Posted by: Tanya Bindl, D. C. | June 18, 2013

Why We Need to Stop Saying “Eating Clean”


“Clean eating” or “eating clean”.  It’s used all the time by people in the health industry and just by every day people trying to be healthier.  We are probably guilty of it too, maybe even on this very blog. “7 weeks with clean eating.  Go me!” says a facebook status.  The actual effort behind this status is awesome and applaud worthy.  Actually changing your diet so that you are eating healthier is wonderful.

However, the implications of the phrase “clean eating” is not.

If there is clean eating, then there is dirty eating.  The right way and the wrong way.  To say that you are eating clean implies that anyone who is not going through with the same diet is eating the wrong way.  There is a sort of judgement lurking behind the phrase, one that really shouldn’t be there.  There’s also the fact that calling certain foods dirty seems to demonize them more than necessary.  We all slip up and have the sweet that we don’t really need.  If we think of it as dirty food, as opposed to unhealthy, it seemingly makes it much more unforgivable.  It’s hard enough to forgive yourself for being human and slipping up anyway – why make it more difficult by associating it with such an adjective?

Also, it’s important to note that one piece of cake or a serving of chips are not going to immediately clog your arteries or dirty your body. True, they aren’t very healthy, simply because of high sugar/sodium content and the fact that they just are not nutrient dense.  The important thing really is moderation.  If you are someone who can cut out all processed foods, that is awesome.  But do so because you are trying to be more healthy… and not more clean.

What was wrong “eating healthy” or “healthy eating”?  There’s no judgment there. Let’s bring that back.  True it might just be words – but words are powerful and can truly effect how we see things and how we act.

By Tanya Bindl, DC


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