margarine, imitation butter, whipped, and spreadable butter as they contain chemicals or fillers. Check the label to make sure there are no unclean ingredients.

Whole grains

For whole-grain products, make sure the label says 100 percent whole wheat or whole grain to ensure that the entire grain is used. If not, there’s a good chance unclean ingredients are present.

Nuts and seeds

These delicious natural foods are perfect for tossing on salads or enjoying as a snack because they are made of heart-healthy fats that can help reduce cholesterol. Preferably, buy unsalted or low-salt nuts and make sure they aren’t sweetened.

Dried fruit

From dried figs to dried cranberries, these sweet fruits can satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way. Choose unsweetened fruit and those without sulfites, which is often added as a preservative to extend shelf life.

Lean meats

Stick to lean cuts of meat for lower amounts of saturated fat. Buy organic meats, too, to avoid consuming hormones and pesticides that the animal may have been exposed to. These pesticides linger in animal fat, so buying lean cuts of conventionally raised meat reduces your chance of consuming them.

Clean oils

Coconut oil and avocado oil are suggested for cooking because their chemical structures don’t break down when exposed to high heat. Extra-virgin olive oil and unrefined nut oils are more sensitive to heat, so these oils are ideal for salad dressings to take advantage of their heart-healthy benefits.