Clean eating diets are a very popular trend these days. They focus on replacing unhealthy processed foods with fresh, whole alternatives. Processed foods have often lost much of their nutritional value in order to make them last longer or taste better.
When I say processed foods, I mean any food in a package already seasoned, prepared, put together or not fresh. Pretty much everything that isn’t organic or Non GMO in the middle of the store.
Not only that, they may also contain additives or preservatives and chemical spray residue that have a negative impact on your health with regular consumption.
Here’s the surprise: clean eating advocates are not stressing this enough, some not at all;
*GMOs are dirty.
*NON Organic is dirty.
Plain and simple. Doesn’t matter what food lifestyle you’re following, this is truth. Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Keto, Atkins, whatever. Make it clean.
Here’s some more info on the clean eating lifestyle, as well as some tips for “cleaning up” your diet if needed.
Who Started Clean Eating?
While the idea of eating whole foods to stay healthy was certainly not new at the time, it gained in popularity in 2007 when the Eat-Clean Diet Book was published by bestselling author and fitness model Tosca Reno. The book detailed the ‘eat-clean’ diet that she stuck to in order to get in shape for a bodybuilding competition. The popularity of the book lead to ten more titles in the Eat-Clean series being published.
Stay Away from Sugar
The first step to take in order to eat a more clean diet is to cut out sugar as much as possible. Regularly eating sugar or foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup can lead to weight gain and diabetes, among other things. HFC is the leading cause of obesity in America. I know. I lost 270 lbs. Cutting it out of my diet!
Cutting sugar out of your diet completely won’t be easy. Just about every sweet, processed snack food on the market includes some sugar. Take your time and switch to pure organic cane sugar or better yet Agave liquid.
Your craving for sugar will lessen as you cut out HFC and toxic beets sugars. But, when you’re in the mood for something sweet, reach for some fruit rather than candy or sweets.
Drink Plenty of Water
When you feel thirsty, water is the healthiest drink to reach for. Try to drink at least two liters of water every day. You may want to buy a glass or metal, never ever plastic, reusable water bottle to help encourage you to drink more.
Soda and sports drinks both come with a lot of added sugar (not to mention the acid found in soda, which softens tooth enamel). An occasional glass of fruit or vegetable juice is a healthy drink alternative, not daily. Just make sure that you look for juice made from real fruits and vegetables. Stick to Organic as much as possible.
If you live in the tropics like I do, water is a must all day, at least 1 gallon per day. You’ll be severely dehydrated if you don’t, and you won’t know until it’s too late. This happened to me twice, and I’m living with permanent kidney damage because of it.
Check the Labels
When in doubt about a certain food, check the nutrition facts and ingredient list carefully. Make sure that the bulk of the ingredients listed are whole foods and not artificial or processed. Some foods may say that they are ‘whole’ on the label, but actually only be made in part with clean ingredients.
Also, make sure you pay attention to the serving size. A food’s nutrition facts may not look so bad, but ‘one serving’ usually doesn’t include the whole product.
While there are many different ideas of what exactly encompasses clean eating, the basic principle of skipping processed foods in favor of whole, fresh ones is of great benefit to your body.
Also, many ‘clean eating’ Gurus don’t emphasize Organic like I do. It doesn’t matter how fresh that food is, how pretty those photos are, if it’s been sprayed with toxic cancer creating pesticides, it’s not clean!
If you’re going to do it, do it right. Your health is at stake.
Even if processed foods have had nutrients added in to replace what they’ve lost during processing, they are not as healthy as the real, unprocessed versions. Next time you go to the store, try to buy as many of your ingredients as possible from the outer edge of the store, preferably dry bulk and the Organic fresh produce aisle rather than the canned goods aisle.
Not only will all of your meals taste better, they’ll also be better for your health.