A glimpse at the popular trend of "eating clean" and what to think about if you want to focus on clean eats!
If there’s one trend that’s here to stay from 2016 it’s the concept of clean eating. But, what does “eating clean” or “clean eating” actually mean?
Eating clean can mean a number of things to a variety of people, but in general, it follows these standard principles:
- Focusing on a whole foods diet
- Avoiding processed foods
- Getting rid of refined sugar
The main aspect to focus on with eating clean is being mindful of the food’s journey from where it originated to your table.
People decide to live a clean eating lifestyle for a number of reasons. Some do it to get in better health, improve their nutrition, lose weight, or boost their energy and/or immunity. Others just feel more comfortable eating non-processed foods because it’s better for your body.
It seems like an overly simple concept, but true clean eating can be challenging at times due to the amount of over-processed foods that are everywhere in today’s world. Because of this, we wanted to share a few tips so that you can get the most out of eating clean if you decide to try it out too.
Cook your own food
This is a fairly simple tip, when you cook you should know exactly what is going into a meal. The only difficulty is making sure everything is basically from scratch. If you’re making pasta, you would probably want to make at least the sauce yourself, if not also the noodles, by hand to assure that nothing is enriched or added in other than the natural ingredients.
Even some vegetables are not completely unprocessed, so depending on how strict you want to be with your diet, you’ll have to look into that as well.
Know what counts as “processed foods”
Again, it’s up to you how strict you want to be when it comes to eliminating processed foods. There are some foods that are not processed at all and some that are minimally processed, but not overly so that it would be largely detrimental to your health.
Unless you want to have a completely raw diet, you’re going to have some foods that are processed, since incorporating heat and cooking your food already makes it minimally processed.
Unprocessed foods would include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Farm-fresh eggs
- dried legumes
Minimally processed foods would include:
- Unrefined grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal, and whole wheat bread and pasta.
- Hormone-free dairy
- Cooking Oils
- Frozen fruits and vegetables
- Unprocessed meat
Know what you’re looking for at a grocery store/market
Avoid products that have a long list of ingredients, and especially ingredients that you can’t even pronounce because they were produced in a lab. Look for where a product or piece of food came from and how much it has been handled and processed to get to that store. Think of the 100-mile diet concept. You don’t want to eat fish when you live over 100 miles from the ocean or another body of water.
Finally, avoiding easy-to-notice additives, such as artificial coloring and flavors, is always a must when shopping at the grocery store.
We would love to know, are any of you into eating clean? Would you want to focus on adding more clean foods into your diet for health reasons? Let us know in the comments below!