There are so many terms revolving around healthy eating — clean eating, beauty eating, plant-based diet, vegan diet, to name a few. But really! What are they exactly? I’m not gonna lie I was really confused when I first started, and I was absolutely overwhelmed by all the info out there. But don’t worry, that’s why Farm Girl is here, right? To make it easy for all so you can go on with your day. First, you probably need a rough idea of what they are. Then, you need to know what you should eat, and what you should avoid. Simple, right? Let’s get started.
1. The Definitions
Clean eating means consuming whole foods, or “real foods” — those that are unprocessed (or minimally processed), and refined, making them as close to their natural form as possible. The more minimally-processed the food is, the easier for your body to digest and process into nutrients.
This is quite straight forward. It basically means eating foods that are kind to your skin to combat different kinds of skin conditions. Your skin reflects your diet almost immediately. If you eat unhealthy (e.g. sugar and processed foods), your skin is likely to react by becoming inflamed, puffy and/or rough in texture.
Vegan and plant-based diet is very similar. Vegans don’t consume any animal-based products, including meat, dairy, eggs, or animal-derived ingredients, like honey. Many people choose vegan diet because they want to help animals, help the environment, and become healthy.
People who eat plant-based diet avoid animal-based products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. Unlike the vegans, they also avoid processed foods, including oil, white flour, and refined sugar. It’s basically like vegan diet and clean eating combined.
2. What Foods You Should Avoid
Once you cut these foods out, you’ll be surprised how much your body will thank you.
Sugar is pretty bad for you. It makes you gain weight. It makes your skin bad. It makes your energy levels shoot up and down like a yo-yo. Ever wonder why you are so tired after eating dessert? Sugar is why. Moreover, excess consumption of sugar leads to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Sugar can also promote the growth of cancer cells, as they preferentially use glucose from sugar as an energy source.
- Now, I know it’s a bit hard to give up sugar, but you can find natural, healthier alternatives like maple syrup, dates and honey.
- Restrict eating sweets, candies, and anything with high-fructose corn syrup to 1-2 times a week.
- Avoid fizzy drinks and sweetened drinks.
- Reduce consumption of simple carbs (think: white bread, white rice, and regular pasta), which become sugar in your blood once they’ve been digested. Replace them with complex carbs like whole grains, brown pasta, and brown rice.
Processed food is like the opposite term of whole food. It is stripped of good nutrients and filled with ingredients that aren’t doing you any favours. Processed and packaged foods also tend to be high in salt, sugar, and poor-quality fats.
You also should avoid a few other things like;
- Deep-fried food & fast food
- Low-fat anything (yogurt, butter, ice cream, ready meals) – as they often contain more sugar and artificial substances
3. What You Should Eat
Again, it’s easier for your body to digest and process into nutrients, especially plant-based whole foods.
Eat The Rainbow
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables in a full spectrum ensures you are getting all the nutrients the body needs to function well as differently coloured produce offers different compounds and antioxidants.
Probiotics help boost the growth of healthy flora in your belly. It can be found in foods like miso, kimchi, yogurt, etc. Studies show that probiotics can help your gut to function at its best, absorb more nutrients, and reduce systemic inflammation.
Healthy Oils & Fats
Fat in the diet is essential for the body to function properly. It stores energy, provides insulation and protects vital organs. Choose to consume healthy oils & fats like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, and salmon.