Clean Eating vs Calorie Saving Foods and Understanding Ingredients

While there’s no one definition, "clean eating" is generally eating foods that are considered minimally processed, whole foods.  A “clean” meal example is locally sourced roasted whole chicken with asparagus and potatoes seasoned with butter and herbs.  

Here are a few takes on what clean eating is:

  • Food network says clean eating is choosing whole foods as they are closest to nature, or in their least-processed state. 

  • Clean Eating Magazine describes it as, "the soul of eating clean is consuming food the way nature delivered it, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it's a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life - one meal at a time."

  • The British Dietetic Association adds that clean eating means avoiding all processed foods and cooking from scratch, eliminating refined sugar, and choosing foods in their natural state.

So several diets out there can be considered clean eating, not just one.  

Calorie-saving or “weight loss” foods are those advertised as lower calories, less fat, low carb and claims like these that aim to get the buyer to believe they will aid in with weight loss. Some examples are low carb tortillas, spray butter and powdered peanut butter.  

Diets like Whole 30 and the Paleo Diet will steer you clear of those calories saving products. So if you were eating to maintain your weight, lose weight or just overall health and want to try some new things, we share some of those calorie-saving, low carb and other health claim foods that we really like.  It’s important that most of your diet is simple, whole foods like vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. But when that gets ridiculously boring, adding in some of these health targeted foods on the market can keep things fresh. 

Here are some of the favorites we shared:

Companies use words like “natural” and “lowfat” combined with pretty pictures to make a food look like it’s good for you.  Don’t fall for front of package trickery!  The Nutrition Facts Label is where you find the macronutrients and vitamins in the food.  Start with the serving size.  If you eat that amount, you are getting the numbers you see on the label for calories, fat, carbs, etc.  If you eat double the amount of the serving size, you get double those things. 

If you have a goal to lose weight, you may want to pay attention to your calories and carbs, and be sure you get enough fiber and protein daily.  Try the My Transformation app or to keep track. 

Go further by looking at the ingredients.  If this food has a laundry list of ingredients with several you can’t pronounce, think twice before buying it. 

Listen to the full episode here to learn why "diet" foods make you more hungry and three tips to determine whether or not the food you're about to buy is a healthy choice.