You might have heard about this term, Clean Eating, because it has been gaining popularity lately. Many health experts are talking about the need for clean eating. Do you know what it is? The term “clean” refers to eating all-natural, unprocessed food. It does not include complicated details like eating more protein and reducing carbohydrates. It simply suggests that you avoid highly processed foods and try to eat more natural products. Although it is unrealistic to eliminate these foods, you can reduce their consumption. The aim is to eat more healthy and fresh foods than packaged ones.
We live in an age where junk food feels tempting and modern foods are advertised in ways that make them difficult to resist. We all know how these tasty, scrumptious foods damage our health and can lead to a range of diseases, but we often find them hard to avoid.
Why Clean Eating?
It has become extremely important to be more selective in making food choices. If you want to enjoy a better quality of life, you need to be mindful of your diet. The phrase, “You are what you eat” is pretty accurate. Whatever we consume has a direct effect on our body, our minds and our health; therefore, we should minimise the use of harmful foods. As Jim Kwik says: “your food affects your mood.”
Some Advantages of Clean Eating:
Eliminating refined products from your diet and consuming more whole foods improves your overall health and clean eating provides several benefits, including:
- Some studies show that relying more on fresh fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of developing many fatal diseases and conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers and high blood pressure.
- Sweets, processed carbohydrates and other refined products can cause blood sugar spikes, followed by fatigue. Clean eating steadies blood sugar levels.
- It nourishes your body and makes you more productive and energetic.
- A clean diet improves mental health. Increased intake of nutrients like vitamin B-6 and omega 3 fatty acids support better brain functioning.
- Consumption of healthier foods contribute to better quality sleep which improves all functions of your body.
- Diets rich in fruits and vegetables help in controlling body weight.
If you are interested in eating clean, here are some important and simple suggestions to get you started:
Not everything can be eaten in raw form. It is difficult to rely solely on fruits and vegetables. When you buy minimally processed foods, read their labels carefully. Usually, the more ingredients a product contains, the higher the chances that the food is processed. Avoid foods containing artificial colours and flavours. The foods that you choose should have known, recognisable and readable labels and ingredients. Take your time and think carefully about how much these have been processed before making your final purchase. Also, select organic food that is free from pesticides, rather than consuming additives such as chemicals and hormones. These are good for you but remember even too much of a good thing can be bad so watch those portion sizes.
Ditch the Sugar
One of the simplest things you can omit for maximum effect is added sugar. Try to notice all the things that contain artificial sweeteners. Drop that can of soda, say no to those tempting cookies and you will already be on your way to clean eating. Processed sweet foods contain additives that increase the production of dopamine, making your body crave more and more junk food. You become addicted to junk food and that can result in disastrous health issues. Watch how your energy levels stabilise and your mood is uplifted when you eliminate sugars from your diet. It’s the step that affects both your mind and your body.
Again,“clean” doesn’t refer to washed and clean utensils; it refers to maintaining the nutritional value of what is being cooked. You might have heard that cooking destroys the nutritional content of the food. This is true to some extent, but not always. Some nutrients, like vitamin C, are lost when the food is cooked. But other nutrients, like lycopene found in tomatoes, provide more nutrition when cooked. Eat a variety of vegetables both cooked and raw to gain the most benefit.
While cooking, remember not to use excessive amounts of oil or fats. Keep it as light as you can. Avoid deep-frying and cook for as little time as possible to maintain the integrity of your meal. You can opt for stir-frying and steaming. These two methods will allow you to get the maximum nutrition from your meal.
The Final Checklist
- Eliminate processed foods.
- Avoid added and refined sugars.
- Consume a combination of cooked and raw food.
- Cook your meals and avoid eating out where possible
- Control your food portion size and eat in moderation.
- Don’t use cooking methods containing excess fats and avoid deep-frying.
Eating clean will COMPLETELY change your life. With clean eating, you won’t be bogged down by additives or processed foods. You will notice both your mind and your body functioning better and you will FEEL better!
Why not join my 21 Day Clean Eating Program where we will take a deeper dive into clean eating and how you can make this part of your lifestyle going forward? The link is below:
Medical Disclaimer: All information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent health problems. For all serious health issues, please contact a medical or nutrition practitioner. The information provided in this blog is based on the best knowledge of the author at the time of writing and we do not assume liability for the information within this blog, be it direct or indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages.