The seemingly endless line of articles and reports coming out about the food industry and how everyday edibles are filled with chemicals, preservatives, additives and other undesirable ingredients has caught the attention of the general public. Various health reports have also surfaced providing medical and scientific research to back up the suspicions that many health problems are linked to these vile ingredients in the food supply.
Many people are turning to clean eating in the light of such findings. They are finding out the truth of the saying ‘you are what you eat’ and they are wanting better, healthier options. Eating clean is based on returning to a more natural diet and avoiding all those unhealthy packaged, processed foods. The result is that those eating clean are healthier physically, mentally and in their attitudes as well as having stores of seemingly endless energy.
What Eating Clean Involves
Like any movement, clean eating has transformed into various methods for food consumption, but the bottom line remains the same… eating more natural foods. There are three main food groups that are focused on in the clean eating movement.
Eat Lots of Fruits and Vegetables – Modern foods and meals have strayed away from eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. Those that are consumed tend to be dowsed in chemicals or have become “Frankenfood” GMO experiments. The idea is to buy and consume as many organic fruits and vegetables as possible while avoiding those that have been tampered with or modified by the big corporations.
Use Better Meat Sources – Those eating clean are encouraged to acquire any meats in their diets straight from trusted butchers. Pre-packaged meat is to be avoided since they are treated with chemicals and additives. Ground meats should either be done manually or good meat taken to a butcher for grinding.
Include Healthy Grains – Grains should be included in meals on a regular basis. However, white grains and those that have been reduced in their nutrition through processing should be avoided. Clean eating focuses on whole grains and brown rice.
Top Processed Foods to Avoid
Some processed foods are unhealthier than others and should be avoided at all costs. This list includes processed chicken nuggets, French fries, potato chips, hot dogs, margarine and soda as well as white rice and processed meats mentioned above.
Other processed foods can be avoided with healthy substitutes readily made at home so they don’t have to be scrapped altogether. Following is a few items that you can whip up quickly, but are healthier than their store bought counterparts.
Salad Dressings – Most store bought dressings are high in fat and contain harmful ingredients. You can easily make your own salad dressing using oil, vinegar, garlic, Dijon mustard and other herbs.
Soups – Canned soups are one of the items that should never be eaten unless in an emergency. They contain high concentrations of sodium and even the low-sodium types are canned with linings that use BPA. This chemical has been linked to such major health problems as diabetes, heart disease and infertility.
Breakfast Cereals – This is another item that is packed with sugar and unhealthy additives as well as being stripped of nutritional ingredients like fiber. Most processed cereals you buy at the grocery are extremely unhealthy. They can easily be substituted with healthy granola and muesli. Nuts, fruits and real honey can be added for taste and added nutritional value.
Gracie Gardner is a catering specialist and nutrition writer working for Chef Chic, an Arizona personal chef service.