From diet books to fitness magazines to Facebook and Instagram feeds we see a plethora of articles on Clean Eating. #cleaneating has over 60 million followers !
But, has this craze and obsession with Healthy Eating taken a life of its own ?
Today, our Supermarkets are full of Clean Eating products – Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, Oil Free, Salt Free, Grain Free, Raw Juices , Whole Wheat Breads, Organic Eggs, Bee Free Honey, Vegan cheese….. it’s endless.
What is Clean Eating?
Simply put, Clean Eating is eating whole foods or ” real” foods, those that are un or minimally processed, refined, making them as close to their natural form as possible.
An extension of Clean Eating are the various Diets – Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy free, Atkins Diet, Carb Free, Raw Food Diet, Zone Diet.
All this promises to rid our bodies of toxins and make us fit and healthy.
But does it do that ?
I believe in healthy eating. But this obsession , in my view, has taken an unhealthy turn. What should be a simple awareness of food and it’s properties, has today become an unhealthy following of fad driven diets. One day we don’t eat oils, another day we give up dairy products, next we remove salts from our diets, and then we move to only raw foods…….where does this stop.
What alerted me to this unhealthy obsession was when I recently met a friend who said she had been feeling very weak. She had been advised to go off oil, rice and sugar and cut down on salty food. She had been eating mostly raw food or boiled food, snacking on popcorn and fruit and sipping green tea whole day. Her blood pressure had dropped and energy levels were at an all time low. She had also started losing hair. This was alarming. I told her to start adding oil and salt in small quantities to her diet and it helped in restoring her energy levels and bring her blood pressure to normal.
This unhealthy obsession with Clean Food diets is leading to eating disorders and serious health issues.
Basically we have started replacing our normal everyday food with food items that are alien to our diet. We are so busy eliminating food items, that we are ignoring the fact that our body needs everything in moderation. Different foods add different proteins and vitamins to our bodies. What we need is Sensible Eating. It is all about balance in your diet not exclusion which Clean Eating promotes as it focuses on what food is “clean” and what is not. Some experts believe elimination of any food item is not good. It is a question of quantity and moderation.
As the saying goes “Too much of anything is bad”…..including too much of Clean Eating. So go have that ice cream, or garlic bread – as long as it does not become an obsession !
Bon Appetit !