Is Clean Eating the Sensible Way to Live?

There is a lot of pressure these days on eating clean but in The Telegraph Amelia Freer explains that it is not the most useful attitude towards eating. In case you are not sure clean eating is explained below, although people may not completely agree on the definition. These details have come form

Firstly the day consists of three meals and two snacks which should include complex carbohydrates with each meal and lots of fruit and vegetables. The food should be organic particularly any meat, eggs or dairy. Two litres of water should be consumed a day at least, not form a plastic bottle and alcohol should be limited to a maximum of one glass of anti-oxidant rich red wine per day. Processed foods should be avoided so anything white, like white flour, bread or pasta should be avoided and whole grains consumed instead. Plus checking labels is a must with foods that have only one or two ingredients to be bought. Some foods should be avoided such as foods with trans fats, fried foods or anything high in sugar. Anything with additives, preservatives, colours, emulsifiers, stabilizers should not be consumed. Healthy fats with essential fatty acids should be included each day. Portion size is important with small portions being essential and slow eating to enjoy the food and savour it. You should also buy seasonal local foods to reduce your carbon footprint, buy humanely raised meats and ocean friendly seafood. Try to enjoy food with your family when you can and pack food whenever you will be out for a long period so that you do not have to buy unclean alternatives.

This can sound like the ultimate diet, lots of healthy foods, nothing processed and everything that you may have been taught about healthy ways to live. However, it is worth considering a few things before you decide to go onto this sort of diet.

Just because you are eating the foods that you have been taught are healthy it does not mean you will lose weight. How much of the foods you eat and how you cook them will also have an effect, If you snack on nuts and have fried meat with each meal as well as pasta with cheese sauces, you will gain weight even if you have half a plate of vegetables with it. Portion size is important, as stated, but you also need to consider the types of foods you are eating too.

Preparing all of your own food is time consuming and can be difficult too. If you are not an experienced cook, it can be hard learning the skills and finding the skills to make food. If you only know a few recipes you could end up eating the same meals and therefore not get a range of foods or a range of nutrients, so you need to be careful. If you only pick local and seasonal fruits and vegetables you could find that you are limited in the range of foods available in certain months of the year. Although you could prepare and freeze some, most people would not have enough freezer space to store enough fruits and vegetables to keep their family going over the winter and spring.

This diet can be expensive. Wholegrain foods are usually more expensive than the white alternatives and buying more humane meat, fish and dairy products is also expensive. Even if you limit the amount you have to keep the cost down, you still have to afford the organic fruit and vegetables which are dear. Obviously, you could grow your own to save money, but not everyone has the space or time or energy to do this and it is rare for anyone to have a plot of land large enough to supply their whole family.

Sticking to a diet like this can be really hard for some people. If you are not used to eating foods like this then making a sudden change can be difficult and you may not enjoy the food. However much we are told that homemade sugar-free muesli and sweet potato brownies taste really good, they are an acquired taste. If you are used to the ‘real thing’ it will take a lot to change your taste and get you used to the alternative. You could end up spending a few weeks eating foods you hate and then giving up. It can be more sensible to make a slow transition so you make swaps each week and experiment with new recipes and foods mixed in with your usual dishes until you find some which you really enjoy.

Guilt can be a huge problem with many diets but this one particularly. The fact that there is not only emphasis on eating products which are more humane to animals but also environmentally friendly products and those which are healthy for you loads on three levels of guilt. If you go off the diet even just for one small thing and say buy a packet of pork scratchings you will be failing on three different levels. It is not good to feel guilty like this it creates stress and takes the pleasure away from what you are doing. You will eat it, consume those calories, not enjoy them, put on weight and feel bad for that as well. It is not worth it.

It is far more sensible to come up with a diet that suits you; something that you can afford, maintain and sustain. Think about making a few foods swaps to get healthier, shop at your local market when you can afford to and try to cook a few meals from scratch and make extra portions to freeze to save time in the future. As you get used to doing this you can make a few more changes. However, you need to make sure that if you are not happy with a change that you have made, that you try something else instead. You need to have a flexible approach so that you can make it work for you and your family. It could be very hard to wean children off crisps and chocolate bars and onto organic almonds and raw cauliflower overnight, so take it step by step and in a relaxed fashion.


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