Clean eating is quite a simple concept. The idea is that we can effectively reduce body fat and drop unwanted inches without counting calories. The idea is more about being mindful of what occurs with the food from the time it originates until it lands on your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or "real" foods — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. However, modern food production has become so sophisticated that simply eating whole foods can be a challenging proposition these days.
Although the amount of processing varies dramatically it’s almost everywhere in the packaged foods we buy. So why, exactly, is processing so bad — especially if it's something as simple as adding heat? First let’s be clear, not all processing is bad. Often processing removes toxins or bacteria, or allows for us to eat certain types of foods in off-season due to freezing or canning. The key is to avoid foods that are 'ultra-processed’. Highly processed foods are stripped of nutrients needed for overall health; and heavily modified food tends to have additives that overstimulate the production of dopamine, the "pleasure" neurotransmitter, perpetuating a negative cycle of constant junk food cravings.
Research and common sense have shown that eating a largely plant-based diet is healthy. Multiple studies have shown that diets heavy on fruits and vegetables can curb or prevent certain life-threatening conditions and diseases, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Plus, there's research linking diets high in fruits and veggies to healthy weight management and glowing skin and hair.
Moral of the story: A sure fire way to eat healthier is to spend more time in the produce aisle picking up a wide selection of fresh fruits and vegetables and spend less time in the snack, soda and packaged / prepared foods aisle if you want to lead a healthier life.