Is Clean Eating Always the Best Choice?
It’s hard to find specific guidelines on clean eating so how do I know if I’m doing it correctly?
What do you believe would be the result of polling a dozen individuals on the correct makeup of a healthy diet? You might think that it would depend on their age, country of origin, educational level or some other factor that traditionally informs the opinions of groups of people. That is becoming less and less the case. Today, if you want to predict how someone will respond, check their online history, especially social media habits.
In the past, when we were introduced to a new type of diet, the process was much slower. We might hear about it from a friend or read an article in a magazine or see it introduced on TV. Before giving it a try we would ask the opinion of people we actually knew. Not so today, and one of the best examples of that may be that of “clean eating”. In a world where stores are stuffed with sugary, salty, over-processed foods and obesity, diabetes, cancer and a long list of other serious health conditions are on the rise, is it any surprise that the hashtag #cleaneating caught on like wildfire?
Self-proclaimed clean eating experts became internet stars and attracted thousands of followers practically overnight. Without research or science to provide structure, this latest cadre of diet gurus defined clean eating as eating only foods that are whole or unprocessed. Despite the ambiguity of those terms, the principle was extremely appealing. For years, one diet expert after another has come out with “the” answer, each negating the findings of the other. People were confused and losing trust in experts and institutions to actually have any answers. They were hungry (no pun intended!) for a simple, common-sense approach and clean eating sounded like exactly what they were looking for.
In principle and, in general, people who practice clean eating by attempting to eat foods in their natural form, without artificial ingredients, preservatives, sugars, salt, and other additives are choosing a healthy diet. Not everyone can eat raw vegetables and fruits and some people will have other restrictions based on individual issues, but overall, less processing and artificial anything is a better choice. What isn’t healthy is the obsession in the clean eating movement with only consuming foods that qualify as “pure”.
Orthorexia Nervosa: The Fixation on Righteous Eating
While this is, of course, not the case for everyone committed to eating locally-sourced produce and other accepted types of “clean” food, for some people, finding the purest and cleanest foods has become an obsession. In fact, there is even a medical designation for it, orthorexia nervosa, which, when translated becomes “a fixation on righteous eating”. The foods that are consumed may be healthy but the obsession is definitely not. It can cause feelings of guilt, unworthiness and even result in negative social behavior, including isolating from others.
There is currently a move to push back against the more radical claims of clean eating, with many medical professionals and scientists talking about the lack of research and proof to back up its claims. For long-term results that are healthy, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally, it is important to be able to rely on solid advice. It is highly unlikely that the answer will ever be “one diet for all. Every individual is different and a healthy diet should be based on that person’s health and metabolic profile.
The Southern California Center for Anti-Aging focuses on the practice of advanced, preventive and regenerative medicine. We can customize an eating plan, just for you, based on your individual needs and body chemistry. We strongly believe correcting imbalances and deficiencies in nutrition, along with improving fitness and balancing and restoring hormones with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, can help with creating the foundation for a healthier and happier life. To learn more about memory loss and or if you have questions about any of our services, take advantage of our Free Consultation by clicking here to use our convenient online form.