Clean Eating Is A Myth?
Why is clean eating a myth? Clean eating is difficult to define in essence. Everyone has different opinions on different foods with varying degrees of unhealthiness in the eyes of the beholder.
Vegans: animal products.
Vegetarians: Animal meat
Low-carb: Sugar and other carbs
Paleo: Grains, legumes, dairy, refined oils, added salt, sugar, alcohol, and some vegetables.
Bodybuilders: White bread, milk and fruit
Hippies: Artificial sweeteners, packaged foods, cooked foods, processed foods,
For every food category you will have naysayers and it’s almost impossible to define clean eating and difficult to objectively compare “clean diets” to other diets.
Two Myths of Clean Eating
1. There are good and bad foods, never indulge in bad foods ever! Period
2. There are good and bad foods. Only ever eat bad foods once in a blue moon
You will learn today why these two ideas are unhealthy and unfounded.
First of all we need to analyze potential ways these “bad foods” can effect your body composition, Health and lifespan. From there we can determine whether they are unhealthy or not.
3 ways food can affect your health
Food can affect your body’s health, body composition and longevity.
1. Contributing to a caloric excess which leads to negative health problems from being overweight
2. Causing nutrient deficiencies by diluting the nutrient density of your diet.
3. Directly interfering with your body’s functions, causing specific diseases, increasing fat gain, or accelerating aging.
Excess Calories can be bad for you — From Any Food
There is absolutely no evidence that a specific food will cause greater fat gain than the calories it provides. In addition to this there is no evidence that specific foods will lose you fat.
Fat loss is measured by calories in vs. calories out. All foods
If you consume more calories than you burn, you put on weight. Simple
The reason why personal trainers and dieticians label foods such as chicken breast, sweet potatoes and vegetables “clean” is because they are more difficult to over eat than foods such as biscuits, ice cream etc.
Remember these two points:
• The capability to over-consume a food does not mean that you will do this
• Some people need a higher calorific intake than others.
If your concerned for your health (long term) then make sure you give your body all the essential nutrients to perform optimally.
No Food directly harms Your Health
The next myth is that “junk foods” directly inflict damage on your health and wellbeing.
“Unhealthy” foods or “junk foods” do damage in different ways:
Altering your bodily functions
Increase your fat percentage
Decrease your longevity
Increase risk of certain diseases
The idea of “junk foods” is they regardless of their calorie content they are still bad for you. Every group of fitness professional has their take on this.
Vegans believe meat gives you cancer and is toxic to your body. Some medical professionals believe fructose is a poison which causes liver damage and obesity.
The department of agriculture advises that cholesterol and saturated fat causes heart disease and that the base of your diet should be made from whole grains.
Paleo claims that grains, beans, gluten and diary can contribute towards cancer.
Most people claim that all trans-fats are bad for you in any quantity. However these claims can be challenged as discussed previously. Any food can harm you if you eat in vast quantities. The real question is if these foods are harmful in balances amounts within a varied diet.
The most logical response to this would be no. In the face of vast research there is no evidence to suggest red meat will cause cancer. Moreover there is controlled evidence showing red meat can improve health.
Determining Whether a Food is Good or bad for your health
Foods can be healthy or unhealthy but this depends on who is eating it and of what quantity.
Depending on the type of training your carrying out your body will have different needs. For example a bodybuilder will require a significant calorie intake in comparison to an office worker who rarely goes to the gym.
Athletes can be much less stringent with their diet in comparison to non-active people, such as office workers.
So how much should you eat and in what quantity?
It depends on the following factors ……..
• Are you exercising or sedentary?
• What are your goals?
• Are you in a caloric deficit or caloric surplus?
• Are you currently meeting your micro- and macronutrient targets?
• Do you have any specific medical conditions that warrant avoiding a certain food?
• How much are you exercising?
• What kind of exercise are you doing?
• Are you hungry or do you feel satisfied throughout the day?
• Are you trying to lose fat, gain muscle, or improve your performance?
• How many total calories are you eating?
• What food(s) are you worried about?
• What do you think will happen if you eat it/them?
So is “Clean Eating” a Scam?
It could be argued that clean eating is an eating disorder and it has no objective definition as mentioned previously. Its promoted and pushed by many diet book authors, coaches , trainers, doctors and athletes
Trying to avoid foods without a rational reason is one of the characteristics of a disorder known as orthorexia nervosa. It’s common and associated with people suffering anorexia.
People with strict dietary rules struggle to maintain a constant weight.
• Food doesn’t make people gain fat. People over-eating food makes them overweight.
• Eating some of your calories from less nutrient dense sources is not going to give you a nutrient deficiency.
• There is no evidence that any food directly damages your health in moderate amounts in every situation.
To conclude, avoiding specific food types to achieve your goals is not the answer. A well balanced and moderated diet is what will help you achieve your goals. If people tell you that clean eating is the ONLY WAY then tell them NO WAY!