The Guide to Clean Eating
1- What qualifies as processed food?
Additives- salt, sugar, fat, chemicals or preservatives basically anything that enhances the flavour or extends the expiry date.
Processes that changes a foods natural form- for example removing the bran from rice, wheat or instant oats.
Foods created in a lab, I would hope that’s a given… so we’re talking candy, gum ect.
2- Is all processed food BAD?
Not always, while avoiding processed foods is a good rule of thumb there are always some exceptions. Freeze dried anti-oxidants or greens for example are a great way to get vitamins and essential nutrients, also there are some reputable (usually small scale) food companies that make quality boxed foods, like whole grain pastas, sauces and snacks. Always check your labels because it can be tough to navigate through some of the marketing of “natural” foods.
3- Say NO to GMO’s
A genetically modified organism(GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.
Foods with genetically modified ingredients have been linked to cancer and infertility. Heavily modified food have also been shown to overstimulate the production of dopamine (the bodies pleasure neurotransmitter) causing a vicious cycle of junk food cravings.
4- Staples of a Clean Diet
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Nuts and legumes
Farm fresh, free range eggs
Unprocessed, wild, free range and organic meats
Whole grains, like quinoa, oats, rice ect.
GMO free Polyunsaturated Oils, avocado, grapeseed, olive, sunflower ect.
5- Shopping Tips
Try to buy local as much as possible, ie local farms or farmers markets
If your shopping in the grocery store avoid the inner aisles and stay along the perimeter
Talk to the people who work in the stores! You have every right to know where your veggies came from and what the animals were fed.
Read the labels! Natural food is huge right now and food companies are trying to capitalizing on that but most of the big guys are driven by profits not your health, and they have a lot of money to spend on marketing. The ingredients listed near the top of the label are what the product contains the most of and it descends from there. So a common one to look out for are juices, if you’re buying “pomegranate juice” you’ll notice apple and grape juice are usually at the top of the list with the last ingredient being pomegranate, this is because apple and grape juice are CHEAP and SWEET. I have found around 80% of foods marketed as health foods use this trick.