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5 Foods That Trick You Into Thinking You Are Eating Clean

eating clean diet nutrition health

Very often we follow health trends, workout hard and trick ourselves into thinking we are eating clean. But being fit doesn't always equal being healthy, and an "eat clean" meal plan that includes yogurt, oatmeal, apple cider vinegar, fat and high amounts of protein is the biggest misconception of our time.


The Gym Is Not The Place To Learn About Proper Nutrition

The gym – it’s a place where people share the most invaluable misinformation about proper diet – advice based on fit and slim, often overstressed bodies that are glorified solely by how they look. The assumption by seeing a fit body is a person must be eating a great diet. Most likely, if you ask Mr/Ms. Fit & Slim what they’re eating, they’ll tell you they’re "eating clean."

What Exactly Is "Eating Clean?"

What does "eating clean" mean? Does an "eat clean" meal mean you wash your vegetables? Does it mean you don’t eat food when it drops on the floor? What exactly does "eating clean" mean? Well, people have a lot of misconceptions.

Firstly, looking fit does not equal good health. I’ve worked with people who are training for years whose bodies are highly stressed by both their workout and their diet. These folks have many vitamin and mineral deficiencies and their bodies push hard for them on a cellular level every day. They are a ticking time bomb of poor health.

This is not to say exercise isn’t healthy or good for you – exercise in moderation is essential to good health, but we have been conditioned to worship a no body-fat philosophy that leaves us eating the wrong diet, stressed bodies and fit-face as I call it, that screams your diet is anything but "clean"

If your "eat clean" meal plan includes any of the foods below, you’re stressing your body on levels you never knew existed:

High protein diets are the most popular of all exercise-based diet recommendations because high protein diets help you to burn fat short-term. Long-term high protein diets are a digestive nightmare.

  • Protein shakes/bars – are the number one go-to food for fitness enthusiasts who are told their muscles will repair faster if they eat higher amounts of protein. This is a misnomer of epic proportions. High protein actually breaks down muscle over time. What’s more, whey protein, or any other type of processed, powered synthetic so-called “protein powder” contains MSG – a neurotoxin that negatively affects health, not to mention heavy metals.
  • Fatty liver ultimately occurs as a result of maintaining a diet high in animal protein, which contains an appreciable amount of fat. As a result of eating a diet high in protein, the liver becomes sluggish and unable to store glucose, which is used as a back up to regulate pancreas. Once the liver starts bouncing back glucose (insulin resistance) you actually begin to start gaining weight.
  • Acidosis occurs when too much acidic food makes the body work double-time to maintain its alkaline reserves. When alkaline reserves are depleted and protein is continually eaten, the body will draw its alkalinity from calcium -- a buffer salt to stay alkaline. This overtime weakens the bones you’re working in the gym so hard to strengthen.

Yogurt – You only have to look in the dairy aisle to see the processed food spectacle that yogurt is. The big sell is, yogurt has probiotics – and while that’s true, they’re supplemented. However, the cows that likely help in making yogurt never eat grass or see the light of day. Further, these dairy cows are shot up with rBST, a growth hormone that helps them to produce more milk than they ever should, often containing infectious pus, which then needs to be ultra-pasteurized to remove. Therefore, dairy cows certainly couldn’t provide scores of yogurt lovers with probiotics.

Truthfully you’re better off buying a high-quality supplement than eating yogurt for probiotics. What’s better is grow your own garden and eat the food you grow lightly washed to get a full pro-biotic benefit. Raw organic honey also contains probiotics – a tablespoon or two of raw organic honey will help with gut health tremendously.

Oatmeal – Oats have been hailed for their ability to lower cholesterol. Quaker® Brand has made millions exploiting this claim. Genius marketing of oatmeal has masked that the independent research on oatmeal’s effects on cholesterol is in fact, weak.

First and foremost, oatmeal is a processed food, which we know should be avoided on any healthy diet plan. Second, oats are, to put it bluntly, a belly bomb. If it were possible for the gut to have an opinion on oats, it would have much to grumble about, because oatmeal jams up the process of digestion.

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It’s important to understand that those who have gluten intolerance can also have a problem with oats because oats are harvested with soy and wheat and can become cross-contaminated. For the rest of us, however, oats create other digestive disruptions simply because it is eaten improperly.

You may be thinking, “What’s so difficult about eating oats?” You’d be shocked to know how many people eat oats incorrectly. Oats, when cooked, become a soaked starch. As we know, the human body has no immediate use for starch, which is why it converts it to sugar, but that’s not the problem oatmeal faces. The problem is oatmeal’s lack of digestibility.

Think about eating your morning bowl of oatmeal. Often you put the mush in your mouth and you swallow it. There isn’t much chewing involved. Herein lies the problem. Digestion begins in the mouth. When you don’t chew your oatmeal, you leave out the first essential step in the process of digestion – breaking down food to enter the stomach. By not chewing your oatmeal, you bypass the release of ptyalin – an essential digestive enzyme in saliva. Because of the absence of ptyalin, the body isn’t able to break down your oatmeal for entry into the stomach. Thus, the oatmeal enters the stomach unprocessed, leaving your stomach to work double-time churning and attempting to break down the mush, which it cannot do. The stomach, after its best effort, will push the undigested oatmeal through to the small intestine, where it sits, stuck until it inches into the large intestine to be eliminated. This backup may explain that ‘full’ feeling you experience for hours after eating oatmeal.

That being said, when we obstruct digestion in this manner, blocking food from digesting and exiting the body efficiently, we stress the organs. When we eat oatmeal habitually, we help to create a chronic condition that over time results in a toxemic poisoning of the blood. (EAT! – Empower. Adjust. Triumph! – Lose Ridiculous Weight)

Apple cider vinegar - Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has become the end-all-be-all of natural remedies. It has been recommended to relieve everything from GERD to curing sore throats, boosting weight loss and astoundingly, preventing diabetes. Just like the game telephone, the message on vinegar’s so-called health benefits is misconstrued. Look closely at the research. The benefits of vinegar are at best, are weak.

Before vinegar basked in the limelight as a weight-loss enhancer, it was a known intestinal irritant-- one that diminishes the digestion of starch. Here’s how that works: vinegar destroys ptyalin, the enzyme that breaks down food in your mouth. Ptyalin and its partner enzyme, amylase are needed to break down starches into simpler carbohydrates and sugars. Vinegar’s destructive effect on salivary amylase impedes this process, which is how it gained its celebrity as the prevention and cure for diabetes.

Does vinegar really help you to lose weight? In a 2014 study, researchers looked at whether vinegar suppresses appetite because of its unpleasant taste. The study groups consisted of young, healthy, unrestrained eaters who were of normal weight. In the first study, the researchers tested the effect on appetite when subjects drank a palatable vinegar-containing beverage, an unpalatable vinegar- containing beverage and a non-vinegar control with breakfast. In the second study, subjects drank a milkshake and then tasted vinegar or a placebo without ingesting it. The researchers found that subjects had a reduced appetite after ingesting vinegar because of nausea, but tasting the vinegar without ingesting it had no effect on their appetite. Researchers concluded that vinegar does not seem to be an appropriate natural appetite suppressant.

Does vinegar really help digest protein? Vinegar is not necessarily an evil merely because its highly toxic acetic acid content destroys ptyalin (salivary amylase), but because it also contains alcohol, which precipitates the pepsin of the gastric juice and retards or prevents gastric digestion of proteins.” Only acids secreted by the stomach itself can digest proteins. This process cannot be boosted with vinegar. Put simply, apple cider vinegar contains both acetic acid and alcohol, which are perceived by the body as a poison. All kinds of vinegar are the result of sugars fermenting to alcohol, and then converting to acetic acid. If acetic acid in a teaspoonful of vinegar can suspend salivary digestion, what do you think occurs in the digestive tract? Vinegar is not only unfit for use because it impairs digestion, but because it contains these two perceived poisons.

Fat - The current trend is to eat higher amounts of fat – good fats such as nuts, and avocados, which have been shown to be beneficial to overall health. But even good fats can be too much of a good thing when you’re trying to “eat clean”. Fat, when coupled with a high protein diet such as those recommended by the fitness gurus, is a liver-stopper when a fatty liver is involved. Fat, whether it comes from plant-based sources or an animal source will not help to reverse a fatty liver. Fatty liver can be one hundred percent reversed when all fats are removed from the diet.

If you’re eating fat-free yogurt you’re also getting scammed since yogurt whether it is fat-free or not contains lactose, a form of sugar that binds to fat causing you to actually gain weight.

What It Really Means To Eat Clean

An eat clean meal plan doesn’t mean drinking the recommended sixty-four ounces of water a day – that only flushes out essential vitamins, minerals and mineral salts that a high protein diet isn’t sufficient enough to replace. Eating clean means to eat food that requires very little preparation – plant-based foods -- that contain water, and replenish and nourish the brain, and the muscles, provide abundant energy and cut recovery time in half at the gym.

Eating clean means eating a lot more fruit and vegetables – especially leafy green vegetables. It means nourishing yourself down to your very cells, so that your cells can replenish themselves with clean, healthy cells giving you the vibrant health you deserve. Work with your Naturopath or Holistic Nutrition Practitioner to learn what it really means to support your body and workout efforts in a healthful and nourishing way.