Sunday, May 12, 2013

What is Clean Eating

When grocery shopping, the perimeter of the store is my comfort zone. I go down only a few isles: the frozen section for frozen veggies and ice cream (yes I do eat ice cream), the pasta isle, and the Mediterranean isle. But as I talk to more people and they learn I am a nutritionist, people have been asking me about numerous different products. So I decided to take a journey down the treacherous isles of the super market.

No goal in mind, I wondered around with my cart picking up different products and reading the ingredient; most of them looking like the chemical gibberish from my chemistry books. I kept asking myself why people intentionally ingest chemistry experiments. I am not alone with this thought. Many health conscious individuals share the same feeling. They do not want to eat chemicals, preservatives, food coloring and numerous other things added by manufacturers to the foods.

Clean eating is eating food that does not contain foreign substances. Ingredients for the products would be recognizable food names like olive oil, whole wheat flour, sugar and other whole foods. Food is prepared using only food grown by nature; this includes red meats, chicken, fish, shrimp and many other unprocessed meats.  Baloney, pepperoni and fish sticks are not on the menu at clean eating households. People eat foods with no artificial anything. This entails cooking from scratch sometimes but that does not mean it has to be a lengthy practice. You can find numerous clean eating recipes on the Healthy Plate 5 blog that take about 30 minutes to prepare.
Processed foods contain high quantities of hidden sugar, salt, high fructose sugar, saturated fats and other unhealthy substances.  Clean eating limits the amount of these unhealthy ingredients because you know what is in your food and you know how much of it you put in your meals. This aids in weight loss, diabetes, hypertension, renal disease, gluten free diets and numerous food intolerances people suffer from because the cook controls exactly what and how much goes into the meal.

Just like most other diet choices, clean eating does not have to be an all-or-nothing regime.  You can try to eat clean as much as possible but when you are traveling, sick, busy or just do not feel like cooking there are other options.  Making the change to eliminate as many chemicals possible is a healthy step that can benefit both you and your family.


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