The “clean-eating” craze has reached new levels of popularity — just check out the 58 million EatClean posts on Instagram — but it’s a trend that’s been bugging me more and more lately, so I feel like it’s time to clarify a few things. Namely: What does ” clean eating” even mean? The phrase began with good intentions: It used to imply eating lots of whole, real foods — veggies, fruit, whole grains, animal and plant-based protein, nuts, seeds, and oils. It also meant you should eat as close to nature as possible — minimally processed, not packaged, or originating from a factory. Cooking at home and finding good ingredients were encouraged. I do love that the original concept prompted an important question: Where does our food come from? So, if a clean eating mindset reminds you to read labels, check sources, and understand what’s what about the food you eat, I’d absolutely encourage you to keep that up. To be clear: As a registered dietitian, it’s absolutely not my style to bash anyone else’s way of eating — ever! RDs like me are pretty gung-ho about the fact that our evidence-based opinions on what you eat are irrelevant unless you’re actively seeking our advice.
Either way, eating “clean” is quite the trend—but what does it actually mean, and how is it good for the body? Clean eating is a deceptively simple concept. Rather than revolving around the idea of ingesting more or less of specific things for instance, fewer calories or more protein, the idea is more about being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or “real” foods—those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenging proposition these days. Once you’re ready to take the plunge, head on over to our Day Clean Eating Challenge for step-by-step guidance on how to make clean eating a lifelong thing. In two words: It’s not. Or rather, not categorically. Processing “can also include altering the consistency or taste of food to make it more appealing,” Fanzo adds. So that delicious post-workout kale-celery-spinach-banana smoothie you had? Enjoy that virtuous feeling knowing that you were likely able to down that giant amount of greens because your treat was somewhat processed. As you can probably guess, the health problems associated with ultra-processed food are numerous.
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I have a problem getting my healthy what in, though. Keep an eye out for anything with does of sugar diet refined grains, super-long ingredient lists with foods you don’t recognize and anything with partially hydrogenated oils. I pure 32 pounds like this diet and it works. Eating clean for beginners is such a great idea and not only for beginners. As you can probably guess, the health problems associated with look food are numerous. Pea protein is making its way to the forefront of protein sources, and for good reason!