Perhaps you’ve heard me talk about eating clean. What does it mean exactly? The idea of eating clean is to be more mindful of the food you are putting in your body. It’s about eating whole foods, or “real” foods, those that are minimally processed, refined or handled and making them as close to their natural form as possible. Sometimes this can be a challenge.
What exactly is processed food? When food is processed it includes additions of any kind; anything from salt, sugar and fat to aid flavor. Preservatives that keep food from spoiling too quickly or vitamins added to enrich the food.
Processed food also includes changing the form of the natural food, such as removing the bran and wheat germ from whole grains to create refined bread.
Also included in processed foods are foods with components manufactured in a lab! Processed foods include everything from hot dogs to jarred organic pasta sauce, even our own steamed carrots are technically processed albeit minimally.
Why is processing food so bad? Well it is not always bad, often processing removes bacteria or toxins or allows us to eat certain types of food off season due to freezing or canning. The key is to avoid the foods that are “ultra processed” such as diet coke and doughnuts! The health problems associated with ultra processed foods are numerous. Foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been linked to cancer and infertility! Heavily modified food tends to have additives that over stimulate the production of dopamine, the “pleasure” neurotransmitter, perpetuating a negative cycle of constant junk food cravings.
You must constantly keep an eye on advertising because many of these ultra processed foods are advertised in a way that makes them seem good for us! Less sodium! All Natural! No Trans Fat!
There is extensive research that has linked eating whole foods with good health. Largely plant based diets are healthy! Diets based heavily on fruits and vegetables can curb or prevent certain life threatening conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure. They are also helpful in maintaining healthy weight management.
Eat less CRAP:
R = Refined sugar
A = Artificial Anything
P = Processed Foods
Eat More Food:
F = Fruits & Vegetables
O = Organic
O = Omega-3s
D = Drink Water and Green Tea
Read the labels and eat foods with fewer ingredients.
Stick to proper portion sizes.
Consume healthy fats each day, no saturated and trans fats.
Avoid alcohol, which is another form of sugar.
Pesticide free organic food is preferable to avoid added hormones or chemicals.
Start making little changes today and make it your goal to practice eating clean! Your body will be glad you did!