Published April 24, 2018 — Share
The term “clean eating” seems to be popping up everywhere … in grocery stores, health food stores and online. So what is clean eating, and why should you be paying attention to it?
Clean eating is the principle that there are health benefits from eating whole foods in their most natural state, and reducing consumption of processed foods. Clean eating revolves around a set of principles that include:
Personal values often drive consumers to seek out clean foods. These include people who are:
Similar to clean eating, the term “clean labelling” seems to have sprung up over the past few years as well. When you’re shopping for convenient meals and snacks – whether for yourself, your children or even your pets! – be on the lookout for clean labels. These will let you know that the product is a good one not only for your health but for agricultural and environmental reasons as well.
While there’s currently no consensus among governments or organizations regarding the definition of ‘clean labelling’, for the purposes of this blog, a clean label is one that has relatively few ingredients overall, and few or no preservatives, artificial flavours or colours.
A clean label is also fairly easy to read, in the sense that the ingredients are recognizable and pronounceable (for example, saying “cream” versus “microparticulated whey protein concentrate”). The journalist Michael Pollan, who has written extensively about agriculture and food production, once said, “If you can’t say it, don’t eat it!”.
These days, consumers like you are looking for ingredients that you recognize. Learn and understand what is on the label, and then decide whether you want to eat it. To that end, here are some tips on reading food labels to help you understand if you’re making a ‘clean’ choice:
Clean eating and clean labelling go hand in hand. If you make the choice to ‘eat clean,’ then paying attention to labelling, and looking for clean labels, will naturally follow. Be sure to support your clean eating efforts by checking out products at your local Canadian Health Food Association Member health food store and make clean eating a part of your daily routine – your body will thank you!