Growing up, you were probably taught to keep your room clean. Maybe you were told to clean up your act when you were edging on trouble, too! But how much did your family talk about clean eating?
If you’re not familiar with this relatively recent diet and lifestyle choice and its benefits, we’re here to highlight the clean eating basics, and how clean protein bars (our specialty!) can become part of a balanced diet.
What Is Clean Eating, Exactly?
As the Mayo Clinic explains, clean eating is a way of eating and a way of living. The key components include:
- Filling your diet with more real, whole foods
- Reducing your intake of highly processed and refined foods
- Choosing to eat for nourishment and making thoughtful eating decisions around this objective
- Intentionally preparing and savoring the foods you’re eating
According to the Mayo Clinic, other aspects of a holistic clean lifestyle include taking care of your mind and body by:
- Getting the right amount of sleep
- Drinking plenty of water
- Finding ways to minimize and manage stress
- Promoting your mental and emotional wellbeing
Even if you’re not strictly following a clean eating diet or lifestyle, being aware of these factors is helpful when you’re considering how you’re treating your body and what kinds of foods you’re putting into it.
What Are the Advantages of Clean Eating?
People who make the switch to clean eating often find that their bodies just feel better. And there’s a good reason for it. Whole food ingredients and low glycemic index (GI) options provide higher-quality nutrition and keep your blood sugar levels steadier. By taking in fewer empty calories and eliminating artificial added sugar and added sodium from your plate, you can avoid things like energy spikes and crashes, a lack of feeling full after a meal, and uncomfortable bloating. Instead, on a clean eating routine, you’ll experience things like:
- Greater satiety
- More sustained energy
- Less inflammation
- A more resilient immune system
The well-rounded nutrient packages often found in natural, clean foods offer benefits across the board. According to Shape, the results of a clean, nutrient-rich diet can include:
- Healthier teeth and gums
- Stronger hair and nails
- More radiant skin
- Improvements to your mood, sleep, and focus
As it turns out, what’s beneficial for your body is also good for Mother Earth. By choosing fresh, seasonal produce over highly processed foods that have undergone serious chemical processing — and have had to travel long distances to reach your local grocery store — you can help reduce your carbon footprint as well.
If you’re following a clean eating routine, you’ll likely spend more time prepping meals with fresh ingredients. (When you’re not enjoying clean protein bars on the go, that is!) That extra time in the kitchen can be a great way to bond with others in your household. All that veggie chopping, salad spinning, and soup stirring can be great for getting the kids involved in the kitchen. Even if your kitchen is an adults-only zone, cooking delicious meals with your significant other or roommate might become a favorite part of the day.
How Do Clean Protein Bars Fit Into a Balanced Diet?
Clean protein bars can help you achieve a variety of nutrition goals, whether that means cutting out cravings, taking better care of your body, supplementing your diet with certain nutrients, or eating well instead of reaching for low-quality convenience foods while you’re on the go.
They can also work hand-in-hand with fitness goals, whether you’re aiming to build muscle in the weight room or stay satiated while you’re on a hike. No matter what you’re looking to achieve, clean protein bars will have you covered!
The key thing to remember is how you’re nourishing your body. Protein is an essential nutrient that your body needs to survive and thrive. Being mindful of how much protein you’re consuming throughout the day will help you understand when and why a clean protein bar makes sense.
How Can You Tell Clean Protein Bars Apart From Other Products?
Not all protein bars adhere to clean eating principles. An easy way to identify clean protein bars is to check out the ingredient list. In general, clean foods will contain a list of natural ingredients you’re familiar with. In many cases, these will be identified as organic, too.
Here are a few ingredients you won’t ever find in the clean protein bars from Perfect Snacks:
- Whey protein isolate
- Soy protein isolate
- Protein powder
- Artificial ingredients and flavors
- Mystery ingredients with names you can’t pronounce
Instead, you’ll find that most of our ingredients are organic and fall into a handful of categories to serve your nutritional needs and taste bud standards. Here’s an overview of the organic ingredients you’ll find in our bestselling Dark Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Perfect Bar:
- Whole food protein sources, including freshly ground peanut butter, whole egg powder, and rice protein
- Dried superfoods including kale, flaxseed, rosehip, orange, lemon, papaya, tomato, apple, alfalfa, celery, kelp, dulse, carrot, and spinach
- Plant-based oils containing healthy fats, including flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, sesame seed oil, olive oil, and pumpkin seed oil
- Honey for a dollop of natural sweetness and preservative power
- Fair Trade dark chocolate to seal the deal
This particular flavor contains 15 grams of whole-food protein and only 12 grams of added sugar, which comes from the organic honey and the organic cane sugar that’s used in our delectable dark chocolate chips. That means the 330 calories you’re getting are primarily derived from whole food ingredients and superfoods, rather than piles of added artificial sugar.
Plus, since each Perfect Bar is made without synthetic preservatives, you’ll find them in the refrigerated section around the fresh perimeter of your grocery store, alongside fresh produce and other better-for-you foods.
When Should You Eat Clean Protein Bars?
Just like the “best” source of protein will depend on your lifestyle and dietary needs, the “right time” to eat clean protein bars will really depend on your specific nutritional goals or fitness objectives.
You might work with a nutritionist who recommends clean protein bars as a meal replacement option, or you may simply grab one as an afternoon snack to fuel you through a busy day. Some of our customers say Perfect Bar makes a great post-workout snack; others enjoy it as a wholesome breakfast.
Parents can also share the clean eating goodness with their little ones thanks to our perfectly portioned Perfect Kids snack bars, which are about one-third the size of a full-sized Perfect Bar. These also contain gluten-free oats for an extra boost of dietary fiber, plus a customized blend of superfood ingredients decided to meet kids’ nutritional needs.
Eager to make Perfect Snacks a part of your clean eating routine? You’ll enjoy our beloved peanut butter protein bars and flavors featuring other nut butters for fridge-fresh snacking and whole food goodness. Consider giving yourself a clean eating treat now and then, too, like our Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Refrigerated Peanut Butter Cups.
Check out our Perfect Snacks lineup and order today!