A dietitian's guide to 'clean eating': what it is and how to do it right - Deepstash
A dietitian's guide to 'clean eating': what it is and how to do it right

A dietitian's guide to 'clean eating': what it is and how to do it right

Curated from: theguardian.com

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'Clean eating' is the most widely followed diet

'Clean eating' is the most widely followed diet

Clean eating can best be described as a holistic approach to finding foods that are fresher, less processed, and a higher quality. The broader idea comes from the belief that your health is the single most important investment you can make.

Observational studies have linked ultra-processed diets with poor health, weight gain, and early death. While there is no one right way, the clean eating approach prefer food in its natural state.

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Clean eating mindset

Clean eating is about choosing whole foods and ingredients, products that are minimally processed, and as additive-free as possible. It is not a punishing mindset, but a prioritising one:

  • Whole foods and ingredients first.
  • Minimally processed foods made with whole and familiar ingredients.
  • Where possible, avoid synthetic chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives, as well as artificial sweeteners, flavours, and colours.

The practice also promotes home-cooking and developing a culture of food that leads to meals that taste great and are better for you.

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What clean eating is not

  • It's not a hard science. It is a conceptual framework to help navigate the vast food choices available.
  • Exclusive and judgmental. It's not an all-or-nothing approach, nor a tool by which to measure someone's value.
  • Versus "dirty." Clean eating can only be contrasted with "messy," where western diets are complicated and confusing.
  • Inflexible. It is an inclusionary approach that you can adapt, whether you are vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, or simply choose not to eat certain foods.
  • Only about avoiding processed foods or chemicals. It is about moving toward quality and making the healthiest choice.

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How to shop for a clean diet

  • Whole foods come first. Wholefoods don't need labels with ingredients.
  • Cut or eliminate ultra-processed foods that contain synthetic chemicals, pesticides, and artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives.
  • Choose minimally processed foods. It is food where, if you wanted to, you could find all the ingredients and make it yourself.
  • Focus on healthy oils such as olives and avocados.
  • Where you can, choose organic and no added hormone milk, cheese, yoghurt, and butter.
  • Select meats, poultry, eggs, and seafood with no hormones administered or antibiotics added.
  • Take care when choosing plant-based proteins as an alternative to meat as they can be highly processed and contain fillers, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.

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Making clean eating stick

  • Declutter your countertops. Replace sugary or processed snacks for a bowl of fresh fruit.
  • Reorganise your fridge and pantry. Place unprocessed, whole foods in front, and make packaged foods less visible.
  • Stay positive. Don't beat yourself up for a food choice. Big changes take time.

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