The phrase clean eating is used by a lot of health and wellness professionals. I agree with the basis of the phrase, but I do not agree with the phrase itself.
“Clean eating” has no objective meaning. Every person will have their own interpretation of the phrase and what falls under the category of “un-clean.”
It also tends to make people label food as good or bad. Using that kind of language can set a false precedent for what nutritious food really is. When it comes to nutrition & eating nutritious food, it is not as black & white as we would like to believe.
We will be debunking four popular and common myths associated with clean eating.
Juicing is the best way to get fruits & veggies
The concept of juicing seems like a convenient way to get your fruits & veggies because you can fit a lot into one drink & you can finish it a lot quicker than having to eat that same serving of fruits and veggies. This is all true, but when you juice you lose out on a lot of key nutrients from those fruits and veggies. The main thing is FIBER; that really important nutrient that helps to slow the absorptions of sugars + helps to keep you feeling fuller longer. While fruits and veggies in their whole form have TONS of fiber, when you juice that is that main thing that I left behind. You still get the awesome micronutrients in those fruits and veggies, but you lose out on the powerful fiber.
Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free is always healthy
Gluten and dairy have gotten such a bad rep in more recent years. Gluten is a legitimate concern for those with Celiac Disease or with a gluten intolerance & dairy is definitely a concern for those who are lactose intolerant. The issue comes in when the assumption is made that because something is labeled as such, it must be healthy. Understand that there are plenty of individuals out there who have eliminated gluten and/or dairy and are still not meeting their nutrient needs and on the flip side, there are many individuals who incorporate gluten and/or dairy & are able to provide their bodies with proper nutrients.
Clean = healthy
A lot of times people want to use these words interchangeably when really, they are not synonymous. You will see a lot of recipes out there will put “healthy” out in front of food that is otherwise considered “unhealthy.” For example, “healthy ice cream” & “healthy chocolate chip cookies.” Just because something is made from wholesome, “clean” ingredients, it does not mean that it is automatically healthy & should be eaten every day. Save those clean treats for the occasional dessert just as you would the traditional version of the treat.
If you are eating “clean” foods, you can consume however much you want.
“I have been eating really clean and I am still not losing weight” is a phrase that you will often hear. There is a simple solution to this complaint. Eating nutrient dense food is amazing for our bodies however, if you are eating nutrient dense foods but still not in a caloric deficit; you will not lose weight. “Too much of a good thing” could not be truer in this type of situation. Even if you are not trying to lose weight & you just want to eat more nutritious foods, this is something to keep in mind. For example, whether you are getting your fats from fast food fries or organic, raw almond butter – too much fat intake in your diet can cause harm to your body.
I am such an advocate for including lots fruits & veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, legumes & nuts/seeds into diets and limiting heavily processed foods & GMO products. However, I believe that labeling this type of lifestyle as “clean eating” is very misleading and can cause a false representation for what eating healthy means.
What does clean eating mean for you?