Best Foods to Start Clean Eating

Cleaning up your diet and eating whole, unprocessed foods is one of the best things you can do for your health. When getting started with clean eating, focus on incorporating these nutritious foods into your meals and snacks:

List of Foods to Start Clean Eating

Fruits and Vegetables

Produce is the cornerstone of clean eating. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at each meal. Go for a rainbow of colors to get a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Some great options are berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, avocados and more.

Lean Proteins

Choose lean, unprocessed proteins like chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, beans, lentils, tofu and tempeh. These give you satisfying protein without unhealthy saturated fats. Try to limit or avoid processed meats like deli meats and bacon.

Whole Grains

Brown rice, oats, quinoa, barley and 100% whole wheat breads and pastas provide filling fiber and nutrients. Opt for minimally processed whole grains instead of refined grains like white rice and white bread.

Nuts and Seeds

Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds make great crunchy plant-based snacks and salad toppers. They add healthy fats, protein and key minerals.

Healthy Fats

Incorporate omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish, olive oil, avocados and nuts. Avoid trans and saturated fats found in fried foods, margarine, baked goods and processed snacks.

Herbs and Spices

Use herbs, spices, garlic and lemon juice to add big flavor without salt, sugar or fat. Turmeric, cinnamon, oregano, basil and cilantro are delicious options.


Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. Skip sugary juices and sodas. Add slices of lemon, lime or cucumber to your water for natural flavor.