Clean eating

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Unrefined whole foods

Clean eating is a fad diet[1][2] based on the belief that eating whole foods in their most natural state and avoiding processed foods such as refined sugar offers certain health benefits. Variations on the clean eating diet may also exclude gluten, grains, and dairy products and advocate the consumption of raw food.[3][4][5]

The idea of "clean eating" has been criticized as lacking in scientific evidence and potentially posing health risks.[6]

The clean eating concept has been associated in the media with Ella Mills,[7] Natasha Corrett, and the Hemsley sisters[8]; although by 2016 Mills and the Hemsley sisters had distanced themselves from the phrase and said they never used it.[1]

Descripion and reception[edit]

Although there is limited research on the health effects of clean eating, clean eating trends have become increasingly popular through the use of various media outlets including, blogs, television segments, and magazine articles. Many of which are supported and figure headed by various health and wellness gurus who typically base the information they provide on personal experience.[9]

Culinary fruits top view.jpg

The idea of clean eating has been criticized as lacking scientific evidence for its claims, and in extreme cases posing health risks by cutting whole food groups out of the diet.[6] It has also been claimed that processed foods have been modified to prevent diseases and therefore have some health benefits (in the form of food safety) over a clean eating diet.[10] It has also been claimed that a clean eating diet may increase the risk of osteoporosis due to a lack of calcium from dairy products.[6] Health risks associated with this diet include food poisoning and diseases from parasites.[11] Diets categorized as "clean eating" that have become increasingly trendy are, Low Carb High Fat/ Keto Diet, Super Healthy Family, the Paleo diet and the Raw Food diet. These Dieting trends include the removal of food groups such as grains, soy, legumes, meat and dairy.

Orthorexia nervosa[edit]

Orthorexia nervosa is a proposed condition where someone is obsessed with healthy eating to the point where it results in mental and physical health issues.[12][13] Someone with orthorexia nervosa may suffer from "vitamin and mineral imbalances",[14] obsessive-compulsive disorder,[12][14] and could show signs of anorexia from a clean eating diet that lacks a variety of food sources or fails to provide enough food.[12] The term orthorexia comes from the Greek word orthos meaning straight or proper and orexia meaning appetite. This happens when a healthy diet goes to an extreme. While it is good to be aware of what you are putting into your body, there is a point where it can become obsessive. People with orthorexia often exclude certain foods from their diets because they may see it as "bad". Some warning signs include compulsive checking of food labels and ingredients, body image concerns, and spending hours per day worrying about food. There is no "cure" to this but treatment includes therapy and weight restoration if needed.[12] In most cases those with Orthorexia Nervosa view their eating habits as healthy striving for an almost perfect and completely wholesome way of dieting. People who follow variations of the clean eating trend often times do so based primarily on opinions and verbal testimonies of influential members of various forms of media from celebrities. Clean eating trends have not been backed up by qualified nutritionists which could lead to malnutrition and forming of unhealthy eating practices.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Tandoh, Ruby (13 December 2016). "Bad fad – Ruby Tandoh on how clean eating turned toxic". Life and style. The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  2. ^ Wilson, Bee (11 August 2017). "Why we fell for clean eating". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  3. ^ Jackson, Marie (12 April 2017). "'Clean eating': How good is it for you?". BBC News. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Clean eating". BBC Good Food. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  5. ^ "What Is Clean Eating - How to Eat Clean". Fitness. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Byrne, Christine (14 March 2019). "Is 'Clean Eating' Good for You? Not Really". Outside. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Clean Eating: The Dirty Truth: Is Clean Eating the Best Approach to Better Health?". Archived from the original on 28 June 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  8. ^ Niven, Lisa (17 January 2017). "What is Clean Eating, Anyway?". British Vogue. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  9. ^ Fivian, E.; Wood, C. (25 June 2019). "The roles of social media, clean eating and self-esteem in the risk of disordered eating: A pilot study of self-reported healthy eaters". International Journal of Food, Nutrition and Public Health. 10: 28–39. ISSN 2042-5988.
  10. ^ Fjellström, Christina Maria. "Natural Foods". Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  11. ^ Frey, Rebecca J. and Megan Porter. "Whole Foods Vs. Processed Foods". The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d "Orthorexia". National Eating Disorders Association. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  13. ^ Nevin, Suzanne M.; Vartainin, Lenny R. (25 August 2017). "The stigma of clean dieting and orthorexia nervosa". Journal of Eating Disorders.
  14. ^ a b Davidson, Tish. "Raw Foods Diet". The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Shibboleth Authentication Request". Retrieved 30 November 2019.

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