Why are Certain Foods Not Allowed on the Clean Program?
THE BIG PICTURE
Clean excludes certain foods from the Clean Program for several reasons:
- some may cause food sensitivities and/or allergic reactions
- some contain toxic chemicals or are laden with pesticides ( even organics)
- some have an acidifying effect on the body
- some are mucus-forming
- some cause inflammation
- some are simply difficult to digest
Removing most allergen-causing foods and drinks during the program helps to relieve the burden on the immune and digestive system.
We are often unaware of the affects of certain foods (i.e. dairy and gluten) because we eat them regularly. Sometimes symptoms do not manifest for 24 hours or later after a food is eaten. For example, having dairy or gluten on a regular basis may mask the actual effects of these foods.
- Peanuts. A very common allergen. Non-organic peanuts are full of chemicals and organic often have a mold called alfatoxin. Even if you don't have a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, many people are still extremely sensitive to them.
Note: All nuts are better digested when they are soaked for a few hours (or overnight) before eating. This also breaks down the enzyme inhibitors called phytates present in the skin of raw nuts so the nutrients can be absorbed. Cashews and other skin free nuts need little to no soaking time.
- Nightshades. Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and all peppers are part of the nightshade family. Nightshades are often rich in alkaloids that can be mildly toxic to some people.
According to Ayurvedic thinking, nightshades are thought to cause sensitivity in the body, and when eaten in excess, they tend to suppress the strength of our digestion. For example, some potatoes contain a neurotoxin called solanine which many people are sensitive to. Typical symptoms of solanine sensitivity are joint pain and inflammation.
Note: Dried peppers can be used as a spice. While cayenne, chili pepper and paprika spices are still in the nightshade family, we do allow them in cooking because in general a very small amount is used.
- Canned Vegetables. Fresh is best, then frozen. Canned vegetables often have preservatives and are sitting in cans that leech lead or other chemicals into the food. We do like certain canned foods like pumpkin and squash without preservatives to use for cooking. Look for BPA free cans.
- Oranges and Orange Juice: Can be highly allergenic.
- Grapefruit: This fruit has been known to block certain enzyme processes in the body.
- Citrus: With the exception of lemons and limes, all citrus is removed from the program because of its allergenic quality. Lemons and limes are alkalizing as well as detoxifying and thus are allowed on our program.
- Bananas: This fruit is high in both starch and sugar. Many people use bananas in smoothies when not on the program. Instead, try using other fruits, berries, or coconut milk, and a tablespoon of almond butter or 1/2 an avocado to create a similar consistency.
- Bottled Fruit Juice: All concentrated fruit juice (anything that’s not fresh squeezed or pressed) is high in sugar and can cause major spikes in blood sugar. All bottled juices are pasteurized, thus reducing and destroying most of the available nutrients.
- Strawberries: Can be an allergen for some people, and currently one of the fruits covered with the most pesticides and herbicides, organic or not.
- Grapes: One of the top fruits covered with the most pesticides and herbicides even organic.
- Milk/Cheese/Yogurt/Butter: Mucus forming, a very common allergen and acidic to the body. Yogurt that has been pasteurized has many of its health properties destroyed and often contains sugar and gums. After your program, follow the Reintroduction Process to test how dairy affects you.
- Eggs: A common allergen, especially if they are from factory farmed chickens. No mayonnaise, as it contains eggs. After the program, seek out pastured-raised organic eggs.
- Ice Cream: Contains dairy and sugar. Also includes gums such as carregenan and xanthan that can upset digestion.
- Warm-water and tropical fish: Higher risk of parasites and heavy metal contamination. Avoid African butter fish, billfish, bluefish, carp, catfish, eel, warm-water flounder, hilsa, tropical mackerel, mahi mahi, dorado, monkfish, pomfret/butterfish, sturgeon, shark, skatefish, snakehead, snapper, tilapia, tilefish.
Instead have wild caught cold water fish such as flounder, salmon, sardines, haddock, kipper, herring, tuna.
- Shellfish: Higher risk of parasites and heavy metal contamination and most are bottom feeders. Avoid barnacles, lobster, crab, urchins, mussels, scallops, crayfish, langustino, shrimp, prawn, abalone, cuttlefish, chiton, cockles, clam, geo duck, octopus, oysters, sea cucumbers, sea snails, squid.
- Red Meat: Highly acidic to the body and taxing on all organs, especially detox organs. High use of hormones and antibiotics in factory farmed animals that can be harmful to humans. After the program, choose organic and grass fed/pasture raised when possible.
- Processed meats: Avoid pork, sausage, bacon, all processed meats, hot dogs, lunch meat, all smoked meats, smoked fish etc. Most processed meats contain nitrates and added sugar.
- Raw fish, seafood, meat: Avoid due to the high risk of parasites.
- Soybean:. A very common allergen, often genetically modified, and may disrupt hormones in both males and females. Avoid tofu, soy milk, edamame, soy-based ice-creams, soy-sauce.
- Wheat (Gluten): Gluten is the protein found in wheat and other cereal grains, such as barley, rye, spelt, and kamut. The list of syndromes and diseases associated with gluten sensitivity seem to be endless. It causes irritation and damage to the gut, contributing to a host of problems in the body. Gluten triggers autoimmune responses as well as thyroid issues and can create the conditions for leaky gut. Gluten sensitivity has been associated with chronic headaches, inflammation, type 1 diabetes, neuropathy, and increased mortality rates.
With our clients at Clean, we see gluten contribute directly to indigestion and bloating as well as fatigue and brain fog. While a percentage of people have a serious allergy to wheat, nearly everyone has an immune response to it. This immune response can create a cascade of negative reactions. Some gluten-containing foods, such as cakes and cookies, are more likely to be highly processed and contain chemicals, preservatives, and sugar.
- Oats: Often contaminated with gluten. Also, the protein in oats often functions like gluten proteins.
- Vegetarian/Vegan 'Fake Meat' Foods: Avoid processed vegetarian/vegan food such as seitan, and textured-vegetable protein (TVP) as well as vegan cheeses and dressings made from soy. Some also contain gluten.
- Corn: A common allergen that is often genetically modified. High in sugar, spikes insulin levels, high on the glycemic index. Often contains the carcinogenic mold aflatoxin (a mycotoxin), which may be linked to liver cancer. A lot of people have sensitivities to corn and corn products.
- White Rice: High in starch and highly processed. High glycemic index food.
- Coffee and Black Tea: Highly acidic and taxing to detox organs (liver and kidneys), dehydrating and a stimulant that forces surges of adrenaline and puts us in fight or flight mode. Addictive and tends to disrupts natural rhythms in the body (sleep, hormones, etc.).
- Soda: Contains sugar and caffeine. A processed drink with zero nutritional value.
- Alcohol (beer, mead, wine, liquor): High in sugar and taxing on detox organs. Beer and hard liquor contain gluten, wine contains sulfites (both common allergens).
Artificial sweeteners provide a false sense of energy without any nutrients, which leads to a crash. They can lead to food cravings, weight gain and a list of unpleasant side effects since they are chemicals and toxic to the body.
- Splenda: A chlorocarbon that causes swelling of the liver and kidneys as well as a shrinking thymus gland, along with a whole host of bad side effects.
- Aspartame: Many side effects, some very dangerous including brain damage and inflammation, a definite poisonous toxin.
- Saccharin: Believed to be a carcinogen, leads to carbohydrate cravings.
- Sweet n Low
Natural sweeteners are mostly removed during the program.
- Maple Syrup
- Cane Juice (Evaporated as well)
- Brown Sugar
- Refined White Sugar
- Concentrated Fruit Juice
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Brown Rice Syrup
Use fruit, dates or date paste, coconut nectar, coconut sugar, xylitol, stevia or lanktano ( Monk Fruit)
Many vegetable, nut and seed oils are highly processed and are often rancid, causing free radicals in the body. Removing poor quality oils is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Seed oils are high in Omega 6 which promotes inflammation.
- Canola (rapeseed oil)
- Partially hydrogenated oil
- Coconut Oil ( use refined coconut oil if you wish it to be odorless and tasteless)
- Olive Oil
- Flax Oil (do not heat)
- Pumpkin Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Red Palm Oil
- Salt: Use sea salt, atlantic salt or himalayan salt instead.
- Ketchup: High in sugar and contains tomatoes.
- Mustard: Make sure it’s without sugar or additives.
- Soy Sauce: Processed soy product, not allowed on the program. Use gluten-free organic tamari or miso instead.
- Chocolate: Small amounts of dark chocolate (70% or higher) without dairy or sugar is okay. Cacao nibs, beans or powder, or carob are all fine.
- Tobacco/Nicotine: Even organic tobacco, which is free of chemicals and pesticides, causes inflammation in the lungs and arteries, stresses adrenals as well as the heart and upsets the natural blood sugar levels. Addictive behaviors warrant looking into the emotional causes behind them for a full body/mind Cleanse.
- Marijuana: As with tobacco, it can be addictive and unless prescribed by your doctor best avoided on the Cleanse.