Why Has The Term 'Clean Eating' Turned Into Such A Confusing Mess?

This week, the National Osteoporosis Society has released a statement suggesting that clean   eating and removing dairy from your diet may impact your risk of osteoporosis in the future. I totally respect their opinion and I can understand where it is coming from. However, I want to give you my view on ‘clean eating’ and my response to this statement. 

To begin with we need to understand that the term ‘clean eating’ was not started with the intent to create this modern cult (which it has seemingly appeared to do). It was simply initiated in order to encourage us to eat better and be a little more aware of our food. More recently everything seems to have backfired as the ‘clean eating’ clan has been blamed for a whole host of factors including: eating disorders, body dysmorphia and now increase disease risk. 

In my opinion this problem has arisen not through the original mission of ‘clean eating’ but from the negative associations that were born when it began to be picked apart. On the surface clean eating is about eating and enjoying whole, hearty foods. It has nothing to do with labelling foods as good or bad, clean or dirty and quite frankly I think this analysis has got a little too out of hand. 

On the other hand, we have seen a rise in eating disorders and potential nutrient deficiencies and I strongly believe that this is the case due to such a large number of unqualified people on the internet giving out incorrect and quite frankly dangerous nutrition advice. 

One thing that I feel extremely passionate about as a nutritionist is that there is no one-size fits all and what works for your best friend or even twin may not work for you. Everyone reacts to certain foods differently and you have to take each case by case. If one individual feels better when they aren’t eating dairy for example that’s absolutely fine as long as they’re under supervision of a professional who will help to ensure that they wont be at risk of calcium deficiency. Admittedly, yes it is harder to gain calcium from other sources and the calcium is not as easily absorbed as it may be from dairy products however, it can be done in the correct way. 

What I am trying to say here is that nutrition is specific to everyone’s needs and lifestyle; don’t follow those you ‘follow’ on social media. Nutrition is designed to ensure that everyone feels the best they can from the foods they eat and if that means avoiding certain foods then albeit, just please contact a professional to make sure you are not at risk of any deficiencies. 

On that note, I hope you have all had a lovely Easter weekend!