The British Dietetic Association releases a list of diets to avoid every year. I found an article highlighting the top five. (link here)
I was slightly surprised at first to see Clean Eating as their number one choice. At its most basic form, clean eating is just avoiding processed foods and refined sugars. We should all be doing that. But as I read the reasoning, I totally agree. It isn’t great to classify foods as “clean” or “dirty”. Sometimes, we get it wrong.
Here’s an example. Recently, I was teaching a nutrition lesson to some cub scouts I work with (8 year old boys). I brought a bunch of toy food and had them sort them into the categories of MyPlate. They had no idea where to put French fries. When I told them it was a vegetable, they didn’t believe me. Once we talked through it, they understood. French fries are potatoes. Not the healthiest version of potatoes, but potatoes none the less. Potatoes aren’t clean or dirty. It is how they are prepared.
The idea of orthorexia nervosa mentioned in the article was also new to me. They defined this as an obsession with defining foods as healthy or unhealthy and eliminating the unhealthy ones. Most (I’ll admit not all) foods fit somewhere on the spectrum of healthy to unhealthy. It is hard to draw a line. Eliminating foods is not a solution I recommend. Moderation and control are better options.
Hope you enjoy reading these! Happy New Year!