Milk

The clean eating diet is the latest in a line of healthy eating food trends, but figuring out how it’s different from real food and whole food diets can be an arduous task. The details of each trend depend largely on whom you ask, but the gist is this: clean eating is a whole food diet that focuses on reduction of saturated fat and increased consumption of proteins and superfoods.

Clean eating originally dates back to the 1960s natural food health movement. Much like the real/whole food movement, its primary focus is on eliminating processed foods. It was eventually adopted by fitness enthusiasts and is now becoming more mainstream, often as a way to lose weight while eating healthy. In part, because some of the focus is on fat reduction and muscle building, clean eating reduces fats in dairy by encouraging skim milk and other low-fat dairy products. Real and whole food diets focus on eating natural unprocessed foods as well. But healthy, good fats are encouraged including whole milk dairy and cheese. Let’s compare the cans and the can’ts of both food trends.

Clean Eating Diet CAN Dos:

  • Can eat whole foods in their most natural state.
  • Can cook your own foods from scratch.
  • Should eat five or six small meals a day. Clean Eating Expert Diane Welland says this usually amounts to three meals and two hearty snacks.
  • Should eat protein with each meal. Combining your carbs with proteins or moderate amounts of healthy fats is suggested to quash hunger pains.
  • Can use all-natural sweeteners in moderation (honey, maple syrup and dehydrated sugar cane juice).

Clean Eating Diet CAN’T Dos:

  • Can’t eat processed foods. Clean eating describes processed foods as any food that has a label. If there is more than one ingredient, it’s processed. While all processed foods don’t necessarily have to be eliminated, foods with unpronounceable ingredients should be avoided.
  • Can’t eat refined sugar.
  • Can’t eat refined grains like white flour or white rice.
  • Can’t eat deep fried foods.
  • Can’t eat fast foods.
  • Beware of foods with high fat, sugar and salt content. 
  • Can’t eat whole milk dairy products, should opt instead for skim milk and low-fat dairy.
  • Avoid drinking your calories. Specialty coffees, sodas and sweetened tea tack on unnecessary calories. Instead, choose water, unsweetened tea, skim milk or fruit juice diluted with sparkling water.
  • Can’t drink alcohol (including wine and beer).

Real/Whole Food CAN Dos:

  • Can eat whole foods in their most natural state.
  • Can cook your own foods from scratch.
  • Can eat as many or as few meals as you like (no specific restrictions in meal amounts).
  • Can drink naturally sweetened beverages in moderation. Can drink water, milk, all natural juices, wine, beer, coffee and tea.
  • Can use all-natural sweeteners in moderation (honey, maple syrup and fruit juice concentrates).
  • Can eat foods high in good fats. 
  • Can drink whole milk dairy products rather than reduced and non-fat dairy. Get your dairy as natural as you can find it, even raw if it’s available and you’re into that. Removing the fat from dairy makes the milk’s vitamins harder for your body to digest. Low-fat and skim milk also sometimes contain unnatural additives to bring the consistency back to milk’s natural creaminess.

Real/Whole Food CAN’T Dos:

  • Can’t eat processed foods.
  • Can’t eat refined sugar or unnatural sweeteners (no form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda, says Lisa Leake of 100 days of Real Food).
  • Can’t eat refined grains like white flour or white rice.
  • Can’t eat packaged foods from a box, unless the ingredients list is less than five ingredients long.
  • Can’t eat deep fried foods.
  • Can’t eat fast foods.

Keep in touch with Kristi on Twitter @VeggieConverter and Pinterest

Image: cam evans

Sources:

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/real-food-defined-a-k-a-the-rules/
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/eating-clean-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html
http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/smart-choices/clean-eating-00412000069316/
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2013/04/what-the-heck-is-clean-eating/