3 Hush-Hush Benefits of Eating Clean (Spoiler: It’s About Farts)

My Son: Mom, can you buy more apples?
Me: Why of course, darling son of mine.  Sure.
My Son: Because I read that eating apples increases your sexual appeal.
Me: Um, okaaaaay.
My Son: And at 17, if there’s one thing that’s important to me…..
Me: Do not finish that sentence.
My Son:  ….. it’s my sexual appeal.
Me: Ok.  Wow.  Just….  Wow.

My darling smart-ass son’s obvious attempt to kill me slowly aside, he has a point.

“Eat clean, train mean” is a favorite rallying cry of the fit and fabulous. Spend only a few minutes looking for fitness + nutrition and you’ll find the mantras “fitness is 20% exercise, 80% nutrition” and “abs are made in the kitchen.”

2013-09-08 11.34.27It’s true that eating clean – eating mostly foods in their natural, unprocessed form – is the most important aspect of getting fit and healthy, making or breaking one’s success in losing weight and toning up. While we each have our own opinions on which exercise regimen is best and the most effective (CrossFit horror story, anyone?), we all agree that eating clean is crucial to our success in the gym. A bad diet will derail even the best exercise program and no amount of hours in the gym can erase bad eating habits.

But if taking your fitness to the next level isn’t enough motivation to clean up your diet, maybe these unusual benefits – that no one likes to talk about – will be.

1. You’ll fart less.
Might as well start this off with a bang toot!

It’s true that some natural foods are more gas-producing than others, so if you’re on the EPA’s watch list for ass-emissions, you’ll want to keep a food diary and note which foods seem to trigger the onslaught of air biscuits. But the same nutritional guidelines that promote losing weight and building muscle also decrease the thunder from down under.

For example, sugars and simple carbohydrates contribute to increased body body fat, and they also contribute to stinkier colon cologne, so watch your intake on those.

Also, over-eating not only means you take in excess calories, making it difficult to lose weight, but it also contributes to increased booty burps, and since most fitness regimens call for eating small meals spread throughout the day, that means less build-up in your intestines, and therefore less build-up in the air pressure too, if you know what I mean.2013-03-21 20.36.06

Eat more fiber – it’s like a toothbrush for your bumside! – to clean out your pipes.

And eat more digestive tract-friendly foods like yogurt. But not the dessert-that-masquerades-as-yogurt yogurt, PLAIN yogurt.

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Yep, sorry to break wind it to you folks, yogurt isn’t meant to be sweet. The probiotics in yogurt help your body maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria, which aid in digestion, which in turn lessens your need to crop dust across the fitness room floor.



(OMG I could do this all day.)


2. Your pits won’t stink.

One time, in gym class? Two friends and I were the only three freshman to get put into an all seniors gym class. We spent the first semester being sufficiently scared to death. While the teacher was all, “this week, we’re learning the fundamentals of gymnastics!” we were on high-alert mode of “stick together and don’t get killed by older mean girls.” But as soon as we realized they were all bark and no bite, we started messing with them, including the day we were having a spray deodorant war in the locker room. One of the mean girls said if we didn’t stop, she’d shove that deodorant can up our you-know-whats, and instead of stopping, we all made a “Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” noise to mimic the spray sound. Then we ran and hid behind chatted with the teacher, just in case we were about to be beaten to a pulp.

And now that I’ve told you that almost-irrelevant story, let’s talk about body odor. B.O. Smelly pits.



First things first – it’s not about the sweat. You have sweat glands. They’re designed to, you know, sweat. It’s a normal function and as such, should not be suppressed. Some people sweat more than others; and some people’s sweat stinks more than other people’s sweat stinks. 

Me: Did you know Asians have fewer sweat glands and are therefore
less likely to have body odor? I read that.

My Son:
Don’t be racist, Mom.

So why does sweat sometimes stink? One function of sweating is to eliminate toxins from the body. And since you are what you eat, your degree of armpit funk may be a reflection of your diet. Your body metabolizes food and then excretes toxins. This excretion happens through pee and poo, breathing, and yes, through your skin, your largest organ. Consuming more clean foods means feeding your body more usable nutrients and fewer toxins to purge.

In order to decrease your stank-rank, add more whole foods to your diet and remove or reduce your intake of highly-processed foods.

Hey, did you know that meat-eaters tend to have worse body odor than vegetarians? I’m a meat-eater, so don’t get your pit-pads in a twist that I’m going to make you forgo the flesh, but seriously.

And, because pheromones are emitted through sweat, body odor can increase your sexual attraction.

Wait…. apples + sweat = increased sexual attraction…. 

Me: Son, go to your room. You’re grounded for infinity.
Son: Why?
Me: And no more google for you.


3. Zits Be Gone

Me: My name is Laura, and I have adult acne.
Therapy Group: Hi Laura.

I started getting zits as a pre-teen and they never quit coming. I thought I’d grow out of it (hormones). I ate fewer fried foods. I scoured washed my face every night and changed my pillowcase every day. I stopped eating chocolate. I even used prescription meds that gave me stomach cramps – but look! Clear skin! – and took a birth control pill that was known to reduce acne.  (It did, but at the cost of messing with my hormones.)

I tried all the common wisdom of the day and all along it was….  Sugar. In all its wily forms.


Sure, hormones play a part. Sure, make-up and other additives can clog pores. But it wasn’t until I truly cleaned up my diet, and ate well every day, that my skin cleared up. Now, if I have a week or two of bad eating, it shows. When I got honest about what I was eating, it was clear (pun intended) that I was taking in a lot of sugar. The occasional soft drink and dessert, typical breakfast foods like sweetened cereals, yogurts, and baked goods, sugary condiments, and simple carbs were appearing in my diet more than I’d been willing to admit.

If acne is a problem for you, you might try cleaning up your diet. REALLY cleaning it up. Besides reducing sugar intake, adding leafy greens, antioxidant-rich foods, quality protein, probiotics like plain yogurt and kefir, and eating a diet rich in vegetables will brighten up your skin and just might clear up your acne.

No definitive cause of acne has been found, but it simply makes sense that if we feed our bodies foods that they can recognize and use, we’ll be healthier all the way around. You might find that eliminating sugar doesn’t help you, but it worked for me, so it might be worth a try. And if you aren’t willing to break up with your sweets, I feel you.

Patient: Is there anything else I need to do, doctor?
Doctor: Well, is there anything you still enjoy that I haven’t taken away yet?

So there you have it, folks! Now go forth and be fit, fart-free, fresh-faced, fresh-scented, and fabulous! 


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