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Monday, July 24, 2017

Fad diets and nutrition trends

I saw a video the other day that made me think a few things, so I figured I'd write them down.

Is 'Clean Eating' a Dirty Trend? - I'm failing at embedding this, so it's here:

Wow. So perhaps clean eating isn't what I thought it was? I don't take fads all that seriously. I remember Michael Pollen's advice that sounds close to common sense and is as catchy as any of these silly fad mantras: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Plans that exclude entire food groups or include some kind of extreme deprivation send up red flags for me. I try to eat more veggies and greens, drink more water, eat less bread and don't deprive myself, all in moderation- the more and less being just for me because I know what I'd eat if I didn't pay attention to it. It doesn't matter what I eat, that's not the point I want to make. I only give my opinion there to say that clean eating sounded like what I shoot for in general. But that turned out to be wrong.

At first blush clean eating seems fairly innocuous as far as trends go. Eat more fruits and veggies, eat less white bread (processed!). I totally agree. But it goes a lot farther than that. . .and I'm not even talking about the religion/lifestyle aspect and eating disorder encouragement yet.

I grabbed this explainer so we can get some specifics on what someone thinks clean eating is.

It takes a few good points- don't eat too much over processed stuff with a lot of preservatives and eat more greens- and takes it to the absolute extreme. It discusses 'processing' and puts adding salt, mashing apples to applesauce, steaming your broccoli or stir frying your veggies in the same category as removing bran to create refined bread and adding preservatives you can't pronounce to prepackaged food. It does say not all processing is necessarily bad (yay for facts!), but doesn't clearly sort that out in a way that doesn't seem completely nuts to a person who has studied science for at least 4 years. As in me. I graduated in microbiology, took a nutrition class while there and worked in science for 10 years. Putting things in a blender is processing them, then say processing is bad. I would say that smoothies are not the best choice because you add milk and sugar instead of just eating the fruit, the chopping isn't the problem here. *Add the overblown uninformed GMO bogeyman and you have a great pile of junk science. You might as well have told me to down some capsules filled with essential oils for HEALTH, Mr. Bodybuilder turned amateur fake nutritionist says so, trust him! Believe!

*GMO bogeyman- 

Is clean eating about GMOs?

Eating Clean in 2017- this is a pro- clean eating piece, fact checking needed, but it might give you an idea of the GMO stance in the movement.

On the  GMO scare cult, akin to vaccine avoidance . . . from Cornell University
"If you vaccinate your kids and believe that climate change is real, you need to stop being scared of genetically modified foods."

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I know people will push back, saying surely not everyone who eats clean will have an eating disorder, but the lifestyle rather than diet plan and the wild interpretations of nonspecific rules don't really make this a great choice for anyone unless they are constantly fact checking with scientists and doctors. Be careful who you are getting your information from.
Whilst the rules of clean eating are far from clear cut, the underlying commonality is the omission of certain food groups – whether it’s gluten, dairy, grains or meat.

Another piece urging balance, not necessarily this clean eating lifestyle business- it talks about gluten too, which has become another trend probably sparked by the benefit seen in those with celiac disease for whom it was a medical necessity.

Clean eating: the good, the bad and the unhelpful


I added this based on he number of food photos and hashtags I saw in 2016:

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Let's look at the other side then.

Can We Stop Condemning ‘Clean Eating’?

 I don't agree with that as a journalism tactic, but I'm not a journalist. I'm not asking about the Nakba or Holocaust and entertaining the morality of the other sides of an anti- genocide stance. For fun, let's see how the clean eating people are taking the pushback on their lifestyle choice.

This pushes back on clean eating bashing, you can take for what it is. The last paragraph flummoxed me. I value seeing the other side of an issue, so it was informative. The author even addressed the possible unhealthy direction the fad could take. In the last paragraph, though, she seems to completely buy into the harmful aspect of the lifestyle and encourages others to join her, like in religion. She latches onto the good vs evil unhealthy aspect she momentarily acknowledges in the second to last paragraph. Ugh.

"One can only hope that the British public won’t be deterred from making a nutritious green smoothie once in a while due to bad editing and lazy research."

Here's one about juicing! Shall we go there??

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