Eat Clean for Better Health

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I often hear the term “clean eating” or “I eat a clean diet” and to the everyday person these terms mean nothing. Or rather, clean eating may conjure up thoughts of scrubbing fruits and vegetables and steering clear of the mac n’ cheese that has been sitting out for hours on a buffet line. In the physique world though, clean eating means something totally different – it means eating an unprocessed healthy diet low in sugar (except around workout time).

I view clean eating with a more comprehensive viewpoint – abiding by food safety standards, eating an overall healthy, less processed diet, and, choosing organic for the most pesticide, herbicide ridden foods. How do you know when to opt for organic and when you get get away with their conventional counterparts?  I abide by the Environmental Working Group‘s  Pesticide in Produce Guide.  This guide lists the Dirty Dozen, 12 fruits and vegetables you should choose in organic form:

  1. peaches
  2. apples
  3. sweet bell peppers
  4. celery
  5. nectarines
  6. strawberries
  7. cherries
  8. lettuce
  9. grapes
  10. pears
  11. spinach
  12. potatoes

The “Cleanest” produce you can choose non-organic:

  1. onions
  2. avocados
  3. sweet corn
  4. pineapples
  5. mango
  6. sweet peas (frozen)
  7. asparagus
  8. kiwi
  9. bananas
  10. cabbage
  11. broccoli
  12. eggplant

When it comes to what you eat, ignorance isn’t bliss. Pesticides are linked to a number of health effects including potential increased risk of some types of cancer, hormone alterations, nervous system effects, altered fetal development and more. So choose clean and rest assured the money you spend now will pay off later.  And, for more information about a number of different health topics from cell phone radiation to endocrine disrupting chemicals in your shampoo, visit www.ewg.org.