Clean Eating - Way of Life, Not A Trend
Clean Eating has resurfaced as a popular way to cater those who want to eat more nutritious foods without being on a "diet" or buying pills. It is simple and accessible for everyone, no matter where you live. With just a little bit of information, you can improve your daily eating habits, increase your nutrition, and reduce your chance for certain diseases. Read about Clean Eating
on Taunton Gazette's website, or read it here:
One of the movements picking up steam is termed "clean eating." Born out of the '60s, it advocates consuming healthful, natural food. Some 50 years later, it's becoming popular again. The idea is to focus less on processed foods and more on whole foods such as fruits and vegetables. It's a healthful, sustainable way of eating that doesn't eliminate food groups and takes us back to the basics.
I find that the concepts within the clean-eating movement overlap USDA dietary recommendations of eating whole, unprocessed foods, eating a varied diet, eating locally grown and seasonal and enjoying food at mealtimes.
Clean eating encourages the consumption of more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats with fewer sugar, high-calorie beverages and saturated fats.
Here are some strategies from Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian and author of "Clean Eating for Busy Families:"
1. Choose foods in their most whole, least-processed state, such as whole chicken breast pieces instead of commercially made chicken nuggets and sprouted 100 percent whole grain bread instead of white bread.
2. Enjoy seasonal produce and seafood whenever possible. Shop the local farmer's markets.
3. Purchase products made with real ingredients that you can pronounce that aren't loaded with artificial preservatives.
4. Think ahead to have food you've prepared stocked in your refrigerator to avoid buying fast food and vending machine fare -- clean the celery and carrots for easy snacking; grill chicken breasts to have ready for a salad.
5. Enjoy every bite and eat mindfully at the dinner table.
Worth Checking Out
Ellie Krieger's new book, "Comfort Food Fix: Feel-Good Favorites Made Healthy," gives a nutrition upgrade to several favorites. Her philosophy includes using low-fat dairy products like yogurt or sour cream in combination with small amounts of real cream and using half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose flour or half egg whites with half whole eggs to maintain flavor and texture while still improving nutrition. She also abides by the "un-fry" technique of coating "fried" chicken with breadcrumbs and baking it.
Q and A
Q: It seems to be so much harder to avoid weight gain as I've gotten older. Is it true that metabolism slows down as we age? Is there anything to do about it?
A: You're right -- if you eat the same as you did as a young adult, and remain just as active, barring some unusual illness, you will gain weight partly due to slowing metabolism. Research shows we burn fewer calories as we age because of a combination of decreased physical activity, loss of lean muscle tissue and slower metabolic rate. On average, compared to total calorie needs at age 20, at age 50 you need about 200 fewer calories per day, and at age 65 or 70, about 400 to 500 fewer calories per day. One way to avoid or reduce age-related weight gain is to reduce calorie consumption -- make eating treats a less common event, reduce portion sizes and don't go back for seconds on anything but vegetables, for example. However, you can get to a point where it's hard to meet nutrient needs if you aim for a calorie intake that's too low. The good news is that the reduced amount of calories burned with age can be offset by increasing physical activity. Doing 30 to 60 minutes daily of moderate physical activity -- like brisk walking -- generally burns calories similar to the drop in metabolic rate that occurs. This activity doesn't need to occur all at once, but it needs to be virtually every day and needs to take you beyond an easy stroll where you could easily sing as you walk. The really terrific news is that even as this activity is helping avoid weight gain, it exerts powerful metabolic effects independent of weight that help to reduce diabetes and cancer risk with each and every walk.
*Information courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research.
RECIPE - Cucumber Salad
Cucumbers will be filling the farmer's markets soon. Here's a recipe for a Cucumber Salad from Cooking Light magazines that makes a great summer side dish.
--2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
--1 tablespoon white wine
--1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
--1/4 teaspoon salt
--1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
--1/8 teaspoon sugar
--1/2 cup (1-inch) slices red bell pepper
--1/2 cup (1-inch) slices green bell pepper
--3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
--1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
--1 English cucumber, sliced
Combine first six ingredients (oil through sugar) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add bell peppers and remaining ingredients to first mixture. Toss gently to coat. Serves four.
Per serving: 83 calories, .8 g protein, 4.1 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 1.2 g fiber, 124 mg sodium.
The author, Charlyn Fargo, is a registered dietitian from Springfield, Ill. For comments or questions, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @NutritionRD. To find out more about Charlyn Fargo and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.