What is clean eating?

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

fruit bowl
Wow, that looks delicious.

With one-third of America’s citizens considered to be obese, it seems like more people are becoming increasingly concerned with clean eating. What is clean eating and how do you do it? According to nutritionist and registered dietitian Cynthia Sass, clean eating is made up of some basic ideas: eating whole foods, homemade meals, and listening to your body.

Whole foods are exactly what they sound like – unprocessed foods that are as fresh and natural as possible. “This one is pretty straightforward–instead of a banana nut muffin, eat a banana and some nuts!” wrote Sass in her article on clean eating.

If you’re planning to consume products that come in a box, pay special attention to the list of ingredients and be sure to stay away from artificial colors, sugars, and flavors.

The best way to make this happen is just to make meals straight in the kitchen. Instead of buying a prepackaged meal – which probably contains a bunch of salts and preservatives – fire up the stove and get to cooking. “These days, you can find a clean recipe for just about anything, including five-ingredient ice cream, and ‘old school’ food trends, like homemade baby food, and pickling veggies in Mason jars, are making major comebacks,” explains Sass.

It may seem obvious, but the reason we should be careful about what we eat is because of how it affects our bodies. For this reason, it’s especially important to listen to your body.

“After all, the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ is literally true, so being thoughtful about your food just makes sense,” pointed out Sass. Once you start to eat clean, you’ll really feel a difference in your energy levels, sleeping patterns, and overall health.

Featured image courtesy of Foodswings on Flickr. Image of fruit bowl courtesy of Elana’s Pantry on Flickr.