The SMASH AND GRAB Headline in The Daily Mail last week criticised the latest ‘fad diet’ clean eating.
But what is ‘clean eating’ and why would it be a problem?
In all honesty, it is not a problem, it is dramatic reporting and headline grabbing codswallop
Of course, there are young girls out there with eating disorders and unhealthy body images and they have grabbed the latest diet fad to hang their hat on and attribute their extreme weight loss on. But these young girls are suffering from ‘comparison’ distortion and lack of self-esteem not from a healthy eating epidemic! The issue is so much bigger than that. Let’s break down what clean eating actually is and you can decide if it is causing an anorexia epidemic as the smash and grab headlines suggest, or whether these young girls just need a lot of love and encouragement and some straight forward advice.
One of my gorgeous friends Mi Elfverson is a Scandinavian goddess and she blogged and commented about this recently:
“Clean Eating”, I think the term is confusing people. It´s about eating whole foods, ‘real foods’ — those that are un- or minimally processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible” which I think is great, but it´s the whole culture leading on from that to an obsession, cutting out a lot of things and not knowing enough about it to stay healthy. That´s when it all becomes wonky and people feel stressed and anxious, which I believe is much worse than eating pancakes” Mi Elfverson (the Vlog Academy)
Clean eating has seven principles messages:
- Choose whole, natural foods
- Seek to eliminate processed foods
- Include some protein, carb and fat at every meal
- Watch out for fat, salt and sugar
- Eat five to six small meals throughout the day
- Don’t drink your calories
- Get moving
Eating less processed foods, limiting your sugar and increasing your veg is a MUST to anyone eating well. Fruit is another matter, it is generally over ripened and large amounts brings on a massive blood sugar spike similar to sweeties and processed flour ie pasta. So a couple of pieces of fruit a day is enough 🙂
Generally the clean eating diet is a variation on a standard theme – the same theme that the NHS pushes on the Eat Well plate. This diet consists of the same principles of 60% carbohydrates – increasing carbs and reducing fats and proteins. The ‘Clean Eating’ message is a similar message as our nutritional guidelines with a few adaptations and change of emphasis so what is the hype about?
The SCREAMING headline:
Horrifying toll the clean eating fad is taking on young women: It’s the ultra-selective diet made popular by bloggers, but Dr MAX PEMBERTON sees the unsettling results every week in his clinic
How does that relate to the 7 Clean Eating principles above and how does it differ from what everybody is being advised to eat? – not much! Let’s dive deeper and investigate what might really be happening if Clean Eating becomes strict vegetarian or vegan lifestyle without making considered changes.
Let’s take out the hype and analysis the clean eating principles and a vegetarian lifestyle.
Vegetarian and Vegans
A vegetarian diet is plant based and eating mostly/only foods that come from plants.
Vegans eat only foods from the plant kingdom avoiding all animal products including dairy, honey and eggs.
DIETARY BENEFITS and DRAWBACKS to increased plant eating.
Plant based diets provide higher amounts of certain vitamins, minerals phytonutrients, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and more. By eating, more plant based foods people end up displacing foods high in sugar.
However, you don’t have to forgo animal products entirely to achieve this goal; simply add more plant foods. Eating a more plant based diet (not necessarily a complete plant based diet) can lead to less cardiovascular disease, cancers, bowel diseases, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
It is important to know that is more difficult to get adequate amounts of certain dietary requirements especially dietary protein and a number of other vitamins and minerals on a plant based diet. As long as you know this, you can take steps to supplement and avoid any health pitfalls.
Read also: Who believes before & after photos?
When you reduce meat which contains 9 essential amino acids you need to increase other vegetable protein sources. You have to manage your diet carefully, you need to research and mix grains with vegetables to obtain the right ‘protein’ mix.
Some of the common nutrient deficiencies can be made up with supplements and careful planning. This takes time to investigate and balance, so my reservation is planning and time, you need to be MORE aware of where you get your protein and other essential vitamins and minerals from.
Vitamin B12 is only found in reliable amounts in animal foods or it is added to fortified products. You will see B12 added to a lot of breakfast cereals which are then processed foods and therefore has other consequences. B12 supplementation is essential.
Calcium found in green leafy vegetables, is also added to tofu and fortified in nondairy drinks, legumes and nuts. However, some vegetable compounds eaten in large amounts will hinder its absorption. For example, oxalates reduce calcium absorption (examples of foods high in oxalate are: spinach, soybeans, cocoa, rhubarb and greens). Nutritious foods like spinach contain calcium but your body cannot absorb because they bind together with the calcium in the food containing it, rendering it nearly impossible to absorb if you consume large amounts.
Phytate Sodium (an example of a food high in phytate are: 100% wheat bran, pinto beans, navy beans and peas) can inhibit calcium absorption. You can get round this by soaking the pulses and beans over night and reduce the amount of phytate. Simples
Iodine because many plant based diets rely on soy foods for protein, it’s important to note that a large intake of soy-based foods can compromise thyroid function. Again Iodine supplementation would help to reduce this effect.
Vitamin D is found in few foods that aren’t fortified such as dairy products.
Zinc is required by the body to produce proteins to aid blood formation and immunity functions. Avoid simple things like drinking a cup of tea coffee and taking a calcium supplement between meals to maximise zinc uptake from your meals.
Zinc can be found in quinoa, wheat germ, aduki beans, lentils, chickpeas, tahini, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin, hemp seeds, goji berries and dried apricots.
Do your research: know and listen to your body
Increasing your vegetable intake is great but if you are relying solely on a plant based diet you have to carefully monitor any deficits in your diet, do your research.
My aim is to improve your relationship with food and your gorgeous body which will lead in the longer term to greater physical wellness and emotional happiness. Knowing, respecting and understanding your body is important. Mi, the Scandinavian goddess who I mentioned at the beginning of this blog eat this breakfast, it works for her. She can tolerate more carbs because of her body type.
If I ate fruit and I can see sunflower seeds and porridge in there, it would spike my blood sugar levels. I know from experience and I am a different body type from the gorgeous long legged blonde Scandinavian goddess type – I am more short and swarthy.
I eat eggs and even…. shock horror bacon or salmon because it suits me and it gives me bags of sustained energy.
I am confident with this selection because I have researched the benefits of saturated fat in Coconut oil, I don’t cook in trans fats EVER and my choice does not trigger an insulin high.
Plus Michael Mosely and other medical researchers have convinced me that a low-fat diet does not extend life span or add an increased benefits.
I do, however, eat a helluva lot of VEG 😉
The Gorgeous MESSAGE IS SIMPLE
- Reduce starchy carbs until after exercise, the more you reduce your carbs like potatoes and pasta the more weight you will lose
- Vegetables are carbs so it is not a low carb diet
- For energy and happiness increase fats and proteins. You will smile more.
- Calorie counting is not required
- Reduce your sugar and your refined carbs from bread and pasta
It isn’t complicated it is easy, step by step, module by module I help you through your journey of self-love, healthy eating and looking after yourself with your personalised Get Gorgeous plan.
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