Clean Eating 101

Heya readers! Have you heard of “clean eating”?

If not… you may be living under a very large rock. (hehe)

Clean eating is a {newer} nutrition trend focused on consuming whole foods in their most natural state, or as close to it as possible. So long are the days of obsessing over fat and sugar grams…the days of eating REAL food are here. hooooray!

and this dietitian couldn’t be happier. 🙂

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I shared a bit of my clean eating journey in my End of the Year 2012 blog post.  If you haven’t jumped on the “clean eating” bandwagon, I encourage you to do so. I assure you…your hips and taste buds will be delighted!

There is no clear cut definition of “clean eating”.  There are varying degrees, some more strict than others.

In this post, Prevention Magazine presents 23 food items in their natural state, somewhat processed, and highly processed. Very interesting!

Some “Clean Eating” key points:

  • The focus isn’t weight loss, but on general health (weight loss may end up being an extra bonus, though)
  • Free of “fake ingredients” (artificial flavorings, artificial colorings, sugar substitutes)
  • Eat food in it’s natural state, no processing
  • If you’re going to eat food with a label, the shorter the ingredient list=the better AND you should be able to pronounce every ingredient
  • Your grocery cart should be full of produce, nuts/seeds, beans, lean protein, and dairy
  • There should be little (or none) boxed, canned, or bagged food in your cart
  • Buying meat direct from the butcher is preferred
  • Buying produce and eggs direct from the farmer is preferred
  • Grass-fed animal protein is desirable

In a perfect world there would be no packaged food, but for some of us that isn’t realistic. Below, I’ve compared some not-so-clean packaged foods, to some cleaner-packaged foods.

Example #1- Jif PB vs. Trader Joe’s PB

All you need in “clean” peanut butter is peanuts… and if you like your PB salted, then salt. The word “hydrogenated”=trans fats=terrible for our bodies 🙁

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Example #2- Doritos vs. Potato Chips

I’m sure all of you readers are likely asking yourself “Is this dietitian encouraging us to eat potato chips?”… and no I’m not. 🙂 BUT what I am saying is that anything in moderation is okay, even potato chips. (gasp)… and if we’re going to eat them… please. please. please just consume potato chips or tortilla chips where the ingredient list= corn or potatoes, oil, salt.

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Example #3: Ritz Crackers vs. Ak-Mak Crackers

Crackers and breads are {super} difficult to find with a clean ingredient list. I have found some though! See the first picture of this blog post; all of those whole grain TJoe’s products are clean. Ak-mak crackers are my fav… and look at that short, pronounce-able ingredient list!

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Whether you’re a hard-core “clean eater” or taking baby steps in the “clean eating” direction… it’s a positive decision for your health. Keep it up!

Any questions, send um’ my way!

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