29 Sep Concept of Clean Eating
Coined as a popular food trend, the foundation of clean eating is all about consuming foods in their whole food state or as close to natural as possible.
Beyond that, the definition can be interpreted in a number of different ways. Some view it as increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, while others view it as indulging in fewer processed foods. Despite your interpretation, follow some of these tips for guidance on the concept.
Don’t shy away from all packaged foods
Considering the reality that 1 in every 5 Americans spends less than 15 minutes per day preparing dinner, packaged foods are a reality for so many of us. Frozen, canned, or pre-cut fruits and vegetables offer a great deal of nutrition, require little skill, and can fill nutrient gaps in the diet. Don’t shy away from these options. If you end up consuming more fruits and vegetables, or canned fish then it’s worth it.
‘Free from’ does not equate ‘Good for you’
According to a 2015 report from Mintel, 84% of consumers who purchase products with ‘free from’ labels want more natural, less-processed foods. Common ‘free from’ labels include: Gluten-free, GMO-free, antibiotic-free, additive-free, preservative-free, and sodium-free. While there may be value to consuming some of these products, they are not necessarily appropriate for all populations. For example, gluten-free products may only benefit those with certain conditions or intolerances. Gluten-free products aren’t necessarily any healthier and in some cases may contain refined ingredients that are high in sugar.
Eat food-not food claims
Look beyond the claim and check out the ingredients list. While some may say, the shorter the list of ingredients, the better, this might not necessarily be the case. For example, canned vegetable soup might have a long list of ingredients but it could be all vegetables. That’s a great thing. Use common sense when reading. A long list filled with words that you have never heard of might not be a wise option.
Ancient grains are a growing food trend
Many ancient grains contain lower levels of pesticides, fertilizers, and irrigation, making them an attractive option. Some choices include: spelt, kamut, millet, barley, teff, oats, bulgur, sorghum, Farro, einkorn, emmer, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, and chia. Try a variety as each one has unique nutritional properties. These grains can be found at most grocery stores and can be cooked the same way you cook rice.
Eat food-Don’t drink your calories
The average coffee shop drink contains approximately 150-300 calories. These numbers add up over time, especially when these calories are from added sugars and fat. Best to eat those calories rather than drink them.