Clean eating is one of the latest trends for people trying to lose weight, and those who are health conscious and concerned about what’s really in the food they consume.
They’re right to be worried. Food labeling can be confusing and even deliberately misleading. There’s also all sorts of conflicting information about eating this, not that, and foods that sound healthy are often anything but.
With the rise in obesity and in Type 2 diabetes in the US, particular attention is being paid to the sources of sugar in our diets in an effort to cut down, if not steer clear completely.
Studies have shown that the average American eats around 22 teaspoons of sugar each day. The American Heart Association recommends only 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men. In terms of clean eating, therefore, it means tracking down and eliminating the main sources of sugar in your diet.
Cake, cookies, candy, and other dessert-type foods are the obvious culprits for both sugar, and a lot of chemicals, so they should be the first to go when you start clean eating. If you are going to eat dessert, it should be made from all-natural foods and eaten sparingly, with a strict observance of tight portion control.
In fact, many people who start a clean eating regimen begin with a sugar detox because research has shown just how addictive sugar can be. It creates a rollercoaster of sugar highs and lows, alters mood and increases cravings.
Those who have a sweet tooth tend to be emotional eaters who grab sugary treats when they are stressed, bored, or want to ‘reward’ themselves in some way. Think about the foods we eat at birthdays, holidays and other special occasions and you will get an idea of just how common it is in society for sweets to be used as a reward.
Healthy foods that really aren’t
A Nature’s Valley granola bar sounds like the perfect healthy snack-until you read the label and see how much sugar, salt, fat and calories it has it in. Make your own trail mix with raisins, crasins and almonds. It will be better for you and probably even cheaper pound for pound. Use fruit for dessert, such as apples and berries.
Artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes
Clean eating means eliminating these from the diet. It therefore means learning how to make your own salad dressing, ketchup and more. Read most food labels in the store and you will find these as part of the ingredients. They might be disguised as dextrose and flavorings, but they are usually sugar and trigger cravings.
Try clean eating with a view to eliminating sugar, and see what a difference it can make to your health.