Clean Eating: What Is It and Should You Do It?

We hear this phrase a lot, “clean eating”, but what does it mean? It’s a very complex answer but a simple concept. Clean eating means being particular about the foods we eat and selecting the purest, most whole version of food you possibly can. It is not a specific “diet”.* In a big picture sense, it means consuming more whole foods and less processed foods. Simply stated it means eat more whole veggies and fruit and less Froot LoopsTM or Cheetos. On a smaller level, it means evaluating which foods you should be consuming. Like choosing what types of oils to use, buying organic, non-GMO, or the quality of meat. Clean eating can be overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, it actually becomes a lot easier. Clean eating can significantly improve your health so I would recommend everyone make the change.

As a side note: Diet has 2 definitions, “the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats” or “a special course of food one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons” according to

I really dislike the second definition, as it is restrictive and should really have another name. But for purposes of this post, diet refers to this definition.

How To Start Clean Eating


You start by cleaning out your pantry and fridge. Decide what you will keep and what you will leave out. An easy way to do this is ask yourself, did God (Mother Earth) make this or did humans? Then take a trip to the grocery store and substitute your staple items with healthier options. Yes, these items are out there and becoming more common. Even for Latinos! Take the time to walk through the aisles and check out the ingredients. You want to keep the ingredients minimal and be mindful of keeping the integrity of the food as close to whole and unprocessed as possible. If you feel like you need a chemistry degree to read the ingredients or the list is too long, put it back. Stick to the perimeter of the store, ósea, the outside square and not the shelves in the middle. Once you start to go through the shelves, you are entering processed territory. 

Picture of sprinkle donut and blueberries
Processed donut versus whole foods.

What Exactly is Processed Food?


Processed foods have been manipulated in some way to be preserved or made into other foods. Examples of food preservation are dried, canned, frozen, and pasteurized. Processing by making into other foods like wheat being made into flour for pastas, breads, and pastries. Milk is processed to make cheese and yogurt. Foods that have been extensively processed have additives, coloring, flavors, preservatives, and chemicals. You can spot these heavily processed foods by glancing at the label and it’s as long as this blog post, but you can’t really read it. Processed foods also contain a lot of refined sugar, and the ingredient list doesn’t always say sugar. There are dozens of other words for sugar – sneaky, sneaky, big food. You also process your own foods when preparing meals. Fear not though, your processing is by far less harmful than factory processing. There are some forms of processing that are actually good for you, like fermentation. Ahem, wine anyone?

Why should you avoid processed foods and consider eating clean?


Processed foods are to blame for many ailments and diseases. They are a large component of the rise in inflammation in our bodies. It’s logical to think that those lists of chemicals you can’t read aren’t going to be beneficial to your body. We may not see it, and think we feel fine, but sometimes things are brewing inside and we don’t even know it until the body can’t deal with it anymore. Or you might have acne, rashes, fatigue, arthritis, foggy brain, etc and not see the connection to processed foods. Of course, big food won’t tell you all of this because they want you to keep buying their foods. As a consumer you can rise above the the marketing because you (now) know better.


Marlene Adelmann quote about food choices.
Marlene Adelmann quote about food choices.


The concept is simple, but the implementation can be difficult for many people. It’s hard to stop old habits. It can also be financially difficult for families to make the switch. I get it, and to that I say, you’ll pay it now on whole foods or you’ll pay it later in doctor’s visits and medicines. Your choice. Do what you can. Let go of the brainwashing from big food marketing. Contrary to popular belief, and the medical community, what we eat truly dictates the course of our health. Eating clean helps us get rid of some triggers causing disease in our communities because we get rid of one of the biggest culprits. It helps reduce the inflammation our bodies produce in response to foreign substances and chemicals. It also helps you be more mindful of what you’re putting in your body and making the decision every day of what you want that to be. No one expects to be 100% but aiming for 80% or above clean eating will make an enormous contribution toward better health. Not having this food at home really helps you stay at that 80% too. Try it for yourself and see if it helps you get to better health. Be sure to let me know if it does!


Soy Yo, Alma

Beinvenidas a Alma in Peaces, where you can find information to empower you on your journey to health and wellness.  I’m a perpetual seeker of knowledge and I want to share it with you. Not only am I a big nerd, pero también tengo la suerte de ser 100% Mexicana. Ajuá! Si se puede!

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