What is Clean Eating?

clean eating

Weight management has been one of the top grossing industries in developed countries for many years. But with the amount of resources and knowledge we have about weight loss, many have tried to no avail: According to the Canadian Obesity Network, one in four adult Canadians and one in ten children have clinical obesity. Not only does obesity impact health, its stigma carries over to other areas of our lives, such as employment inequalities, negative stereotypes of overweight individuals being undisciplined, lazy, etc.

Are your fitness magazine subscriptions piled up as high as your bed stand and yet the numbers on your scale aren’t dropping? Are you constantly fatigued and even more fatigued at the thought of not fitting into those bikinis? Maybe the weight loss solution is easier than you think. One of the trending ways of weight loss is clean eating. And yes, it is exactly how it sounds: choosing foods that are devoid of any refined sugars and carbohydrates, and prepared in the simplest forms possible.

Think a platter of freshly cut organic, seasonal vegetables and fruits, whole grains, steroid-free, grilled proteins with two litres of water a day. Not only is a clean eating regimen highly beneficial, but it also takes minimal effort to maintain-a perfect solution for the busy professional looking to make positive lifestyle changes.

What is Clean Food?

So what is the definition of clean food? Clean food is basically any food that isn’t processed:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and legumes
  • Steroid free proteins
  • Farm-fresh eggs

Clean food is also preferably organic. And most importantly, portion size matters! For example, one plate of a meal is dividend up into fifths: three-fifths should be fruits and vegetables; one fifth should be protein, and one-fifth of healthy carbs.

food-vegetables-wood-knifeHow to Cook Clean?

Cooking methods, like deep frying or stewing distort the nutritional contents of food. When cooking “clean”, one must consider methods such as steaming, stir-frying, or eating raw. There are herbs and spices you can try out to flavor the food in ways that aren’t rich in sugars and sodium:

  • Paprika
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Chives
  • Sage
  • Cilantro
  • Cumin
  • Dill

If you need any further reason to start eating clean, just reads into major benefits that can have on your body and mind. When done correctly, clean eating should manage weight, increase stamina and energy, increase lifespan, assist in having better sex and relationships, as well as support mental health. A mindful and healthy diet of clean eating can properly nourish your body with much needed nutrients, helping you feel more energetic and productive. Many nutrients, such as vitamin B-complex and iron, transport oxygen to tissues, which supports metabolism for active organs. Without refined sugars and carbohydrates, one will expect no more erratic energy spikes and crashes. And that is why it is recommended by Michigan State University that a breakfast of fibre-rich whole grains, protein, and fresh fruits is the best way to start the morning.

Preparing Clean Meals Ahead of Time

One of the other major components of clean eating is preparing the food mindfully and really savouring the flavours. Preparing clean meals takes time – the kind of time that is needed to connect with your spouse and friends. While connecting at the dinner table, family members and friends are able to chew slower, instead of mindlessly eating while taking in screen time. In a published study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, it is shown that people who regularly cook and have home made meals consume on average 137 fewer calories a day than those who cook once a week or less, along with 16 fewer grams of sugar.

The main point of clean eating is avoiding processed foods. In much simpler terms, processed foods are foods that do not need preparing. But there is more to it. Becoming label savvy is the next step! Imagine walking down the grocery aisle and shopping for a cereal. There are so many cereals on the market that claim to be “healthy and whole-grain.” How do we distinguish what is actually healthy and what is just clever marketing? By learning how to read the nutrition facts on the back of the box – In Canada, we are fortunate in that all foods must legally have nutritional labels. A few tips to remember are:• Pay attention to serving size – two Oreos might be 250 calories but many misread and think that the whole box is 250 calories.

  • Look at the grams of sugar in each serving size
  • Watch the ratio of total carbs to sugars
  • Aim for foods high in mono-saturated fats and avoid trans fats
  • Sodium! Total DV of sodium should be less than 2400 mg. per serving
  • Can you pronounce the ingredient list?
  • Is the ingredient list short and to the point?
  • Are there any unrecognizable additives and food coloring?

Once you get into the habit of reading nutritional labels and start to make a conscious effort to eat clean, you will begin to see and feel the benefits. Clean eating is not a short-lived fad diet, nor is it an overly restrictive form of weight management. It’s all about healthy, fresh, and whole foods in its most natural form. And of course, what makes your body healthier makes your brain healthier.

Alice Han

Being a result-driven doer, Alice strives to utilize her skill set to deliver quality digital content. She possesses broad experience from social media management to content marketing in the non-profit sector, as well as corporate. In her spare time, she likes to keep up to date with the newest digital marketing practices.

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