Lucy Jones

Dietitian

My Thoughts on Eating Clean

Here are some of my thoughts on the trend of eating clean which seems to be everywhere this January:
The overall premise of clean eating is to eat more foods in their natural state and avoid processed foods. This often means people eat more fruits and vegetables and can mean reductions in saturated fat and salt from avoidance of junk foods.
People find inspiration in "clean" recipes and photos shared on social media. Those sharing usually are not nutrition professionals and therefore the meals may not be well balanced - for instance, they often avoid carbs which means people can lose out on beneficial fibre from wholegrains.
Can encourage black and white or all or nothing thinking. Unprocessed food = good, processed food = bad. This is fundamentally flawed, honey and agave nectar are free sugars just as normal white sugar is. This means people can unknowingly still eat too much sugar or lack dietary balance when eating "clean". Also many examples of food processing actually improve safety or make healthy food more accessible including pasteurisation and sterilisation, tinned oily fish or pulses or even simply freezing fresh veg. These are all examples of food processing but the foods would still be healthy and an important part of a balanced diet.
Eating "clean" can lead to strict dietary rules thought to contribute to development of orthorexia (a type of eating disorder which can affect your health). In my view, people are better focusing on dietary patterns and overall balance, rather than complete avoidance of certain foods because they have been processed.

Posted on Wednesday 20th of January 2016 at 01:00 PM