A Nutritionist Says These Are the Best Clean-Eating Foods for Summer

Updated 05/17/18

We pick the brains of models day in and day out. We're constantly prying into their medicine cabinets and kitchen cupboards, trying to uncover their elusive model secrets. We hear a lot about eating clean and avoiding sugar, but rarely do we hear diet tips from a model who also happens to have a degree in nutritional science. That's exactly why we went to Alicia Rountree. The Mauritian model is also a certified nutritionist and a restaurateur who's sharing her secrets with us today.

Clean-eating foods for summer
Alicia Rountree

Summer is just around the corner, and with it, you may be feeling the urge to alter your rotation of comfort foods that stocked up during winter. After all, this is the season when produce is at its most vibrant and varied, meaning that eating clean has never been easier. So what constitutes "clean eating," exactly? It basically means eating produce is as close to its natural state as possible. Read on as I go through my top tips for clean eating to give you a jump start for looking and feeling your best throughout the season and beyond.

Eat "Good" Fats

Clean foods: Olive oil
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One of the best clean-eating categories to stock up on during summer is healthy fats. "Bad" fats—trans fats found in greasy, processed, and sugar-filled foods—cause inflammation in the body. Switch refined vegetable oils like sunflower, canola, and soybean with "real" fats like cold-pressed coconut, grape-seed, and olive oil. Bad fats heighten your risk of heart disease and stroke, while good fats help our bodies better absorb nutrients and aid in brain growth and development.

Load Up on Veggies

Clean foods: Vegetables
Minimalist Baker

A big part of any clean-eating plan is to stock up on vegetables—preferably organic where possible. Beware of veggies that are part of the "dirty dozen," which includes spinach, cucumber, salads, peppers, potatoes, and celery, as they have the highest concentration of pesticides if you opt for non-organic.

Opt for High-Quality Meats

Clean foods: Lean meats
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Eating clean doesn't have to mean being vegetarian or vegan. (Of course, there are plenty of protein-packed options if you do happen to follow a vegan diet.) Although a healthy diet consists of a generous portion of veggies, if you eat meat, always go for the highest quality organic and unprocessed. Stay clear of low-quality meats as much as possible, as they can contain antibiotics, pesticides, and hormones.

Focus on Whole Grains

Clean foods: Whole grains
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Choose sprouted grains whenever possible. They have high amounts of fiber necessary for a healthy gut, plus vitamins and minerals that boost energy levels. Incorporating ancient grains like barley, oats, and farro will help you stay satisfied throughout the day.

Avoid Refined Sugar

Clean Eating Foods
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Refined sugary foods are empty calories and offer zero nutrition. Since added sugar is hidden in even seemingly healthy products, make sure to read product labels at the supermarket and make a home-cooked meal as much as possible. More often than not, packaged foods are loaded with sugar, so keep them to a minimum. Also, stay away from white pasta and white bread, as these are low in nutrition and turn to sugar.

Lastly, stay clear of artificial ingredients and "fake" foods—that means anything that looks like it could last longer than summer!

Now bolster your clean-eating regimen with five little-known fat-burning foods.

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