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Clean Eating: A Cult?

Posted by Isabel Asander on Jul 10, 2017 12:35:35 PM

If you are what you eat, I am an ethnic mix of spice and all that is not so nice. I love Asian, Mexican, Latin American foods and of course a good juicy burger. Who does not like a burger after a good hangover? ( I drink OMG I am so dirty)

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Are my favorite foods poisoning me? Should I stop eating cheese? Should I EAT CLEAN?

Food is both equalizer and a divider, a source of sustenance and guilt for some. Regardless of whether you live to eat, or eat to live, food is one experience we all share. But our personal relationship with food is often tense and difficult and, despite the amount of research on the subject, we don't know as much as we would like or should.

This whole "clean eating" is most confusing. Intelligent, educated, and rational people ignore all scientific fact and empirical evidence to trust self-proclaimed health and nutrition gurus who have no formal qualifications.  The gurus that have nothing but a pretty face and a six pack (well we all want that, don’t we?) and run and buy all their products and books.  Is Clean Eating a big marketing campaign?  Are we all being sucked into this fad? Is it a Cult? Could Clean Eating be putting your health at risk? OR could CLEAN EATING be the cure to so many diseases?

Now, there's a lot to admire about clean eating in a world where it's hard to look on the grocery shelf and find foods that aren't full of additives, preservatives, or ingredients with numbers in them.  As the social media addict that I am, I took a look at the hashtag #eatclean on Tumblr and it shows a much darker picture of its followers and their eating habits. Whole food groups are wiped clean off the plate. No dairy to be seen. Even more annoying it seems that clean eating isn't about being healthy so much as simply being skinny, but with #eatclean it's all wrapped up in the facade of being "healthy".

The more research I read, the less of an objective definition I found. Everyone seems to believe different foods are unclean.

There is little evidence that omega-6 oils contribute to inflammation or heart disease. Gluten is not harmful to otherwise healthy people, and there is still no evidence that grains, dairy, or legumes damage your health. There is also good evidence to the contrary.

There is no evidence that processed or artificial foods are necessarily less healthy than natural foods. There is also no clear definition of what constitutes a “processed” food, and there are many “processed” foods that have proven health benefits, like whey protein.

Another area where clean eating gets it dreadfully wrong is desserts. Here are a few names of clean eating desserts I found online: Black Bean Fudge Cakes, Chocolate Avocado Mousse, Protein Cookie Balls, Almond Buckwheat Goji Raw Bars. Is your mouth watering yet? No?

My opinion, eating healthy is good. Taking it to an extreme: not so good. Should we all eat more fruits and veggies? Of course, we should. But unless you have celiac disease or are lactose intolerant, don’t give up gluten or milk. Don’t fool yourself; a black bean fudge cake cannot compare to a warm brownie with a side of vanilla ice cream.  

If you are what you eat, be a colorful garden with some sweet delights sprinkled in and out. Enjoy some sinful food sometimes and find your balance.

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