You have most probably heard words “clean eating” and “paleo”, but do you know what they actually are and how do they differ from each other?
What is Clean Eating?
Eating clean isn’t really a new way of eating. In fact, it’s considered eating in a way that our ancestors did by eating all natural whole foods. Eating clean is about eating the best and healthiest options in all the food groups while eliminating processed, sugary and fatty fried foods. The clean eating way of eating means embracing fruits, vegetables and whole grains as well as certain proteins and fats.
Clean eating started gaining popularity back in the mid-1990’s. Consumers were starting to pay attention to how foods were processed and grown. Health food stores were becoming more mainstream. Today, clean eating or eating clean is a way of life for many people of all walks of life.
Clean eating means everything from eating more fruits and vegetables to eliminating all processed foods. Basically, it means to eat whole foods. So instead of eating a banana nut muffin, eat a banana and nuts instead. It means using foods that have only all natural ingredients.
One way to replace those processed foods is to make homemade versions. Everything from energy bars to salad dressings can be created with whole natural ingredients at home. Clean eating recipes can be found for just about everything, from five-ingredient ice cream to homemade baby food and pickled veggies.
Here are the basics of clean eating:
- Nothing white. No sugar, no white flour (bread, pasta, etc), and no white rice. The only white allowed is white vegetables. Read labels and ingredient lists.
- No alcohol.
- Only healthy sources of fats. Fats olive oil, coconut oil and nut oils are perfect. Fish and other foods rich in omega-3 fat are good sources.
- Lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats.
What is Paleo?
Cavemen ate whatever they could get their hands on, which predominantly meant fish, meat, seeds, vegetables and some occasional fruits. The animals and plants during the Paleolithic era were natural products. They made up the diet of humans, and other carnivores living at that time.
Your ancestors who lived in the Paleolithic era roamed the earth about 15,000 years ago. One of the most important strides humans made at this time was the development of the very first stone tools. Obviously, those human beings had a drastically different diet than the unhealthy Standard American Diet (SAD) eaten by most modern-day societies.
They only ate natural foods.
How can your health benefit from a Stone Age dietary approach? Let’s take a look.
Because of this, your cave dwelling predecessors were extremely healthy, both physically and mentally. Since the way that your body processes foods, and the way it works internally and externally, has not changed significantly since the Paleolithic era, adhering to that type of diet can offer you the same wonderful health rewards.
What is the Difference between Clean Eating and Paleo?
Actually, there is not too much difference as both diets cut down processed food and concentrate only on natural food items. However, as clean eating includes whole grains, paleo omits all grains as they are considered not healthy, and not what cavemen used to eat. After all, humans have eaten grains only a few thousands of years — a time span which is too short to build any tolerance to these substances.
While clean eating favors lean meats, paleo often contains fatty cuts of meat, as well as grass-fed and pasture-raised meat. Saturated fats are not reduced on a paleo diet — just the opposite: using saturated, animal-based fats is an essential part of the paleo lifestyle as those are considered the most original and most natural fats that our ancestors ate and with which the human body thrives. Recent studies haven’t found any relation between saturated fat consumption and heart disease, so in this case paleo diet is a real winner. Omitting harmful grains and eating healthy saturated and monounsaturated fats together with nutritious fruits and vegetables is the best way to tackle any health problems.