“Clean Eating”… hands down the biggest buzz phrase in the health and fitness industry for the last couple of years, but what does it mean exactly?
Clean eating is defined by eating only the ‘good’, and healthiest of foods whilst elimnating the ‘bad’ foods, which are also known as the ‘dirty’ foods. So eat your fruits and vegetables, but stay away from sugar, and processed foods. Sounds ok in theory right? Well here’s what’s wrong with labeling foods good and bad.
All calories, regardless of what form they come from, are energy. Fruits and vegetables provide a number of vitamins, minerals and fibre, are low in calories per serve (which is known as being nutrient dense) and also provide energy. Most people can do with eating more fruits and vegetables.
Chocolate on the other hand is much more calorie dense (meaning it has a high amount of calories per serve) and also provides a quick burst of energy. What else does it offer though? Enjoyment. Something a diet high in “clean foods” through eating restrictions can lack.
I’m not saying it’s not important to eat healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables, it is vital. But to not include selected foods and label them as ‘bad’ and restricting yourself the satisfaction of eating foods you enjoy (in moderation) could lead to an unhealthy relationship with your diet, not to mention heightened stress levels. Remember what I said above, all food is energy. Meet your energy demands by building the majority of your diet with whole and minimally refined nutrient dense foods, but also allow yourself the flexibility and freedom to eat foods not necessarily regarded as ‘clean’ as well. Therefore your diet includes a wide variety of food types and nutrients, and your not restricted in any way, such as when you’re at a social outing. Everything in moderation. This way, whatever eating plan you are on is easily sustained without being a mental challenge, is well balanced, and satisfies your taste buds!