What are the dangers of 'clean eating'?

Posted at 5:19 AM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 10:16:51-04

Clean eating. They're dieting buzz words but some dietitians are serving up concerns the diet trend could be dangerous.

The problem nutritionists are finding is clean-eating diets separate foods as “good” and “bad,” opening the door to food shaming. Doctors rather encourage a healthy overall view of food. 

The term clean-eating is a marketing term, often associated with particular workout trends, so some people are creating their own guidelines and cutting out valuable nutrients.  

Also, when you pair clean-eating with a perfectionist mindset, a fear of failure and an unhealthy expectation for success, it's a recipe for disaster feeding an eating disorder known as Orthorexia Nervosa -- that's when people obsessively eat healthy foods.

Registered dietitian Maya Nahra says Orthorexia is about much more than weight loss -- it's a mental and emotional reaction to deeper issues.  

“We become obsessed about how much I’m eating and what type of food I’m eating and then if I fall off the wagon and slip up, what happens is there's self-punishment around that. I have to fast or exercise more or go into even stricter eating,” said Nahra which she adds puts more stress on the body. 

Dietitians have these tips for healthy eating:

  • Focus on a balanced diet that includes all food groups.
  • Eat in moderation and practice portion control. 
  • Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. 
  • Stop labeling foods as "good" or "bad"