Clean eating – it’s the nutrition buzz term that has been linked to just about every health trend or superfood we’ve heard of in the last few years. So what exactly is eating clean and what can it do for your overall health?
Clean eating, put simply, involves eating whole foods- not more or less of a specific food group, just whole foods. And what are whole foods? Foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, meaning they’ve been minimally handled, processed and refined (“processing” refers to adding colours, sugars, preservatives or really any additives to the ingredients to create a final product). As you can imagine, this cuts out a lot of foods!
With so many clean eating theories out there, we’re debunking five of the biggest clean eating myths.
Clean eating myth #1: Vegetarian and vegan diets are always healthier
Plant based diets and clean eating are often seen to go hand in hand, however vegan and vegetarian options are not always the healthiest choice. There are a couple of things to consider here.
Firstly, cutting out meat or, in a vegan diet, all animal by-products, can mean you aren’t getting all of the vitamins and minerals you require for the healthiest possible body. If your diet consists solely of vegan/vegetarian processed foods, you’re going to struggle to get all the nutrients your body needs to perform at its best. Not to mention all the additives and other nasties they typically contain! Our Chibbs are made from chickpeas, making them an excellent plant based source of protein for vegetarians and vegans alike.
Sticking to a plant based diet requires some pre-planning to ensure you really are getting all the nutrients you need. This brings us to another important point – oily burgers, sweetened cookies and refined carbs can still be considered vegan! If you are considering making the switch to a vegan or vegetarian diet, commit to eating a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals and nutrients rather than simply assuming all plant based choices are the healthiest options.
Most importantly, always take the time to read product ingredient labels.
Clean eating myth #2: Frozen food is less nutritious than fresh
Clean and healthy eating can be made so much more convenient thanks to frozen produce – however, it’s a common misconception that frozen foods are less nutritious than their raw counterparts.
Whether you’re purchasing pre-packaged frozen produce from the supermarket or buying and preparing in bulk to freeze meals yourself, studies have shown that frozen vegetables contain just as many nutrients (if not more!) than fresh vegetables.
Some frozen foods are susceptible to nutrient loss if they happen to be rich in water soluble vitamins, however fresh vegetables aren’t immune to vitamin loss either. It all comes down to the specific food you’re choosing. As a rule of thumb, greens like kale, cabbage and sprouts contain more nutrients when consumed fresh, however fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, peas and carrots are much the same, fresh or frozen.
Clean eating myth #3: Raw equals healthier
In the same vein, many believe that raw foods are healthier than cooked, fried or steamed produce. Rather than consuming all your meals raw, it’s important to eat a balanced diet rich in both cooked and raw foods.
Many vegetables, including tough greens like kale, are far easier to digest once they’ve been cooked. Cooking softens foods for a healthier digestive system, plus the process allows you to pack even more vitamins and nutrients into your meals by using healthy herbs and spices.
Clean eating myth #4: Saturated fats are always bad for you
On any diet, not just a clean eating plan, saturated fats are looked upon as the enemy. In reality, saturated fats aren’t always bad for you! New research has proven that, while some saturated fats are unhealthy, not all fats are created equal. Some fats, like those found in avocadoes and salmon, are actually great for the health of your heart!
Stearic acid is found in saturated fatty products (including coconut oil and cocoa butter), and this acid has been shown to lower levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol and increase healthy HDL cholesterol in the body. With this in mind, it’s important to maintain an “everything in moderation” mentality to ensure you’re consuming a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Clean eating myth #5: Clean eating will result in weight loss
There’s no denying that a clean, healthy, balanced diet can improve your overall health and wellbeing, however a balanced diet will not always result in dramatic weight loss. Weight loss is such an individual thing and comes down to a number of factors including our own genetic makeup, lifestyle factors and our metabolism.
While weight loss can be a pleasant side effect of clean eating, a change in diet shouldn’t be driven by a desire to lose weight fast. Healthy weight loss takes time, and making the switch to a healthy diet should be driven by a desire to simply be healthier.
It can be difficult to “eat clean” when you live a busy lifestyle, and that’s exactly why we created our delicious, all-natural snacks. Chibbs are delicious puffed chickpea snacks that are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and free from any added sweeteners, preservatives or additives. Click here to shop the range of flavours.