The rules for healthy eating has progressed and changed over the years. Some of the changes are due to innovations and research, others are theories created by people in the public. Some changes are beneficial while others are modern day snake oil. It is up to us as individuals to determine what is legitimate, useless, or potentially harmful. Our ancestors probably did not know about gluten, GMO, sustainable food, or shark cartilage. Also, our ancestors did not have the Internet with its wealth of information. If you are not careful you can become overwhelmed with trying to determine how to eat healthy from all of the information available to us.
On Facebook, I am connected to a fitness group. One day I noticed a post from a lady with a before and after picture. The difference between the two pictures was drastic. She attributed the improvement to clean eating. So I decided to research and determine if clean eating would work for me.
My first step was to get a definition for clean eating. There is a clean eating magazine. (http://www.cleaneatingmag.com) I went to the site and found this definition. “The soul of eating clean is consuming food the way nature delivered it, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life – one meal at a time.” The site also lists some steps for clean eating. They include: (1) eat five to six times a day, (2) choose organic foods whenever possible, (3) drink at least two liters of water a day, (4) get label savvy, (5) avoid processed foods, (6) know they enemies, (7) consume healthy fats, (8) learn about portion sizes, and (9) reduce your carbon footprint.
I then went to WebMD and found this definition for clean eating. (http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-how-to-eat-clean) “The basic idea of clean eating is to choose foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. So instead of boxed, bagged, or packaged foods, choose fresh, whole ones. Think whole turkey instead of frozen turkey meatballs or raw grapes instead of gummy snacks made with fruit juice. Bonus: When you avoid highly processed foods, like chips, cookies, and ready-to-eat meals, you skip their loads of calories, sugar, salt, and saturated fat.” WebMD lists the following steps for eating clean: (1) pick whole foods, (2) eat more whole grains, (3) load up on fruits and veggies, (4) watch out for salt and added sugar, (5) skip artificial ingredients, (6) sip plenty of water, (7) rethink alcohol and caffeine, (8) decide if you will go organic, and (9) be smart about meat and dairy.
I realize I already follow a lot of the steps listed for clean eating. I also recognize that I could improve in some areas. If you decide you want to improve your eating habits, you do not have to make it an all or nothing proposition. Do what you can. Take it one day at a time. If you eat a dessert or some potato chips don’t beat yourself up. Just make a commitment to eat healthy the next day.
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