It may sound like another hyped up diet trend along the lines of the Paleo diet, South Beach, or the Raw food diet. But what is Clean Eating, exactly? And, more importantly, is it something you should consider for your own health and well-being?
What is Clean Eating?
According to most most of what is written about Clean Eating, it is, in fact, not a diet. Instead, it is described as a lifestyle change. People following the principles of Clean Eating commit to eating food in its most natural state, and completely cut out processed and refined foods.
What does “Food in its most natural state” mean?
Clean food is really just whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and food with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Low fat dairy foods, nuts and seeds are also considered clean foods. So really, the closer you get to whole foods, the better off you are. This seems to be sound advice anyway, since there is such a problem with added ingredients in foods! How many foods that you eat are processed, packaged, or preserved foods, or foods with artificial ingredients, antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals, and more?
In order to truly eat clean, foods won’t come from a lab or manufacturing plant, rather the food comes from farms, growers, or your own backyard.
What are the benefits to Clean Eating?
The most obvious benefit to clean eating is what isn’t going into your body. Most people take in unwanted (and often unknown) ingredients when they eat food that came from a packaging facility, manufacturing plant, or even from large farms. GMO’s (or genetically modified organisms) are a big concern. Seemingly healthy items such as vegetables become ticking health time bombs, because the long-term effects of genetic modifications can’t be known, possibly for years. By that time the damage will already be done.
Other benefits to eating clean include disease prevention and weight loss.
Is there more to Clean Eating than just switching to whole foods?
Since eating clean doesn’t have to necessarily be viewed as a “diet plan,” it is easy to incorporate the parts of this lifestyle change that makes sense for your life and health goals. Especially for people who are concerned with the effect of years of toxins, chemicals, and artificial ingredients, and how these have impacted health and aging, making the switch to a cleaner eating plan makes sense. Also, people who are trying to rid their diet of refined sugar and processed ingredients might embrace this style of eating.
Other considerations to eating clean include drinking plenty of water, eating more smaller meals throughout the day rather than three big meals, cooking at home rather than going out to eat, and making sure your nutrients are balanced so you feel full and get everything your body requires for optimal health – no cutting out food groups here!
If you really think about it, eating clean just seems to be eating with common sense! Whole, natural foods, a variety of foods so your palate won’t get bored, and a host of health boosting benefits? Clean eating may be your ticket to a healthier future.