Eating the natural way to look your best

‘Clean eating’ emphasises whole, natural foods and regular physical activity

The rise of organic, natural foods has accomplished more than just reshaping the way people think about food. It has also sparked a culinary movement known as ‘clean eating’.

Emphasising whole, natural foods and regular physical activity, this eating plan boasts a nutritionally sound diet that promotes balance, variety and moderation enabling you to build a stronger, leaner and healthier body. Best of all, it has built-in flexibility, so it can easily be tailored to meet almost any individual’s needs.

Like all healthy eating plans, the main principles focus on choosing whole fruits and vegetables in their natural state; lean meat, fish, and poultry; beans and legumes; low-fat dairy products; and whole grains from a variety of food sources. Meals are high in fibre and low in fat, calories, sugar and sodium.

Clean eating seeks to avoid all highly processed, refined foods that have been treated to change their physical, chemical, microbiological, or sensory properties. As a general rule, clean eaters strive to eliminate all prepared frozen meals, desserts, and side dishes along with convenience, boxed and canned foods. Off-limit ingredients include highly processed high fructose corn syrup; man-made ingredients such as artificial sweeteners; trans fats; artificial colours and flavours; unnecessary food additives such as excess salt, sugar, and corn syrup; and chemical preservatives.


Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules, as many people who follow this regime opt to include a few low-sodium tinned or boxed items such as tomato sauces, chicken or vegetable stock, beans and salsa, as well as frozen fruits and vegetables without added salt or sugar. But, for the most part, followers get the majority of their food from whole, fresh sources.

Many studies have shown that a diet high in processed foods and empty calories leads to obesity and increased risks for heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, inflammation, and other illnesses. On the other hand, a diet high in fibre, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, beans, and whole grains reduces these risks. Diets high in processed, refined foods have been linked to abdominal obesity. With this type of obesity, people have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

Like most eating regimes, clean eating strives to meet the 80/20 rule, following the diet 80% of the time.

Obviously, the closer people follow a processed-free diet, the more health benefits they will reap. But, even with little changes, followers can begin to notice a difference. Although some people do well throwing out all processed foods and going clean cold turkey, others need to make a more gradual transformation and take small steps.

Either way, their goal is clear: Maintaining a clean, healthy diet that makes them look and feel their best.