What the Heck is #CleanEating?


I love following exercise & nutrition people on social media. The excitement around healthy eating and living is thrilling! And when I noticed that many people started using the hashtag #cleaneating, I googled its definition. I was immediately hit with a kajillion different answers! Apparently no one can agree. Confuse me?

Some people believe it’s Paleo. Others believe it’s eliminating carbs and other foods that make them feel fat. Many go as far as eating only raw and organic foods because GMO/conventionally grown foods are considered “dirty”. Some people simply think “green things.” With all of these different ways of eating clean, one thing is clear: no one agrees on what it is. 

Clean eating was born from the idea that our food choices are bad and low in nutrients and needs to be cleaned up. Although this may be true some times, the term follows the dangerous and binary view of food: it’s either good or bad. It’s like saying this one “superfood” (also a gimmick) will heal you and make you extra healthy. Or it’s blaming food for being so delicious that we can’t exercise will power and have to eat it excessively. Where is the personal responsibility in our eating habits? We need to change the conversation.

Moderation and balance aren’t the sexiest words but they are key to a healthy mentality towards eating. If we stick too rigidly to good/clean and bad/dirty labels of foods, we perpetuate the cycle of demonizing and worshipping food. Round and round we go. Break out of it, stop using seemingly-innocuous terms, and practice balance on your plate and in your mind.

Thomas Ngo RD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s