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Commentary following BBC Panorama Clean Eating documentary

Every week the media reports on ‘new advice’ about what to eat. All too often it focusses on a single culprit – salt, sugar, saturated fat. And frequently it advocates the merits of another new superfood, goji berries, quinoa or kale. The social phenomenon of so called ‘clean eating’ is yet another fad which has been driving topical conversation in the media and in households around the UK. The BBC Panorama documentary last night (19th January 2017) shone a light on this prescriptive and sometimes damaging way of eating.

We believe in eating for health – not to be confused with healthy eating or indeed, clean eating. Eating for Health is about seeing nutrition as a whole. It’s about understanding that each individual’s health and wellbeing is dependent on their bespoke nutritional needs. For example, someone may need to think about cutting down on refined sugars in their diet but this does not apply natural sugars found in fruit, for example, which has other health benefits such as fibre and vitamin C.

Eating for health means eating a balanced and varied diet of all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients which support your individual health and wellbeing needs. Let’s not forget; nutrition is a health issue. Food and diet play a vital role in the management of many medical conditions, with the right nutrition helping a patient on the road to recovery or to control symptoms of an ongoing illness.

Our advice; make sure you speak with a health care professional before embarking on a changed diet of any kind. The majority of advocates of these clean eating principles have little or no nutrition or dietetics training and we believe that dietary advice should be based on principles that are science and evidence based. Finally, remember a little of what you fancy does you good too! 

Helen Willis, apetito Dietitian