Clean-Eating Diet

In the past few months, a new diet has arisen, known as the “clean-eating” or “eat-clean” diet. Pins on Pinterest and articles in magazines can be found on this new lifestyle that consists of exercise and a diet of unprocessed, whole foods. These foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. This type of clean-eating avoids foods with preservatives, sugars, trans and saturated fats, as well as artificial and chemically altered ingredients.

According to a diagram found on, the formula for “body beautiful, body healthy” relies on 80 percent of one’s food/diet, and 10 percent each of genetics and training.

Various sources claim that the diet can lead to the loss of about three pounds a week, as long as one sticks to the guidelines of this new lifestyle.

Rather than consuming the three general meals each day, the lifestyle change encourages five to six smaller meals, spaced at two-and-a-half to three hour intervals, instead to boost one’s metabolism and to practice portion control. However, one is still expected to consume less than 2,000 calories each day.

Often times, dieters stick to a meal plan for the week, preparing a week’s worth of food for each meal. This method helps one to keep their clean-eating lifestyle on track throughout the week.

More resources for this new diet lifestyle can be found on and

Smart Substitutions for Healthy Cooking

You can make many of your favorite recipes healthier by using lower-fat or no-fat ingredients.  These healthy substitutions can help you cut down on saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol, while noticing little, if any, difference in taste.

Borrowed from American Heart Association

When recipe calls for  . . . Use this instead  …
Whole milk (1 cup) 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk, plus one tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil
Heavy cream (1 cup) 1 cup evaporated skim milk or 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup plain low-fat unsalted cottage cheese
Sour cream Low-fat unsalted cottage cheese plus low-fat or fat-free yogurt; or just use fat-free sour cream
Cream cheese 4 tablespoons soft margarine (low in saturated fat and 0 grams trans fat) blended with 1 cup dry, unsalted low-fat cottage cheese; add a small amount of fat-free milk if needed
Butter (1 tablespoon) 1 tablespoon soft margarine (low in saturated fat and 0 grams trans fat) or 3/4 tablespoon liquid vegetable oil
Egg (1) 2 egg whites; or choose a commercially made, cholesterol-free egg substitute (1/4 cup)
Unsweetened baking chocolate (1 ounce) 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or carob powder plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or soft margarine; since carob is sweeter than cocoa, reduce the sugar in the recipe by 25%

Smart Substitutions for Snacking

You can snack healthier by substituting snacks that are high in
saturated fats and/or trans fats with these sensible snacks:

Borrowed from the American Heart Association

Instead of  . . . Enjoy …
Fried tortilla chips Baked tortilla chips (reduced sodium version)
Regular potato or corn chips Pretzels or low-fat potato chips (reduced sodium version)
High-fat cookies and crackers Fat-free or low-fat cookies, crackers (such as graham crackers, rice cakes, fig and other fruit bars, ginger snaps and molasses cookies)
Regular baked goods Baked goods, such as cookies, cakes and pies, and pie crusts made with unsaturated oil or soft margarines, egg whites or egg substitutes, and fat-free milk
Devil’s food cake Angel food cake
Ice cream bars Frozen fruit bars
Pudding made with whole milk Pudding made with fat-free or low-fat milk
Ice cream Sherbet, ice milk or frozen, fat-free or low-fat yogurt
Doughnut Bagel or toast

Diet foods, Used Wisely, Can Help in Weight Control

Packaged foods and drinks labeled “diet” and “low calorie” may seem appealing if you’re trying to lose weight. But there are some important warnings to keep in mind with diet foods, according to the American Heart Association,

Heart-healthy Fats: All are not created equal

It’s no secret that eating low-fat, high-fiber foods can reduce your risk for heart disease. But with food companies constantly promoting healthier food options, it’s hard to tell whether their claims are really true. Just because food packaging claims to be reduced-fat, that doesn’t automatically make the food a nutritious choice.

Here are a few things you may not know about the foods you eat:

There are good oils and there are bad oils. The best choices are those low in cholesterol and saturated and trans fats. Oils made from vegetable fat are healthiest – try corn, canola or olive oil. Stay away from butter and use margarine with liquid vegetable oil listed as the first ingredient and no more than two grams of saturated fat per tablespoon.

Fatty acids reduce heart disease risk. It may seem strange that something with fat in the name could actually be good for you, but it’s true. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of arrhythmias and plaque, plus they decrease triglyceride levels. Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, especially tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines. Other sources include soybeans (including tofu), walnuts and flaxseeds. Try to incorporate fish into your diet at least twice a week, and ask your physician if omega-3 supplements are right for you.

Reduced-fat products aren’t always low in fat. To be considered reduced fat, the product must have at least 25 percent fewer fat grams than the original product. This sounds good and is definitely an improvement, but the food still may be high in fat. For example, if the original product has 20 fat grams, and the reduced-fat version has 15 grams, it is still high in fat. To be classified as low fat, the product cannot have more than three fat grams per serving, and fat must account for less than 30 percent of the total calories. Be sure to check the labels on your food; many times low-fat baked goods include more sugar than their full-fat counterparts. Also, people often eat larger portions of reduced-fat foods, sometimes resulting in higher calorie intake than eating the full-fat version.

Always check the labels on your food so you know exactly what you are putting into your body. By making some small changes to your diet, you can improve your heart health.

Published: July 31, 2008
Source: American Heart Association
Writer: Alexandra Cox