The concept of clean eating is not new. Long before the era of TV dinners, our nation was mostly farmland and the outcome of cooking dinner was “clean food”. Since the 1940’s, food manufacturers have developed countless convenient, pre-packaged foods. We are open to endless possibilities in weekly trips to the supermarket. The problem is that we think little about what else may be in the package.
Countless medical studies have shown that chronic disease in the form of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancers often originate due to the type of food and added chemicals we eat.
Dietitians have long supported shopping the outer aisles of the supermarket to focus on fresh foods (not processed). Processed foods, the ones that come in a package with a list of ingredients that include long, multi-syllable words are suspect. These packaged foods contain chemicals to help keep the food fresh for longer on the shelf are suspect, and not considered “clean” foods.
Clean foods contain just one or two ingredients and are foods in their most basic form. Clean eating also eliminates extra added unhealthy fats, salt and sugar that manufacturers add to make the product taste better. Simple recipes made fresh don’t need all of those extras in order to taste great. Here’s a simple list of foods that are
- Unrefined grains, like whole wheat bread and pasta, popcorn, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice.
- Fresh or frozen (not canned) fruits and vegetables.
- Unprocessed meat; wild over pastured, pastured over grain-fed.
- Hormone-free dairy.
Now is the perfect time to try clean foods. Fresh foods are available in abundance at fresh air and farmers markets. Locally in Berks County, Pa., you can find fresh foods right from the growers in this list http://www.localfarmmarkets.org/PAeastfarmmarkets.php and here https://www.visitpaamericana.com/see-and-do/farmers-markets/
Finding simple, no fuss, 4-5 ingredient recipes are in abundance. Personally, my favorite go-to is Pinterest. Simply type the main ingredient you want to cook with into search and you are sure to find countless, simple recipes.
If you haven’t already, give clean eating a try. Shop local for fresh local meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables. Try new recipes. Your body is sure to respond in a positive way!