T Nation

Eating Clean, What Exactly is It?

I hear about the people here eating a clean ais it nd well regulated diet at various times, but what exactly this means isn’t really pinned down.

Is eating clean eating less fats? Which kinds of fats?
Fewer simple carbs? No foods forbidden in paleo diet?

"Get your micronutrients with your macronutrients"
Is the most important rule I would go by.

I guess there is one more I internalize, but the first is more important.
"Avoid meals that can cause harm."
this is a little more ambiguous but the idea is avoid things you think could harm the way your body works, from insulin resistance to avoiding trans fats etc.

Number two is much more play by ear and everyone’s definition of good vs bad will vary so I almost don’t want to write it haha.

“Get your micros with your macros” If you follow this and plan a diet with this rule in mind you’re likely to be eating good food.

I try to refrain from using “clean” vs. “dirty” foods. It can create a bad relationship with food. If you deem a food dirty, and happen to have some, you feel regretful. Like Rampant said, as long as you get your micros with your macros, that is eating clean. However, you can’t eat all ice cream , pop tarts, and whey and think you’re alright just because you hit your macros.

The only way to hit your micros is to have a diet rich with vegetables and fruits. That’s why I enjoy the flexible dieting movement. Many argue you can’t eat junk food and still get in shape. If all you’re eating is processed foods, you’re not truly flexible dieting. Flexible dieting is all about reaching your macro/micro goals through 80-90% of your diet, and using the other 10-20% to eat what you like and keep yourself sane.

I also don’t like the whole 'Clean" foods categorization. I can’t tell you how many times someone tells me that they can’t get in shape, despite their “clean diet”. If you eat too much grilled chicken and broccoli every day, despite their being “clean” options, you’ll still get fat.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I also don’t like the whole 'Clean" foods categorization. I can’t tell you how many times someone tells me that they can’t get in shape, despite their “clean diet”. If you eat too much grilled chicken and broccoli every day, despite their being “clean” options, you’ll still get fat.

S[/quote]

Is this a subtle way of advocating pop tarts? haha

I have noticed that Stu talks about pop tarts more than anyone else on here.

You guys know I’m never subtle when I talk about my beloved PopTarts :slight_smile:

S

Whenever I hear someone talk about eating clean, I ask “you wash all your food?”. The looks I get are priceless haha

What I usually do is avoid over complicated meals. I like to cook all my meals, and use 5 ingredients to put something together. I like to grow some vegetables in my garden, visit my farmers market and drink a lot of juices. Most packaged food has many additives that go against the clean food you are looking for. Also a lot of water is a must!

It certainly isn’t eating almost a whole thin crust pizza and washing it down with a bottle of merlot.

I also find eating clean a stupid term, but I always thought it meant eating natural unprocessed foods. I can imagine things coming out of a factory being “dirty” and natural foods being more “clean”.

Eating ‘clean’ is just a term for narcissists to indulge themselves on social media.

[quote]ChongLordUno wrote:
narcissists to indulge themselves on social media.

[/quote]

redundant

“Eat for what you’ve done, and for what you have to do” - Christian Thibaudeau

That’s what I think of when I think about “eating clean.” In my mind, to eat clean means to only eat things that are helping you achieve your goals.

Eating “dirty,” (can we call it “messy” instead? As in “not very well-organized?”) in my mind is choosing food that doesn’t fit with your plan because of convenience, cravings, poor planning, etc. So if you’re on a ketogenic diet (a no/low carb diet) but have a bowl of organic, free-range fair trade non-GMO brown rice for dinner, that’s a “dirty” meal, even though there’s nothing inherently wrong with that food… It’s just wrong for what you’re doing.

Likewise, alot of people would consider eating a block of cheddar cheese melted onto bacon strips to be a “dirty” meal, but for our hypothetical keto buddy, that’s actually right in line with his dietary goals.

For most people, processed foods and simple sugars are not ideal for achieving their body comp/performance goals, so they are widely considered “dirty…” But tell that to a bodybuilder deep-throating his third Snickers bar backstage, and he’ll just shrug.

If it has a face or grows in nature eat it… Thats how I define clean.

Steak = clean

Snickers bar = not clean

What I define as universally not “clean” is excess sugar beyond what your body can process naturally, and high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. Those 2 things CAUSE oxidative cell ageing, cancer, arterial scarring, insulin resistance, lower testosterone.

Wheat, grains, starch, beans, milk, other allergens and irritants are much more dependent on the individual.

Saturated animal fat is clean. Monounsaturated fatty acids are clean. 75 grams of sugar a day is probably below any issue of tolerance.

Personally I do avoid too much wheat, corn and even oats and try to keep my total carbs to about 100-150 grams a day plus some for exercise.

Clean eating means no processed foods

I try to define the term, “eating clean,” in this article: http://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/eating-clean-vs-orthorexia

[quote]mertdawg wrote:
What I define as universally not “clean” is excess sugar beyond what your body can process naturally, and high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. Those 2 things CAUSE oxidative cell ageing, cancer, arterial scarring, insulin resistance, lower testosterone.

Wheat, grains, starch, beans, milk, other allergens and irritants are much more dependent on the individual.

Saturated animal fat is clean. Monounsaturated fatty acids are clean. 75 grams of sugar a day is probably below any issue of tolerance.

Personally I do avoid too much wheat, corn and even oats and try to keep my total carbs to about 100-150 grams a day plus some for exercise.
[/quote]

Is there an amount of omega-6 that would be considered to high or can it always be balanced by eating an equal ratio of omega-3’s?

Also, if you are getting small amounts of omega-6 say 6g a day max would omega 3’s still be needed?