• Dr. Grace Hameister

Clean Eating: What Is It?

This new trend called “clean eating” has been popping up everywhere lately, and for good reason! It’s simpler than you think to start improving your health today with back-to-basics foods.

Many diets of the past have focused on eating more (or less) of one thing, whether that be the low-fat diet, Atkin’s low-carb diet, eating fewer calories, or eating more protein.

As we’re learning, a "diet" really needs to be a "daily," since there really isn’t a magic bullet when it comes to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle that lasts. Eating “clean” attempts to bring all those diet concepts together into being more mindful of where that food you’re eating came from, how it got to your plate, and aiming for the foods that were processed the very least in that journey, to being as close to nature as possible. Basically, Like Jack Lalanne always said: "If God didn't make it, don't eat it!"

Ok then, so what counts as processed?

Unfortunately, most of the average grocery store is filled with processed things that some people call food, but are basically chemical compounds made in a laboratory that really have very little left in them that can be identified as real food with nutrient value. When’s the last time you came across a fruit loop tree?

For simplicity’s sake, we will consider processing as the following:

  • Additions of any kind: Artificial sweeteners (Aspartame, Equal, Splenda, High Fructose Corn Syrup), preservatives (TFA's: Trans Fatty Acids), excess sodium, and flavor enhancers (MSG).

  • Form changes from a natural food: removing parts of a whole grain, bleaching, purifying, hydrolyzing, adding sugar to fruit juices, GMO’s, most cooked frozen foods.

  • Other additions that were likely formulated in a lab: you know, the words on the ingredient label you can’t pronounce or don’t recognize… safe to say those are the ones we’re talking about.

So processed foods can go all the way from your steamed vegetables (minimal processing) to instant oatmeal, to a hot dog and deep fried doughnuts.

As you’re probably thinking, not all processing is that bad, in fact some is good, such as removing parts of a plant that make the food edible (eg. soaking and cooking castor beans to remove the toxin resin). But as you guessed, some foods have gone through such a long line of processing, that the makers feel obligated to enrich them with vitamins and minerals to make up for what they’ve taken away from the natural substance in the first place. Most cereals and yogurts may come to mind here!

To keep this clean eating strategy simple, choose unaltered whole food options that are mainly plant based, low in grains, and a little bit of meat - this plating choice has been shown to fight against and even prevent serious diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. And when meats are consumed, choose companies who source their animals from the wild, or small farms where they are pasture raised, contain no hormones or antibiotics, and are fed very little-to-no corn.

Learn more about these strategies

In our E-Book Eluvies Cleanse, or book a meeting with Dr Grace in person to get a real jump start on a new way of living!

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