ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eating Clean is Good for Your Health

Updated on April 29, 2019
Judith Hayes profile image

Being a vegetarian for several decades, and the editor of the Journal of Health for several years inspired me to write many health articles

You may not be familiar with the term eating clean, but it's a very simple concept that provides the body with healthy and nutritious fuel. If you ask several "clean eaters" to define what it means, you'll probably get a different response from each one. But there is one definition that all "clean eaters" agree on. They don't eat processed food and all the chemicals it contains.

Eating Clean

Clean eating is not really a new concept, but its updated name is getting a lot of attention. It isn't calling for people to give up meat, count calories, or go on fad diets. Eating clean is a healthy lifestyle that more-and-more people are following. Optimize your health, feel better, and increase your energy by eliminating processed foods, chemical additives, food coloring, and sugar. It's a lifestyle your doctor won't complain about or call a fad, and it is one that can only affect your health in a positive way.

Purchase fresh vegetables, fruits, lean cuts of meat, and fish. Broil, bake, or grill your meats rather than frying. Prepare your food as simply as possible to gain the greatest health benefits. Don't marinate meats in a manufactured sauce with questionable ingredients. Make your own sauces and seasonings. The internet is full of free recipes, and the libraries (physical or electronic) are replete with cookbooks written for healthy recipe enthusiasts.

Food Additive History

If you think about it, only a few generations ago almost all food was clean. Salt, vinegar, sugar, and oil have always been used in the preserving process, especially home canned foods. Today, we are unsure of what things are in the packaged and prepared foods we buy. Even though ingredients are listed, the names of the additives can be difficult to pronounce and harder to define.

It was 1950 when the government passed the Oleomargarine act because companies were trying to pass it off as butter. During World War II, margarine came in a bag with a packet of yellow food coloring. Families added the food coloring to the bag with the margarine, closed the bag, and then squeezed it over and over until the yellow was evenly distributed. People didn't like it, and after the war when rationing had ended it was not a popular product. Manufacturers added coloring to the margarine, packaged it to look like butter, and tried to fool consumers.

As manufacturers tried to find new ways to make foods last longer on the shelves of small family grocery stores, chemical additives and preservatives grew in use. In 1958, the Food Additives Amendment was enacted. This amendment require manufacturers to declare every additive that was in a product. Also, in 1958, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the first list of food substances and additives that were "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS). In 1966, food was included in the Fair Packaging and Labeling act that required all consumer products shipped in interstate commerce to be labeled honestly and informatively. More laws have been made since the 60s, but they haven't addressed the issue of the number and types of chemical additives and preservatives in food. and beverages.

Fast Food Distortions

When you purchase French fries, you might think you are getting potatoes, an oil, and salt, but you are getting much more. Here's the ingredient list for French fries from a popular fast food restaurant.

  • Potatoes

  • Vegetable oil (canola, corn, soybean)

  • Hydrogenated soybean oil

  • Natural beef flavor (wheat and milk derivatives)

  • Dextrose

  • Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate

  • Salt

People with allergies to wheat or milk should not be eating these French fries. Should you be eating these French fries? Think about it.

When you grill a piece of chicken, you probably add a little salt, pepper, and another favorite spice or two. If you purchase a fast-food chicken sandwich to go with those fries, you are getting a few more items in your sandwich according to the ingredient list.

  • Chicken breast filet

  • Chicken rib meat

  • Water

  • Vegetable oil (canola, corn, soybean, hydrogenated soybean)

  • Wheat flour

  • Vinegar

  • Sea salt

  • Baking soda

  • Inactive yeast

  • Natural flavor

  • Potato starch

  • Buttermilk (cultured nonfat milk, salt, sodium citrate, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D3)

  • Salt

  • Citric acid

  • Rice starch

  • Palm oil

  • Corn starch

  • Rice flour

  • Yellow corn flour

  • Natural flavors

  • Spices

  • Baking soda

  • Sugar

  • Garlic powder

  • Xanthan Gum

  • Maltodextrin

It seems like a lot of unnecessary ingredients when a piece of broiled chicken sliced up and placed on top of a bowl of lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and crispy carrots tastes is healthier and tastier. Many people are aware of the dangers of fast food and have either eliminated it from their diet or have significantly reduced the amount they eat, but millions of others devour it every day of the year.

At the Grocery Store

The modern grocery store is a chemical warehouse. Every aisle is laden with packaged products they want you to buy. Manufacturer's labels tell you their food is fresher, faster, tastier, and easier to prepare. Something including rice or pasta might tell you to just add water and it will be ready to eat in 20 minutes. Some frozen meals are called "complete," and you can toss the whole bag into the microwave and never dirty a pan. Are the chemicals in the plastic freezer bag and the inks from the package printing leaching into your food while it is steaming at a high temperature in your microwave? Buy your food from the outer aisles of the grocery store where you'll find fresh produce and meats. Buy organic whenever possible.

For the Vegetarian

Clean eating makes perfect sense for the vegetarian. A diet of canned, packaged, and frozen foods is not the best fare for a vegetarian. Not eating meant does not mean your diet is healthy if you are eating canned soups, frozen pizza, sugar-laden sauces, spaghetti in a can, and instant dinners that simply don't contain meat. Many canned foods, soups, pastas, and other "quick meals" contain meat byproducts and flavoring. Once you become a label reader, your food-purchasing habits will change.

It's Time to Eat Clean

Start eating clean with your next trip to the grocery store. Buy the vegetables your family enjoys from the produce section, rather than the canned foods aisle. The flavor is better, your veggies won't be waterlogged and soggy, and they'll be full of health-giving vitamins and minerals. Your children will enjoy fresh fruit far better than canned. Heating fruit during the canning process destroys vitamins. Your health will improve, your energy levels will increase, and your food will taste so much better when you eat clean.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2019 Judith Hayes

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Judith Hayes profile imageAUTHOR

      Judith Hayes 

      13 months ago from Maine and Florida

      I've been a vegetarian since my teens, but I didn't understand about clean eating until some years later. I agree with you... an excellent way to maintain good health!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      13 months ago from Sunny Florida

      I agree with you 100%. I try not to eeat processed foods, and those foods with sugar or food dyes. I wish I had stared this in my youth, but I have been doing this for quite a while now. I think this is an excellent to maintain good health.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)