Clean Eating: Stripped Bare

Modern food production has led to an increase in food processing, refinement and excessive handling. At its simplest definition, clean eating aims to reduce your intake of these altered and processed foods, encouraging you to eat whole foods instead. The bigger picture of this new way of eating is to understand where your food has come from, what has been added or removed and how this may impact your health.

Understanding the difference between processed and ultra-processed

Natural wholefoods are considered to be any food that has not been altered in any way from its original form. However, once you steam broccoli you have technically turned it into a processed food. This is where clean eating can be confusing.

While altering the state of a food puts it under the processed category, not all processed items are bad. When you blend fresh fruits for a smoothie you process it, this act in itself is not the problem. The issue lies with ultra-processed foods. Genetically modified vegetables, foods that have been pre-cooked and given a dose of preservatives to turn them into long-life, non-perishables and many other additives and chemical changes are the processed foods we need to be wary of.

Many studies have indicated that eating these ultra-processed foods can lead to increased risk of life threatening disease and illnesses. Clean eating is designed to help you reduce that risk.

How to eat clean

Once you have a good understanding of why you want to clean eat, it is time to begin!

Some unprocessed and minimally processed foods that you can eat include:

-          Nuts

-          Fresh eggs

-          Fresh fruit and vegetables

-          Unprocessed meats

-          Oils and unrefined grains such has quinoa and brown rice

Pesticide free organic options are preferable as you minimise your expose to added pesticides or chemicals used in the growing process.

Shop with a clean mind

As well as changing your eating habits, adjusting how you shop is important too. Ensure you are purchasing food from the outer edges of supermarkets, these areas are where you will find fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and nuts. If you are looking at packaged foods, ensure you are reading the labels and understanding what it is you plan on ingesting. Do you need the pre-made pasta sauce or can you make your own using fresh tomatoes, basil and onion?

Eating clean and natural is a lifestyle choice that becomes easier with education. Be aware of what you are eating and enjoy a new healthy lifestyle by choosing to go clean.