The Clean Eating Movement, Our Thoughts...

I’m sure we’re all guilty of using the term ‘clean eating’, but is it really something to feel bad about?

There are no written rules that describe what ‘clean eating’ entails. There’s nothing to say that we should restrict certain foods or food groups from our diet. However, over the past few years as the health food industry has grown, the term ‘clean eating’ has started to develop negative connotations – as highlighted by Dr Giles Yeo in Tuesday’s Horizon documentary: Clean Eating – The Dirty Truth.

‘Clean eating’ is a term that has been used lightheartedly by many. It represents eating healthily, which is subjective to each individual person. For us, this means eating nutritious foods, which make you feel better both physically and mentally. It seems though, that ‘clean eating’ has been assumed an absolute way of life, with no room for foods that are not considered ‘clean’. For most of us, this lifestyle is unsustainable, which is why health gurus advocate the 70/30 or 80/20 rule, which also allows for whatever food your heart desires.

The boundaries of ‘clean’ have never been defined. Yet this week’s Horizon documentary was very quick to associate gluten-free diets with ‘clean-eating’. Whilst there has been a tendency for the two to become synonymous, it’s important that we note that a gluten-free diet isn’t necessarily better for our health, unless gluten is avoided on medical grounds. Rather than eliminating certain food types, we believe that ‘clean-eating’ is more of a focus on increasing the amount of nutrient-dense foods that we consume. For example, spelt and kamut are two ancient grains that naturally contain gluten, yet they’re highly nutritious – should these be avoided?

From a Sweet Deceits perspective, we curated our recipes using natural and nutritious ingredients, the fact that our desserts are ‘free-from’, is simply a bi-product. This allows individuals who suffer intolerances and those who simply choose to avoid gluten and dairy to enjoy our range too. When we say that our desserts are better for you, it’s because each and every ingredient carries a health benefit – not because they are ‘free-from’.

Overall, we feel that the presenter generalised the term ‘clean-eating’ and as a result it, was viewed in a cynical light. Extremism can be dangerous in any form, nevertheless, we live in a world where relationships with food are complex and sensitive, thus it’s our responsibility to publish with care.

Food is an amazing and powerful substance, and we are extremely fortunate that we have choice in how we fuel our bodies. What’s important is finding a balance that works for you, and most of all… makes you happy!

Ryan and Laura x