Clean eating has become a buzzword in the healthy eating world. With new café’s and celebrities like Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow supporting clean eating, what does it actually mean and is it good for us?
Defining Clean Eating
What does clean eating mean? It’s a deceptively simple term meaning a more balanced diet with less or more of certain foods. However, it is about being mindful of our foods origin and eating food that is as minimally processed, handled and refined as possible. Making us eat “real” or “whole” foods. Unfortunately we live in an age that is surrounded with processed foods which can range from a burger to a jar of organic sauce. Whilst it is impossible to avoid all processed foods (as even steaming green beans is technically processed) it is avoid ultra-processed foods such as ready meals or store bought smoothies. To put it simply, clean eating is another form of a balanced diet that is more focused on lowering your intake of processed and refined foods.
Advantages of clean eating
After extensive research it is clear to say that a diet filled with whole foods is puts us in significantly good health. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables can lower certain health risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
Is it bad for you?
Unfortunately, like most food trends clean eating has quickly been twisted and adapted from its true purpose by influential bloggers and articles. It’s evolved to removing entire food groups from your diet which can result in serious nutrient deficiency. Clean eating in its natural form and purpose allows you to have a healthy and balanced diet full of all the required nutrients needed.
How to eat clean
A clean eating diet is rich in unprocessed and minimally processed foods. This includes fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, eggs, unprocessed meat, oils and unrefined grains. It is learning to cook these foods using fresh and natural ingredients. Whilst all of these foods are natural and good for you, portion size is still very important to maintain and all round healthy diet.
Eating clean is easy with the right ingredients. However, to eat clean you need to shop clean. Try and be mindful when looking at packaging and always question where the food came from? Has it been processed or handled? Try and avoid packets with a long list of ingredient and artificial flavours.
When cooking food its best to keep in mind what you are consuming and how it is cooked can affect that. Avoid cooking in high fat methods such as frying and stewing in oils and explore low fat methods.
Whilst clean eating is a good way to ensure you have a balanced diet it is important to remember that everything is good in moderation. Treating yourself now and again to something a little more processed or refined than normal won’t have a serious long term effect on your health.