According to the Mayo Clinic, eating clean is eating more whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats and limit highly processed snack foods, sweets and other packaged foods. It’s also limiting highly processed, packaged foods with a long list of ingredients, most of which are not natural. Ingredients listed on the food label should mostly be foods that you recognize, such as whole-grain steel cut oats.
This has been a learning process for me. I never used to read food labels. Now I check every food label I buy. I check how much sugar and trans fat is in the food. My goal is to not go over 24 grams of sugar per day; that’s the daily limit for women. I also look for hidden sugar ingredients, anything that has the word “cose” in it, such as glucose or high fructose corn syrup. It may take a little longer to get through the grocery store but it’s worth a few extra minutes for better health.
I also avoid foods that have extra sodium or fat. I have a history of high cholesterol so I try to avoid packaged foods high in trans fat.
Avoiding foods that are drastically altered compared with their natural form, such as processed meats, packages cookies, cakes and white bread. With my history of sugar addiction , this was a habit I had to break. Once I discovered how unhealthy these foods were, it wasn’t too hard to cut them out of my diet. I was pleasantly surprised to see how easy it was, at least for me. It may not be the same for others.
Preparing foods and eating at home. This can be a tough one for me since I have a busy schedule and sometimes i just don’t have time to cook or the energy. I’ve been preparing wholesome meals at home in large batches and then freezing the leftovers. That way if I am very busy or extremely tired; I can warm it up on the stove or in the microwave.
Hope this article has helped with understanding what it means to eat clean. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you.
- article by Emily Brown, R.D.N., LD.