What is Clean Eating?
· Clean eating is choosing healthy, whole, unprocessed foods to eat such as apples, broccoli, brown rice, chicken, almonds, and milk.
What are Processed Foods?
· Any food that has been altered from its original state.
· Foods that contain additional ingredients such as sodium, sugar, fat, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.
· Includes everything from heavily processed hot dogs to minimally processed organic pasta sauce.
· Read food labels on packaged foods to determine if any other ingredients has been added. Avoid foods with a long list of ingredients or any ingredients you cannot pronounce.
Is Processing Bad?
· Processing is not always bad; it can remove toxins and bacteria by pasteurizing milk. It can allow us to eat foods that are not in season by freezing or canning vegetables. It can alter the consistency and taste to make foods more appealing by blending fruit and vegetables together for a smoothie.
· Pasteurized milk, frozen vegetables, and green smoothies are all examples of minimally processed foods which have a place in a healthy lifestyle.
· Ultra-processed foods such as diet soda, baked goods, chips, and ready-to-eat foods such as Rice-a-Roni are foods to avoid. Health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and depression have been associated with ultra-processed food consumption.
· Clean eating does not mean everything you eat must be raw and straight from the ground. It does mean choosing minimally processed foods with few added ingredients prepared in healthy ways.
· Clean foods such as produce, dairy, and meat are along the perimeter of a grocery store. Shop along the perimeter and avoid going deeper into the center of the store where more processed foods are located.
· When selecting foods ask yourself: Where did this food come from? How much has it been processed or handled? Are all ingredients recognizable? Does it contain healthy foods to nourish me?