By Daphne Baldwin Kornrich, MS, RD, CDN

A clean-eating plan focuses on eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains such as oats and quinoa, legumes such as chickpeas and lentils, and minimal amounts of organic poultry, wild fish and lean, grass- fed meats.  Small amounts of healthy fats from nuts, seeds and olive oil are also included.  Inclusion of low or nonfat dairy products is also beneficial because they provide good sources of protein, vitamin D and calcium.

If you choose non-dairy products look for foods that are fortified with vitamin D, calcium, and have no added sugar. When choosing dairy products try to choose organic and products that are free of hormones. Desserts, sweets, sweetened beverages, caffeine are limited or eliminated.  Meals and snacks should be homemade from healthy ingredients. A clean-eating plan limits highly processed refined foods and limits foods and beverages with artificial ingredients.

What are the benefits of clean eating?

  • Avoidance of artificial colorings, flavoring, salt, fat, salt and preservatives have been shown to have positive health benefits.
  • An increase in dietary fiber is beneficial to our gastrointestinal track as well as helping control blood sugar levels, cholesterol and weight management.
  • An increase in antioxidants and phytochemicals has been found to help decrease cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Helpful hints to eating clean.

  • Read ingredient list of food label.
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store .
  • Fill up on fiber.
  • Start cooking from scratch.
  • Avoid added sugar, fats, salt and sugar.

Is there any downside to clean eating?

Clean eating requires examining food labels to identify foods with less ingredients and knowing the source of the food.  Food preparation and making meals and snacks from scratch can initially be time consuming.  In addition, organic foods and grass-fed meats are generally more expensive,

However, focusing on meal planning and preparation, as well as identifying less expensive foods and ingredients, may in the long run save time and money, and most importantly promote a healthy lifestyle.

Daphne Baldwin Kornrich has been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for the past 30 years, working in a wide variety of clinical and outpatient settings.  Daphne currently specializes in bariatrics and weight management.