Every now and then, in the world of health and nutrition, a new trend emerges and suddenly everybody rushes to try it out. It works for a while, for some people, doesn’t work for the rest, and it sometimes causes even more health problems than it solves. I can name so many diets and I have tried them all. Studying and working in Nutrition I had access to all these new diets and it was kind of my ‘job’ to try them out. That is why I am going to tell you about the newest trend that’s probably the healthiest and the most effective: Eating Clean, as opposed to the previous recommendation Eating Healthy.
Ever since the link between Nutrition and Health was established, mainstream science was advocating for healthy food choices. Healthy meant, following the food guide pyramid, consuming more fruits and vegetables, moderate quantities of proteins from animals and a minimum of fats.
That is Eating Healthy, what is Eating Clean?
Clean means as natural as you can find:
– The less marketing, the better.
– The shorter the shelf life, the better.
– The less preservatives, the better.
The food industry has introduced to the products we consume, ingredients that our bodies doesn’t digest because they are man made. Our digestive system doesn’t recognize them, resulting in inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, intolerance, cramps, indigestion… and most important of all: weight gain, diabetes, heart disease etc…
As a rule of thumb, the longer the shelf life, the worst it is for your health.
Here are the golden rules for clean eating:
– Eat whole foods: Food that hasn’t been tampered with either by adding preservatives, chemicals or fertilizers. If you go to the vegetables and fruits aisle in the supermarket, don’t pick the ones that have perfect size and look all nice and shiny. Pick the ones that look more natural, usually they have different sizes and shapes.
– Avoid processed and canned foods: If the label has an ingredient you can’t spell and you don’t know what it is, don’t buy it. If you can, avoid any product that has a label or a TV commercial.
– Eliminate all “Fat-free” products “Reduced fat” “Sugar Free” and anything of the sort. The process used to remove these fats or sugars is already tampering with the product and it also means that they added chemicals, flavor enhancers and/or stabilizers to keep the taste, shape and aroma of the product. I have just an observation while we are on the subject: Have you noticed how, even though the number of fat-free/diet/ sugar-free products are increasing in the market, the obesity epidemic is increasing faster than ever?
– Eliminate refined sugar: Stop white sugar consumption, change to brown sugar and stay away from aspartame and all equivalents. Everything about it screams chemicals and inflammation.
– Cook your own meals: This is much easier than you think, it requires a bit of planning but that is all. Avoid pre-cooked, pre-packaged and ready to eat meals. They are filled with preservatives and chemicals.
“You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, cheap, easy or fake.”
Be careful, eating clean may result in weight loss, improved glucose tolerance, regulated blood cholesterol, more energy, reduced bloating and irritable bowel syndrome. Try it out for at least two weeks and please let me know the results and feedback.