What is Clean Eating?
There are so many different diets and dietary preferences out there that it can be difficult at times to keep them all straight. That’s where we come in. To help you to understand the different options out there and determine what is right for you and your family, we are going to break down just one of the many options: Clean Eating.
What exactly is clean eating? To put it simply, clean eating is choosing foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. It often includes whole fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats while limiting highly processed snacks, packaged foods with added sugar and salt, and chemical additives and preservatives. Although the terms "clean eating" and "clean diets" are not federally regulated in the U.S., the concept generally promotes health and wellness by encouraging the selection of minimally processed, nutrient-dense foods.
The popularity of clean eating has been fueled by social media, with celebrities, bloggers, and other high-profile personalities sharing their clean eating meals and recipes. In fact, the majority of people who are familiar with the term clean eating found out about it from social media or other online sources.
As with any eating pattern, clean eating can be taken to an extreme and cause negative effects on the body. This tends to happen when individuals become hyper focused on what they are putting into their bodies and the idea of healthy eating, rather than ensuring that they are receiving the nutrition they need. Always consult your healthcare provider before starting a new diet.
Clean eating is an eating style that aims to promote health and wellness by focusing on nutrient-dense, minimally processed foods. But it's extremely important to maintain a balanced and flexible approach to clean eating to prevent it from becoming overly restrictive or causing anxiety around food and eating.
Advantages of Eating Clean
When done in the right way, clean eating offers numerous health benefits. By focusing on nutrient-dense foods, you can nourish your body with essential vitamins, minerals, high-quality protein, and healthy fats that contribute to better overall health.
Some of the advantages to clean eating include the following:
- Improved heart and brain health. Consuming whole, unprocessed foods can help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cognitive function.
- Weight management. Clean eating can aid in maintaining a healthy weight as it avoids heavily processed foods that are often high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and empty calories.
- Stronger immune system. Nutrient-dense foods provide essential nutrients that support a robust immune system, helping your body fight off illness and infections.
- Increased energy levels. Clean eating provides your body with a steady supply of energy through whole, natural foods, reducing energy slumps often associated with consuming heavily processed foods.
- Enhanced flavor. Foods in their natural state are generally more flavorful, making clean eating not only healthier but also more enjoyable.
The Mayo Clinic provides the following examples of foods typically included in a clean eating diet:
- Fresh fruits: Apples, bananas, blueberries, grapes, oranges, strawberries, 100% fruit juice
- Vegetables: Avocados, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, corn, green beans, lettuce, mushrooms, onion, peppers, salsa, sweet potatoes, tomatoes
- Lean meats/protein: dried beans, eggs from grass-fed chickens, fresh fish, grass-fed chickens, plain nut butters (no sugar added), unflavored nuts
- Grain (cereal) foods: whole grains, air-popped popcorn, oats, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta
- Dairy products: cheese, milk, plain yogurt, unsweetened non dairy milks
- When transitioning to a clean eating lifestyle, be mindful of your drink and dessert choices, as they can be significant sources of added sugar. Opt for unsweetened tea, coffee, water, and seltzer, and consider making treats at home using less sugar, honey, fruit, and whole grains.
Clean eating can be an effective way to improve overall health, enhance energy levels, and enjoy the natural flavors of whole, unprocessed foods. The level of commitment to clean eating is up to you, but the benefits can be substantial.
Getting Started with Clean Eating
While managing a clean eating lifestyle can seem overwhelming, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you enjoy it!
Start small. Gradually incorporate clean eating habits into your daily routine instead of trying to switch everything all at once. Making small changes, such as adding more fruits and vegetables to your meals, and swapping processed snacks with healthier alternatives like nuts or air-popped popcorn is a great place to start.
Plan and prepare. Planning your meals in advance can help ensure you make healthier choices. Create a weekly meal plan that includes clean eating options, and prepare your meals in advance to save time and reduce the temptation to grab processed foods.
Read labels. When shopping for groceries, pay attention to food labels. Look for products with minimal ingredients, and avoid those with added sugars, artificial preservatives, and unhealthy fats. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.
Cook at home. Preparing your meals at home allows you to control the ingredients and ensure your meals are clean and nutritious. And you can have fun experimenting with new recipes!
Stay hydrated. Drinking water is an essential part of a clean eating lifestyle. Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, and consider infusing your water with fresh fruit or herbs for added flavor.
Shop smart. Focus on purchasing fresh, whole foods and avoid processed items. The perimeter of the grocery store is where you'll typically find produce, lean meats, and dairy products. And you can go enjoy local farmers' markets to find the freshest produce and support your local community.
Find support. Including friends or family members on your clean eating journey is a great way to keep each other accountable and motivated!
Be flexible. It's important to remember that clean eating doesn't have to be all or nothing. It is just fine to allow yourself the occasional indulgence. The key is to maintain balance and make clean eating a sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle choice.
Educate yourself. Keep learning about clean eating and its benefits. Staying informed about new research, and seeking out resources like books, blogs, and podcasts can help you maintain your clean eating lifestyle.
By incorporating these tips and tricks into your daily routine, you can gradually transition to a clean eating lifestyle and enjoy its many benefits. Remember that clean eating is a journey, and it's essential to be patient and kind to yourself as you make these positive changes.
Pederson's Farms: The Clean Meat Solution
At Pederson’s, we want to provide consumers with a clean meat solution that aligns with the principles of clean eating. We don’t want to consume artificial ingredients and additives any more than you do! By focusing on sustainable farming, humane treatment of animals, and avoiding the use of unnecessary ingredients, Pederson’s offers high-quality, clean meat that you can feel good about eating!
Sustainable Farming Practices
Pederson's Farms prioritizes environmentally-friendly farming methods whenever possible in an effort to promote healthy soil, reduce water pollution, and support biodiversity, making our products a sustainable option for clean eating enthusiasts.
Ethical Animal Treatment
Animal welfare is at the heart of our company’s philosophy. We ensure that animals are raised in humane conditions and verified by a 3rd Party Audit. We believe in providing a stress-free environment and avoiding overcrowding. Allowing animals to thrive produces healthier, cleaner meat.
No Artificial Additives
Pederson's takes a stand against the use of artificial additives in our products. We avoid using antibiotics, growth hormones, and synthetic chemicals. This ensures that the meat you consume is free from harmful substances. Instead, we focus on natural methods to maintain the health of our animals and prevent disease, leading to cleaner, more nutritious meat.
Transparency is essential to clean eating, and we are dedicated to providing consumers with information about where their food comes from. By sharing the details of our farming practices and sourcing, we empower consumers to make informed choices about the meat they include in their clean eating diets.
Wide Selection of Clean Meat Products
We offer a diverse range of clean meat products, including grass-fed beef and fresh pork. Our selection caters to various dietary preferences and needs, ensuring that everyone can find clean, high-quality meat options that fit their clean eating lifestyle.
Pederson's Farms Resources and Support for Your Clean Eating Journey
We understand the significance of clean eating and want to help you in your clean eating efforts. Below are some resources to help clean eating be just a little bit easier!