I put those words in parenthesis as they aren’t a defined phrase, just an idea that is floating around the web that means different things to different people. I didn’t think it was that hard to define, but opinions differ. There is no one definition of a perfect diet, and clean eating would be sticking close to your ideal diet.
For me this means as little sweeteners, white flour and processed food as possible. Eat as many veggies as possible, with an emphasis on the power players, leafy greens, brightly colored ones and broccoli. A decent amount of fruit, not tons as it is sweet. Protein from chicken, fish, beans, nuts, dairy and grains. I do eat dairy, with the help of lactaid. Some people don’t agree, but it is loaded with protein and vitamins. I do fat free on all of it. Whole grains every day. To be “clean” The majority of what you eat has to be something good for you. The cleaner your diet, the less weight and health problems you will have.
The more you learn about food, the more stringent your definition of what is clean will be. I have definitely cut back or eliminated foods that other people might not think of as “bad” for you. White bread, box cereal, canned tomatoes, sweetened beverages, and coffee creamer are some of the things that I have gotten rid of as much as possible in the last year. Canned tomatoes are because of the BPA’s. I don’t think I’m being crazy extreme on these things, if I eat a cookie, I don’t feel bad about it, I just try not to do it. We need so many nutrients, and so many readily available foods don’t have them, why should I waste calories on food that doesn’t do anything for me? Yes, taste will bring you to eat things you know you shouldn’t, but you just keep trying, and your diet will be 80-90% good, and only a little bad, and you won’t be heavy, tired and nutrient deficient.