We’re here to help.
I Am a Clean Eater is here to help you forge your path no matter where you are starting. We all have different end goals. For some people ultimate health means longevity, or not having to rely on anyone for help. Perhaps your goal is to never have to walk into a doctor’s office or hospital again for something that is avoidable. If you follow our guidelines, you are headed in a positive direction. Food can’t claim to cure or prevent every single disease, but evidence that a clean diet and lifestyle promotes health and longevity is everywhere. Certainly, many poor health conditions are a direct result of a poor diet. Each day you have a choice to either take a step forward or a step back. The right choice should be obvious! We begin the 10 commandments of clean eating by considering the ingredient list found on packaged foods.
How many of us really pay attention to what we throw in our grocery carts? The pictures on the box are appetizing, and the packaging tells us we’ve made a healthy choice. No problem, right? Not necessarily!
First of all, failures of government oversight and sneaky advertising practices have made us oblivious to what has happened with our food supply. Government agencies such as the FDA have set guidelines as to what a healthy diet consists of. They also place limitations and restrictions on food producers in terms of what they can claim. Some of these guidelines have not kept pace with the current knowledge of food science, and that’s a sorry truth. Furthermore, food producers have figured out how to get around the advertising restrictions and use nebulous or meaningless advertising phrases. As a society we have fallen into the many traps of deceptive marketing. Add to this the claims of the mostly ineffective multi-billion dollar weight loss industry and it’s no wonder people are confused or just plain ignorant of the problem.
How we think.
It’s been drummed into our heads that we should be concerned with overconsumption of calories, fat, sodium, cholesterol and sugar. Of course there is some truth to this concern, but the real picture is not so simple. There are good calories and bad calories, good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. There are even good sugars! Many of us believe that it doesn’t matter what foods we eat as long as we don’t turn gluttonous. “Everything in moderation” is the mantra. This includes foods high in sugar content or soy, processed meats, foods with chemical additives and produce sprayed with weed killers and insecticides. If you look at a standard consumer’s shopping cart, probably every item in it contains one of these things we just listed. Is that “moderation”?
Even if you are eating only a small amount of the wrong foods your body will see this as a threat. Some people are more sensitive than others. Recent research indicates that chronic medical conditions can be treated effectively with changes in diet and lifestyle. At “I am a Clean eEater” we really want to help you to understand the ingredient list your foods so you can be in charge of your own health. In order to do this we have created our “10 Commandments for Clean Eating”.
There is a great deal of information to share. Each commandment has an associated video you can find on our youtube channel, linked on the bottom of the page.
The first commandment is:
1. Let the ingredient list guide you.
The cardinal rule of shopping is the following. Pick up the product you’re about to buy, turn it around and read the ingredients first. If you understand the ingredients, then you’ll understand where the sugar/protein/carbs are coming from. After giving the ingredients a thumbs up, then look at the nutritional facts. If they meet whatever eating lifestyle you are following, then you are fine.
Food science has dictated, for the last several decades, that we should follow strict caloric, sugar, fat, carbohydrate intakes, etc. This doesn’t take into account where those calories come from. In addition, it does not tell us what type of sugars or fats we are ingesting. This global, one size fits all means of assessing a food product’s nutritional value is seriously flawed.
Not all calories are created equal. The body needs energy from all components of food including fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Each food group provides it’s own subgroup of nutrients that are necessary for living a long and healthy lifestyle. You will begin to learn the value of the ingredient list by reading the articles and watching the videos on the Clean Eater site. It’s your first step on the journey to better health!
Tips for how to read the ingredient list properly.
- Know what ingredients you will not accept in your food, period. These could be anything from high fructose corn syrup to preservatives, to soy, to certain kinds of oils, etc. Perhaps it’s artificial coloring or grains. Simply avoid products that contain those things. Although this sounds rather obvious, consider the next tip.
- Read the ingredient list on EVERYTHING you buy to be confident you are avoiding what you don’t want. You will be amazed at what food producers add to their products. For example, an overwhelming number of supermarket items contain sugar, in products you least expect. Do not take for granted that ANY food product is clean.
- Know the sneaky words for hidden ingredients (ex., Maltodextrin = Corn).
- Don’t be lulled by the “contains less than 2% of such and such” descriptor. A little bit of junk is still junk.
Don’t expect to change everything you eat over-night. It’s not a practical goal. We recommend starting with a few simple switches and moving on from there. In subsequent commandments we therefore discuss the importance of choosing organically grown foods over conventionally grown foods. Perhaps that is your first switch. Starting somewhere is still starting, and that’s what’s most important.
This is a journey and each person’s journey will be different. Everyone will start for a different reason or have a different “why”. Be clear on your own personal life goals. Strive to be the absolute best version of yourself and help to lead others by example and personal success.
At I am a Clean Eater, we do not want to tell you what lifestyle eating plan you should be on. We only want to help support you wherever you are on your journey. The message is about understanding what’s at the end of your fork and making the best and most informed decisions for yourself!
If you would like more information about clean eating, CLICK HERE to visit our YouTube channel. While there, be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with all our new videos.
For more information on this commandment, watch this video: