“Clean eating” is a phrase that is everywhere but exactly what is it?
While there’s no official definition set by the Food and Drug Administration for clean eating and not everything you read about it can be backed up by science, there are many personal interpretations of this popular diet-style. For many people, clean eating means a healthy, whole foods approach with minimally processed foods. Clean eaters often crave a simplified lifestyle that is focused on more balance and well-being too. It is a diet that focuses on the colors of the rainbow and whole foods without wrappers rather than foods that pop out of a box. It is all about foods that nourish your body and soul. It is really simple…eating whole grains, fruits, veggies, lean protein, and dairy.
Clean eating is no longer a trend as a survey show that 29% of consumers claim that clean labels impact their food purchasing decisions.*Registered Dietitian Nutritionists would all agree that buying fresh, whole foods at your grocery store, food coop or farmer’s market is a great place to start. Eat with your eyes and eat the color of the rainbow.
In the survey the top two factors indicating a clean label were “no artificial ingredients/ flavors/ preservatives, and “ingredients easily read or recognized.”
If you are eating lots of processed foods you may want to read your labels more closely and become a “food detective” when you are grocery shopping. When you buy packaged foods read the ingredient list and nutrition label. Example – canned tomatoes you can choose to buy tomatoes with citric acid (a preservative) in them or you can buy canned tomatoes that are only tomatoes without any preservatives.
While the interest in clean eating seems to have boomed only recently, our fabulous dairy group has delivered “clean eating” all along. Milk has only 3 ingredients: milk, vitamins D and A. While milk alternatives like almond and soy beverage, contain 10 or more added ingredients, including salt, stabilizers, syrups, thickeners and sugar.
Milk is also a local food, taking only about two days to travel from farm to store, while milk alternatives can take weeks to get from the farm to your table. Not all milks are created equal. Read your labels to compare the nutrition of milk to milk alternatives.
Every type of milk delivers the same unmatched nutrition package. The best news – milk delivers a nutritional win compared to milk alternatives with higher quality protein and often more absorbable calcium.
Take the advice from Stephanie Cundith, MS, RD, LD from Midwest Dairy who says, “Rather than spend time and money trying to find the latest, greatest ‘miracle’ food, look to your favorite dairy products including milk, cheese and yogurt for clean, nutritious eating.”
Amen to that!
I did not receive compensation to write this post but am a Midwest Dairy Ambassador and “Cheesehead” from Wisconsin who adores dairy and eats it every single day.
*Source: Food Technology Conference – Innova’s Top Ten Trends for 2016
Here’s to clean eating and living which nourishes your body, mind and spirit!