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The Un-Diet for 2011

Wednesday, 29 December 2010 10:21 AM EST

You’ve heard it a million times: Eat whole foods instead of processed ones. The Eat-Clean Diet offers some real tools to do just that and it isn’t a diet in the usual sense but a sustainable way of eating to transform your health.

Eating “clean” means choosing foods that are mostly unadulterated by humans and naturally healthy: high in nutrients, low in calories and devoid of white flour, chemical flavorings, preservatives, other artificial ingredients, trans fats, or loads of added sugars (real sugars or artificial sweeteners). Clean foods include those with healthy fats (avocadoes, nuts, seeds, and fish, for example).

In theory, this may seem like a no-brainer concept. However, few people put these types of principles into action in everyday life, and that’s why the Eat-Clean Diet can be a valuable foundation for losing weight and maintaining a leaner and healthier body.

The Weight-Loss Approach

The diet was coined by Tosca Reno, a Canadian who, at the age of 40, transformed herself from an unhappy, unhealthy, overweight woman into a fitness celebrity. In the decade since then, Reno has authored a series of books that include dozens of recipes, meal plans and fitness routines. And Clean Eating has evolved into a Canadian-based magazine and a way of life for many people.

If weight loss is your goal, eating six small daily meals of unprocessed foods, with a combination of lean protein, healthy fat and unrefined carbohydrates at every meal, is the Eat-Clean way to transform your body. Soda and junk food are off-limits but water — lots of it — plays a key role. For more details and recipes, see EatCleanDiet.com.

Exercise is definitely part of the plan but, according to Reno, 80-percent of what you see in a full-length mirror is the result of the food you eat. Another 10 percent is the result of exercise, and genes account for the rest.

Although the Eat-Clean concept was initially designed for women, Reno’s books now include one for family and kids and another, The Eat-Clean Diet for Men, co-authored with her husband, Robert Kennedy (not related to the American dynasty but a native of Britain and Canada’s leading publisher of fitness magazines and books). The men’s version is salad-free.

Making Simple Changes

In practical terms, eating clean boils down to basic ingredients made by nature and flavored with real herbs and spices, in place of artificially altered concoctions that have come to pass as “food.” As an example, use a slice of real, low-fat cheese instead of American processed cheese on a burger. Or, in place of French fries, here’s a recipe from The Best of Clean Eating, a collection of more than 200 recipes by the editors of Clean Eating magazine:

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
Makes 4 servings

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into wedges
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon chili powder

• Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
• Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
• In a mixing bowl, combine sweet potato wedges with oil, then sprinkle with chili powder and stir again.
• Spread out wedges on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, turning them over several times for even roasting.

One serving of these contains only 66 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams saturated fat and cholesterol and only 36 mg of sodium. This sweet-potato version will likely be more satisfying than a small portion of fast-food French fries with 210 to 360 calories and, on average, at least 18 grams of fat (still talking about the small-sized fries).

© HealthDay

Wednesday, 29 December 2010 10:21 AM
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