As a Featured Health Editor for Healthbuzz, I’ll be publishing a variety of posts about clean eating in the month of September. I’ve heard this term floating around the blogworld for months, but it’s not clearly defined and rarely presented from an evidence-based standpoint.
What is clean eating?
To me, clean eating means consuming products as close to nature as possible. This means focusing on a diet of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains and limiting consumption of highly processed foods. I do want to point out that processed foods are not necessarily harmful. It is our abuse of these foods that makes them harmful. One cheeseburger will not cause heart disease, but eating 3 cheeseburgers a day for 3 years may give you a run for your money.
Why should we participate in clean eating?
A steady diet of processed foods may lead to health problems. Processed foods are often calorie laden and contain high levels of sodium, sugar (the number one food additive in the US), and fat. When we crowd our diets with these foods, we leave out nutrient-rich foods that contain the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to run.
Controversies in clean eating?
To some, clean eating means elimination of all animal products, including dairy. To others, this means abstaining from added sugars. I think clean eating is very personal; each person’s diet can be adjusted differently to achieve benefits. If you’re currently eating a diet heavy in red meat, you may reduce consumption to 1-2x a week. If you’re eating a diet of mostly convenience foods, you may decide to pack a sandwich 2 days out of the 5 day workweek. Clean eating should be achieved without judgment, peer pressure, or feelings of superiority.
What it is and what it’s not.
I think clean eating should evolve into more of a lifestyle as it is practiced. Most everyone can benefit from consuming more vegetables. Clean eating should not be a sort of wacky detox diet that is used to make up for poor eating choices. To experience benefit, clean eating should be implemented continually.
You may see new posts on the Healthbuzz site, but you can also expect to see some previously written posts, as well. Feel free to email me with questions you may have concerning this topic!
How do you define clean eating?