Maybe you've heard of the "Clean Eating" lifestyle that has gained in popularity in the past few years, but do you fully understand the benefits of implementing a clean eating style of health management? Today we will dive into some of the benefits of beginning and implementing a clean eating trend which has been sweeping the nation of health conscious consumers and take a grocery store tour of how to make it happen.
What is clean eating? Clean eating is the trend of including more foods that are whole and unprocessed with fewer additives while stepping away from highly processed foods. It can include lifestyle changes as broad as learning the source of the foods that you eat and appreciating how these foods affect your body.
How do you begin a clean eating lifestyle? Many foods fit into a clean eating lifestyle; vegetables, whole grains, beans / legumes and even animal proteins such as grass fed meats, organic poultry, wild fish and healthy fats that are naturally occuring can all be individually included in a clean eating pattern. Meals and snacks will be primarily made from these natural ingredients and are the focus of this eating pattern. Added ingredients like extra sweetners, chemicals, alcohol and caffeine are often avoided or limited and eating patterns are often adjusted to be sure nutritional needs are met from these concentrated nutrient dense food sources.
How would your life possibly look different after including a cleaner eating pattern of eating? There are many benefits to a clean eating pattern. Here are just a few:
1 . Whole foods are naturally a good source of dietary fiber which benefits everything from glucose control, satiety, weight management, the GI system and lipid management. Fiber is a beautiful addition to most meal plans unless it is contraindicated for a medical condition.
2. Whole foods are absent of added ingredients such as fat, salt and sugars which may have adverse health effects over the long term for some individuals when consumed in excess.
3. A clean eating pattern emphasizes plant based ingredients that contain antioxidant and plant compounds that may be helpful in reducing the risk of many diseases including cancers.
4. A well planned clean eating pattern begins to bring in a rainbow of colors, foods and variety of whole foods that are full of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats that boost metabolism and fuel the body for optimal performance.
Remember that a clean eating lifestyle is a pattern of eating, not a specific "diet". You may find that it takes extra planning and time and expense to make even a few changes. You don't have to have an all or nothing mentality with the clean eating lifestyle, meaning that even a few strategic changes in your eating pattern such as including more plant based ingredients at a time of the day when you would have consumed processed foods, can lead to your personal health and nutrition goals being met faster than no change at all.
Follow along with this video as we re-cap some strategies for implementing the clean eating lifestyle.
What victories have you had in your life from cutting out the added, unnecessary ingredients? I'd love to hear and celebrate your successes and cheer you on!