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This Month In Diet
  • Eat Clean, Get Lean
    The clean eating trend is a movement away from dependence on processed foods and a renewed focus on eating whole or “real” foods that are as close to their original forms as possible. So, when is a food considered processed, what's so bad about processed foods, and how can you adopt a cleaner diet? Read this article to find out. Read >>
  • Meatless Meals
    It can be a great source of iron, protein, and nutrients, but for a variety of reasons many people choose to reduce the amount of meat in their diet. Maybe it's the saturated fats, the cholesterol, the high cost, the thought of animal cruelty, or the risk of cancer associated with processed meats. Whatever your reasons for wanting to cut back on meat, you may find it challenging if meat has always been your go-to main course. Challenging, but not impossible. Read >>
  • Eat More Fat
    We now know there are good fats and bad fats. Healthy fats are used by your body to absorb vital nutrients, protect against heart disease, prevent belly fat, boost your immune system, improve brain function, and keep your nervous system running smoothly. They're also a weapon in your fight against weight gain. You just need to eat the right ones. Read >>
  • Perfect Pairs
    Did you know it's not just how much you eat or what you eat that helps you lose weight but also what foods you eat together? Nutrients work in collaboration and need each other to do their jobs. For example, vitamin C is needed for your body to better absorb iron from your food. Pairing certain foods has been shown to not only aid in absorption of vitamins and minerals but in burning fat, curbing your appetite, and helping you eat less overall. Read >>
Health and Fitness News

Eat Clean, Get Lean

What you need to know about the clean eating trend.

Back in the early 1900s, as more people began to live in cities, the food industry invented preservatives to keep food safe and tasty from farm to plate. This led to increased production and profits for food manufacturers.

It was during the mid 1900s when convenience packaged foods were introduced and later in the 20th century when the health and goodness of foods were reduced to nutrition labels and complicated numbers.

The clean eating trend is a movement away from dependence on processed foods and a renewed focus on eating whole or “real” foods that are as close to their original forms as possible.

So, when is a food considered processed, what's so bad about processed foods, and how can you adopt a cleaner diet?

What Makes a Food “Processed”?

People think of hot dogs or microwave dinners when they hear of processed foods, but the term encompasses a lot more. Any food that has been changed from its original state to preserve its freshness, safety, and shelf life is considered processed. This includes techniques such as canning, freezing, drying, baking, or pasteurizing. That covers everything from milk and frozen peas to bread, canned tomatoes, and jarred applesauce.

Foods are also considered processed if they have additional ingredients added such as sugar, salt, fat, or artificial preservatives. Examples of this include cereal, canned vegetables, and peanut butter. And processed foods include packaged foods produced with man-made ingredients. Chances are if you can't read or pronounce words on the ingredient list, they're made in a lab.

Are “Processed” Foods Bad?

The answer: yes and no. Many processed foods are safer than the alternative. You don't have to worry if there's bacteria or mold hiding in your jelly or sour cream. They're also more convenient. You can eat frozen berries any time of the year and don't have to plant, water, and harvest them yourself. Processed foods are even tastier or healthier in many instances. The sugars, vitamins, and minerals added to your morning cereal improve their taste and/or health benefits.

However, there are plenty of processed foods at the other end of the spectrum. Eating a diet of processed foods that includes high amounts of sugar, salt, fat, or added preservatives is known to contribute to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

How to Eat Cleaner

Clean eating is about avoiding those highly processed foods and embracing minimally processed foods for health and overall wellness. If this idea makes sense to you but you're not sure how to go about it, here are a few ideas.
It's still okay to eat foods out of a bag or box, but if there's a long list of ingredients on the nutritional label or if there are ingredients you can't pronounce, don't eat it.

One way to eat fewer processed foods is to eat more fruits and vegetables. They're loaded with vitamins and minerals, low in calories, and full of fiber. Choose organic whenever possible or thoroughly wash your produce before eating. Avoid canned vegetables, which can be high in sodium, and look for fruit canned in its own juice rather than heavy syrup.

Eat whole-grain breads, cereals, and pastas, and leave the refined grain, white flour, packaged baked goods on the store shelf. Finally, cut back on the amount of saturated fat in your diet by eating less red meat, cheese, mayonnaise, and full-fat dairy.

Another great concept of clean eating is keeping your body hydrated. This means drinking at least two liters of water daily and removing soda and carbonated drinks from your diet for good. Our body and brain are made mainly from water so we need it in order to function properly. Plus, water will help you detox your system and also conduct the nutrients better into your blood and, furthermore, to your organs and brain. This translates into better digestion, better brain functions, and an improved health. - Jonathan Vine
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