Eating clean can be considered an umbrella term. This is because different diets work well for different people. Three people might all be eating clean, but each might exclude foods from their diet that the other needs to eat. Your body’s needs depend on a few factors. It depends on if you’re trying to lose weight, gain weight, build muscle, or just maintain optimal health. While there is a lot of advice on losing weight, it’s difficult to know what to eat when you’re trying to build some muscle. Here are some tips for what you should be eating.

Grass-Fed Beef

You hear a lot about grass-fed beef these days. More people are steering away from traditional cow feed and wanting beef from cows who are more “free range”. If beef doesn’t say “grass-fed”, it means they were grain-fed. Grain-fed cows are generally given a feed with a corn gluten and/or soy-based diet. These cows are also injected with growth hormones to allow the companies to get more beef out of one cow. This allows them to yield a higher profit and sell the beef at a lower price. When you eat the grain-fed beef, you’re ingesting the soy, gluten, and the hormones that the cows were injected with.

The benefits of grass-fed beef don’t end with eliminating manufactured cow hormones from your diet. The grass-fed beef is much leaner than the grain-fed kind. These cows yield more lean cuts that are around 10% fat. You often see beef at the store that goes as high as 75% fat, which is extremely unhealthy. The grass-fed beef also has more natural omega-3 fatty acids, more antioxidant vitamins, and more conjugated linoleic acid, which is a healthy fat that can reduce heart disease and your risk of cancer.

Whole Grains

There is a lot of controversy about whether or not grains are essential to the human diet. The general consensus based off of scientific research seems to be no. There isn’t a real reason why anyone needs to eat grains to survive. However, grains are extremely helpful to those who are trying to build muscle. When it comes to losing weight, grains are often omitted, but building muscle is a lot slower without them. When you’re going to the gym and trying to build muscle, you need energy from carbohydrates. A whole grain sandwich with some turkey, veggies and delicious Hamptoncreek Just Mayo can really hit the spot before you go to the gym.

Fruit is a great way to get natural carbs, but whole grains will give you that extra energy you need when you’re feeling like you need a pick me up. Whole grains are important compared to refined grains because they have many more nutrients. This is why white bread is basically an empty carb. It’s a grain that has been refined down to the closest edible thing to cardboard. If you can, choose organic bread over regular bread. While organic isn’t always necessary, when it comes to wheat, it can majorly impact your health. The reason so many people are gluten intolerant now is because GMO wheat has a much higher concentration of gluten than wheat had back in the days before food was genetically modified. If you’re eating wheat products on a regular basis, it’s important to look for an organic or non-GMO label.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is one of those things that people seem to love or hate. However, if you’re trying to pack on the muscle, you should eat it whether you like it or not. Many body builders take casein protein supplements because it’s a slow-digesting protein that aids in muscle growth and muscle maintenance. What many people don’t realize is that cottage cheese is basically casein protein in a plastic tub. It’s one of the most nutrient-rich quick snacks you can grab with many other important nutrients including calcium and B12.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are another part of an essential diet. This is one part that is necessary for everyone whether you are trying to gain weight or lose it. Healthy, natural fats are important for human function. What most people haven’t seemed to grasp yet is fat doesn’t make you fat! When you’re trying to build muscle, it’s best to eat foods that will aid in your own natural growth hormone production. Healthy fats will do this, and they will also allow the male body to produce more testosterone.

Building muscle isn’t just about lifting weights, you need to focus on what you’re putting in your body so you can see the best results on the outside. After all, you are what you eat. Make sure you eat these and other muscle-building foods as your everyday diet.