What is the new trend in nutrition?Is it organic, local, low-carb / high carb, or low-fat? Is it wine and chocolate or some other fabulous quick fix for health?
When it comes to food, we are all too familiar and confused by the various trends that have popped up over the years. Do we choose to eat local or pick that organic and exotic fruit picked from a thousand miles away?And what is the real story on carbohydrates? How does wine, chocolate, and fat really affect us?It seems that past trends often leave us without much choice at all! In addition, the last few decades have seen a movement towards “quick fixes” in weight, health, and food.Research shows that eating out of convenience (rather than nourishment) has led to higher intakes of fast or processed foods, furthermore leading to increases in chronic diseases such as Diabetes and Cancer along with heart disease and inflammation.
Based on this data, nutrition has now taken a turn for the better through clean eating. Clean eating is the idea of consuming local foods in their most natural, fresh, and whole food state.Ingredients are unadulterated and minimal.Clean eating also avoids preservatives, additives, artificial sweeteners and colors, and trans-fatty or hydrogenated fats.But the spectrum of “clean food” only starts with the fruit or vegetable picked directly from the garden. Whole grains, fresh meats, canned or frozen vegetables, breads, and cereals, minimally processed and with little to no added salt or sugar, can also be considered a clean food.Highly processed foods are those farthest away from their natural state; poked, prodded, and mixed with various other non-foods.
Nutritious and tasty whole foods are good for our bodies, our wallets, and the environment.Clean eaters will find themselves eating fresher and thus more nutritious foods along with eating less processed, salty, sweet, and fatty foods.Cooking at home increases and whole foods, such as un-cut vegetables or whole chickens, are preferred over pre-packaged foods, lowering food costs.Eating fresh whole foods also calls for less of an environmental impact as there is less to process, less waste in packaging, and less miles travelled.
Trends have come and gone but the traditions of yesterday have held strong.Clean and simple whole foods, processed minimally and prepared with love in our own kitchens, returns to the forefront of nutrition and bring us back to the basics.
Photo Credit: Jun Belen