The truth about clean eating

The truth about clean eating

By Mitun De Sarkar

Published: Thu 14 Mar 2019, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Mar 2019, 1:00 AM

What is clean eating? To put it simply, it is eating real food that grows in a natural environment and is mostly a plant-based diet. It means staying away from processed food - ones that are made in a factory and are actually chemically-laden junk.
Today, social media, bloggers and influencers have turned clean eating into an obsession. Either there is complete ignorance or there is complete obsession. Just the other day, I was checking the hashtag #cleaneating on Instagram and found 42.2 million posts for the same. In the name of clean eating, people often promote grain-free living, and living off raw veggies and juices. Some would say count calories while others would argue against it, making a case for eating as much as one wants as long as it falls under the umbrella of clean eating. For a layman, the choice becomes difficult. Who do they trust?
Unless you have certain medical needs to avoid certain foods, there is no need to jump onto any bandwagon. For me, a clean diet is about eating wholesome meals that suit your body's requirements. It cannot be a fad diet or any meal plan that encourages starvation. Sure, you ought to ditch junk food, but you can enjoy it once in a while when you're really craving.
Any diet or meal plan should be enjoyable as long as it is supported with practical nutritional advice by a certified dietitian. For instance, you needn't start on ketogenic diets without understanding the implications it can have on you mentally and physiologically. If you are a hardcore meat eater, you need not turn vegan all of a sudden. You need to start taking smaller steps in order to turn vegan and avoid nutritional deficiencies. If you want to get into juicing, go ahead and have the green juices, but don't turn them into your entire day's meals for weeks. Ditto for a raw food diet. Neither is practical nor sustainable. What you must focus on is a balanced diet, getting nutrients from wholesome and healthy foods. Here is a sample plan for you to try out.
Eggs and avocado with potato or beetroot, a mix of greens and berries smoothie with chia seeds or flaxseeds.
A bowl of lentils or beans with mixed greens, a cup of rice or quinoa and salad with olive/avocado/walnut oil and a cup of yoghurt.
Wild salmon or hormone-free chicken with broccoli, asparagus, green beans, sweet potatoes with skin on and sautéed in coconut oil with lots of ginger, turmeric and garlic, served with a warm bowl of cabbage or squash leek soup.
Now, this meal plan is not depriving you of carbohydrates, proteins, fats or starches. You are eating real and clean food free of chemicals.

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