From Medical News Today:
Magazines and books on clean eating often promise that a clean diet will help a person enjoy many health benefits. These can include heightened energy, glowing skin, and weight loss.
However, according to an article in the British Medical Journal, many of the claims regarding clean eating are a “loose interpretation of facts.” While clean eating can help a person feel physically better, so can less-restrictive dietary approaches.
Clean eating is undoubtedly one way but not the only way to achieve better health.
However, most people who eat a clean diet are attempting to eat a healthful diet without artificial additives. Taking a clean approach to food can be beneficial because a person is making healthful choices and eating foods that contain few preservatives and added sugars and salt.
There is also another far less healthful side to clean eating where a person may become so obsessed with what they are or are not eating that they miss out on a variety of healthful foods.
Clean eating is a movement that signifies a person is trying to make wiser choices about the foods they eat. However, a clean diet is not the same thing as a healthful diet. Many recommendations for a healthful diet do not limit foods that are prepared or packaged.
According to Harvard University, a healthy eating plate contains the following:
A variety of colorful fruits and veggies that are not fried, such as french fries.
Healthy oils, such as olive and sunflower oils, but not saturated fat and hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fats.
Whole-grain breads, pasta, and brown rice, but not refined grains, such as white rice or bread.
Protein sources, such as fish, poultry, nuts, and beans, but not processed meats, such as bacon and sausage.
Drinking water, tea, and coffee with little or no sugar added. Limiting daily servings of milk or juice and avoiding sugar-added drinks entirely.
In short, a healthful diet does not have to be as restrictive as a clean one can be. This does not mean a person eating a clean diet is doing something bad for their health. What is important, however, is that the person has a healthy attitude toward foods. It is essential that people do not feel guilty if they have the occasional food that may not fall in the clean category.