One of the most common questions that people ask at the diet clinic is about the phenomenon known as clean eating. Clean eating has grown in popularity through the use of social media and other means which have exposed it to a larger share of the population.
As a diet clinic, we have always recommended clean eating, though there seem to be a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings about what that means. When done correctly, this is an effective strategy suggested by our diet clinic.
What clean eating is not
It is easier to start by addressing what clean eating is not. From the perspective of a diet clinic, clean eating is not a diet. It is more of a dietary lifestyle. When a person is engaged in clean eating they do not count kilojoules, fats or carbohydrates. There are also no limitations on the amount of food a person can eat and there is no strict dietary plan in order to help a patient lose weight.
Simply put, clean eating does not have the sole goal of weight loss. This can be confusing due to the false portrayal in popular media as a dietary craze that makes people look great, lose weight and feel amazing. All the pictures of clean meals on social media create a level of confusion as to what clean eating really means. Many patients think it is a form of dieting when the reality is that it is not.
So what is clean eating?
Clean eating involves consuming food that is in its most natural state. For example, eating a baked potato with the skin still on it instead of buying potato chips is a form of clean eating. Clean eating also involves avoiding any processed foods which typically contain large amounts of fat, preservatives, sugar and sodium.
In addition, people who come to the diet clinic and want to engage in clean eating need to know the facts about this type of diet. Clean eating uses organically grown fruits and vegetables that avoid chemicals, which is an important step in the process. Clean eaters will typically choose free-range eggs, meat and dairy. Similarly, people engaged in clean eating will choose to eat whole grains, unsaturated fat from avocado, nuts or unsaturated/unrefined oils.
Clean eating also involves drinking plenty of water and choosing minimally invasive techniques to cook food such as steaming or baking. Here at the diet clinic, the dietitians have always encouraged clients to eat clean, and this clean eating phenomenon is extremely beneficial to the body as a whole.
Benefits of clean eating
As with any choice to eat better and adopt a healthier lifestyle, clean eating has significant benefits. These include some of the following:
1. Better maintenance of blood sugar levels which helps to reduce diabetic attacks in diabetic patients and can help to offset early diabetes.
2. Weight loss and a decreased risk of obesity, and obesity-related complications.
3. Increases in both the energy levels of the patient as well as the increased immune function which helps reduce the possibility that a person will get sick.
4. Decreased cholesterol which leads to less potential for heart problems, lower blood pressure, and an overall increase in the health of a patient which has also been found to decrease the risk of dietary-related cancers.