Clean Eating

Naming foods as clean or unclean, bad or good, healthy or unhealthy constitutes an unhealthy approach to food, as in actuality no food is  bad when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Disparaging certain foods, and even entire food groups, is unhelpful and damaging as it feeds disordered beliefs about, and behaviours towards, food and eating – and in some individuals this can lead to the development of, or worsen an existing eating disorder.

Telling people to exclude entire food groups – which the human body needs in order to function properly – is the complete opposite of healthy, and praising people for doing so only contributes to this unhealthy approach to eating.

Another point i’d like to make, as those who are recovering from an eating disorder can fall into the “clean eating” and “veganism” trap, as it can feel like a safer way of allowing themselves to eat, yet in reality it simply results in a compromise with the illness which can leave them stuck in a state of limbo for years, not living but simply existing, their attitude to food as disordered as ever, just with a different focus and still restricting food somehow.

Clean eating, veganism and similar are lifestyle choices, not efficient eating disorder recovery methods as they are often poorly presented, and for those with the vulnerability to develop a disordered relationship with food and eating, the clean eating trend leaves them open to developing “orthorexic” thoughts and behaviours, perceiving certain foods as pure/clean/good whilst going against others, which is obviously unhelpful when a varied and balanced diet including all food groups is vital for physical and mental health, especially in the context of recovering from an eating disorder.

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