- Clean eating has nothing to do with food being clean or dirty
- It involves eating organic and home-cooked food
- It talks about avoiding intake of anything that comes in a packet
Clean eating is something that nutritionists and health experts often recommend. Clean eating is a diet pattern which focuses on fresh and whole foods. In literal terms, clean eating has got nothing to do with the food being clean or dirty. It is basically the kind of lifestyle which involves consumption of naturally-available whole foods, with minimal consumption of processed and packaged foods. This is a kind of lifestyle which can be easy-to-follow, as long as you follow a few basic guidelines.
What is clean eating?
According to Dr Geeta Dharmatti, Chief Nutrigenomic Counselor, Genetic Healing, clean eating promotes consumption of organic and pure foods. It eliminates all forms of unprocessed, ultra-processed, packaged foods as well as foods containing excess salt and gluten-rich products. "Clean eating is all about identifying foods that can trigger lifestyle-related health challenges like cancer, obesity, diabetes, amongst others. The concept of clean eating looks beyond calories and aims at promoting good gut health so as to create an environment of positive physical and mental health," she says.
Here are a few guidelines that you need to follow if you want to practice clean eating:
1. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. This is also an interesting way to make your diet more diverse and improve your gut health. Eat fruit and vegetable salads and make them as colourful as possible.
2. Limit intake of processed and packaged foods. Celeb nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar is of the opinion that you must avoid anything that comes in a packet. This is including fruit juices, biscuits, low-fat crackers etc. Intake of processed foods can increase inflammation and inflammation has been found to be the root cause of many diseases.
3. Limit intake of refined carbs like pasta, bread, white flour, desserts, deep-fried and junk food.
4. Use healthy and organic cooking oils like olive oil, coconut oil, mustard oil or groundnut oil. Avoid reheating used oil.
5. Stay away from added sugar in all forms, especially sugary drinks. Hidden sugar which comes from biscuits and breakfast cereals also need to be avoided.
6. Limit intake of alcohol and restrict it strictly to occasions. No amount of alcohol, in any form, is good for you.
7. Snack healthy and avoid packaged snack foods, especially if they claim to be fat-free, gluten-free, baked or low-carb. Ghee-roasted makhanas, roasted black chanas, nuts and seeds make for some healthy snacking options.
8. Drink sufficient water and make it your primary beverage. Water not only keeps you hydrated but can also help you maintain a healthy weight.
9. Eat food according to your locality, culture and the season. If you follow any of the fad diets, you may end up eating the same food throughout the year. This will not only prevent diversity in your diet, but may also lead to digestion issues. Eat foods that are in season. They taste better and are also good for digestion and assimilation of nutrients from the food.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.