When grocery shopping, the perimeter of the store is my comfort zone. I go down only a few aisles: the frozen section for frozen veggies and ice cream (yes, I do eat ice cream), the pasta aisle, and the Mediterranean aisle. But as I talk to more people and they learn that I am a nutritionist, people have been asking me about various products. So I decided to take a journey down the treacherous aisles of the supermarket.
With no goal in mind, I wandered around with my cart picking up different products and reading the ingredients; most of them looked like the chemical gibberish from my chemistry books. I kept asking myself, “Why do people intentionally ingest chemistry experiments?” I am not alone in this thought; many health-conscious individuals share the same feeling. They do not want to eat chemicals, preservatives, food coloring, and numerous other things added by manufacturers to the foods.
Clean eating is eating food that does not contain foreign substances. Ingredients for the clean-eating products would be recognizable food names like olive oil, whole wheat flour, sugar, and other whole foods. Food is prepared using only food grown by nature; this includes red meats, chicken, fish, shrimp and many other unprocessed meats. Bologna, pepperoni, and fish sticks are not on the menu at clean-eating households! These people eat foods with no artificial anything. This entails cooking from scratch sometimes, but that does not mean it has to be a lengthy practice. You can find numerous clean-eating recipes on the Healthy Plate 5 blog that take about 30 minutes to prepare.
Processed foods contain high quantities of hidden sugar, salt, high-fructose corn syrup, saturated fats and other unhealthy substances. Clean eating limits the amount of these unhealthy ingredients because you know what is in your food and you know how much of it you put in your meals. This aids in weight loss, diabetes, hypertension, renal disease, gluten-free diets and numerous food intolerances people suffer from because the cook controls exactly what and how much goes into the meal. Just like most other diet choices, clean eating does not have to be an all-or-nothing regimen to which you are beholden. You can try to eat clean as much as possible, but when you are traveling, sick, busy, or just do not feel like cooking, there are other options. Making the change to eliminate as many chemicals as possible is a healthy step that can benefit both you and your family.