Author: Sorting Last Post on Top Message:
5/15/14 1:43 P

Thank you for clarifying :)

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
5/15/14 12:51 P

No, my point was that if 1700 calories is what one needs to maintain their weight...eating a total of 3,000 calories (no matter the food) per day will make them gain weight.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
5/15/14 12:46 P

"Even more to the point, as Kirby acknowledges, “clean” eating assigns moral value where none exists (since, contrary to popular belief, dieting does not actually make you a better person). Notions of clean and dirty are inextricably tied up with notions of right and wrong; as Steven Pinker in particular has argued, purity is a universal theme of human moral codes. Progressive people generally agree that describing the complex, deep-seated pleasures of sexuality as “dirty” is both inaccurate and psychologically harmful to impressionable minds. We recoil when religious fundamentalists compare a woman who has had sex with multiple partners to a dirty stick of gum. Why should we be OK with describing food—another one of life’s fundamental, complicated pleasures—in similarly loaded terms?"

This is from this article that I posted earlier:

Basically, the term "clean eating" is too general, ambiguous, and morally loaded to mean anything and we should come up with a better term.

5/15/14 12:36 P

"Vegan, Paleo, Clean Eating--I kind of think that any plan that has more "don'ts" than "dos" is going to be hard to maintain."

I don't really thing clean eating should be lumped into that group. You can eat Paleo, vegan or even the SP diet and still eat crap foods. Clean eating is just cutting out the crap on any of those diets. I don't find it hard to maintain. In fact I find tracking on SP much harder to maintain than eating clean :)

Eelpie - Just to clarify, do you really believe that 3000 calories of jelly beans is the same as 3000 calories of cream? Or do you just mean in terms of total caloric content? The effect those foods would have on the body would be completely different, no?

As for exciting new dietary changes - My husband bought a Vitamix when he went gluten free/plant based vegan 2 weeks ago and won't eat anything with eggs or butter in it anymore. Talk about a bummer for trying to bake anything. Now I am being looked down upon because I haven't been using the Vitamix. What can I say, I enjoy chewing my food!

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
5/15/14 10:10 A

lol @ Lulu - I know...that's when I realized I had to bow out of the conversation!!!

3,000 calories of jelly beans vs. 3,000 calories of cream vs. 3,000 calories of bread still equals 3,000 calories!!

I look at it like this: If your plan works for you, that's great - but I'm interested in how you are doing on it in 2 years...not 2 weeks.

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,101)
Fitness Minutes: (27,770)
Posts: 1,169
5/15/14 9:58 A


"Notice how people who consume more calories than they expend are overweight?" emoticon

People get pretty judgy about what other people eat, particularly when they have found "religion" in a particular way of eating. I have an old friend who is on my Facebook feed and he and his husband have just become vegans--and in exactly the way that most people find religion; they had a sudden awakening, and now pretty much EVERY Facebook post he makes is about being vegan, about how he didn't realize how other people judged vegans until he became one himself, about how he just doesn't understand how people can eat meat once they know the "facts". (Of course, he's 49-years-old and gave up meat two weeks ago, so it's not like he didn't know the "facts" long before he made this decision.)

Vegan, Paleo, Clean Eating--I kind of think that any plan that has more "don'ts" than "dos" is going to be hard to maintain.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
5/15/14 9:15 A

@ Bunny - I think it's just a catch phrase that caught on? It sounds "morally" better?

I use it: "I practice clean eating", but sometimes I also use "I only eat whole foods" or "I only eat unprocessed foods".

I think for me, it depends on how quickly I am typing at that moment ;)

" Industrialized food and factory farms lie behind the "cheap and convenient" diet of excess that we've adopted over the last few decades... it's something to be mindful of."

This X 1000.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
5/15/14 8:58 A

@ Lulu - that's my point :)

I could make my own, on a quest to "eat clean" - but there is no difference between eating my own (health wise) or buying store bought. Maybe because I don't label food good or bad.. I lable processed food (for me - and I do have to watch sodium like a hawk) bad. Store bought twinkies = own home made version = good.

I think we are agreeing to the same thing, but saying it differently.

I look at people's eating lifestyles as a very personal choice. No one's is "right" or "wrong".

lol....I was under attack here last week by a paleo person for choosing to be almost vegetarian. What that person said to me blew my mind, and really made me realize how a lot of people get seriously mis-aligned when it comes to nutrition and "dieting" styles.

What was said was, and I quote..."Notice how a lot of vegetarians are overweight?"

To which I responded "Notice how a lot of meat eaters are overweight?"


BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
5/15/14 8:49 A

I've always found the word "Clean" to be.... oddly-used, in the context of eating/diet. It's just a funny word choice. But I guess it is a nice one-syllable easy-to-remember sort of buzzword that conveys some sort of virtuousness....

In the sense that I have "cleaned out my cupboards of processed/prepackaged foods" - I eat mostly "clean." That's the only way I can use the word and have it make sense to me.

I wish the buzzword were more reflective of the actual practice. Most people that use it mean "more home cooking from scratch, less processed foods - starting with basic ingredients, avoiding pseudo-food-laboratory-concoctions".... so why not call it BASIC eating, as in, back to the basics - ingredients, recipes, cooking, food. Or NATURAL eating - raw ingredients that originate from a farm, not a factory?

"Clean" - i don't know. But then again, it's just a word (though I won't deny that there's power in semantics).

I think it is a good idea for anyone and everyone to strive towards Less Processed/Refined Food (and, as Pollan would say, More Plants). Not to be "clean, vs unclean" - but simply because that is how we should be eating for our personal health... and the health of the planet. Industrialized food and factory farms lie behind the "cheap and convenient" diet of excess that we've adopted over the last few decades... it's something to be mindful of.

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,101)
Fitness Minutes: (27,770)
Posts: 1,169
5/15/14 8:27 A

Making your own ice cream is probably not a healthier choice than eating purchased ice cream, but my point is that neither of those make you "bad" and the ice cream itself is not "bad"; it is ice cream. Eating ice cream every day is probably not a sound nutritional choice for most people, but it isn't a moral choice, it's a health choice.

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
5/15/14 8:20 A

Lulu - I can see your point about how some might get "moral" about it.

But I look at it like this...I could make my own ice cream, and pig out on it, but it's not any better for me that I made my own as opposed to getting Alden's or Bryer's and pigging out on that ;)

5/15/14 8:09 A

Interesting take on it LULU. I've never thought of it like that, but then I'm not afraid to label foods good, bad or shades in between so maybe that's why.

I think it's okay to have food morals. It helps keep me healthy.

LULUBELLE65 SparkPoints: (37,101)
Fitness Minutes: (27,770)
Posts: 1,169
5/15/14 5:17 A

I think "Clean Eating" is a really judgy term, because it implies that there is "dirty eating". And that seems to me to have moralistic overtones to it. Certainly there are people who view eating as a moral act--many vegans for example do not eat animal products for moral reasons, but in general, food is food--some of it is more nutritious and has less ingredients that may not be healthy for us, and some of it is nutrient-free and contains things that are harmful to us, but food itself is without moral value.

I think that for many of us who are trying to lose weight, food is way too tied to morality. "I was *good* today because I ate a salad instead of a hamburger" "Let's go out and be really *bad* and get ice cream!." We eat something that we did not plan to eat, some "bad" food, and suddenly we view ourselves as bad. Adding "clean eating" to the mix gives us one more way to beat ourselves up.

In general, a healthy diet consists of primarily plant-based foods, with limited amounts of packaged and processed products. Much of what we eat is processed to some extent---dairy foods are pasteurized, for instance--but things like scalloped potatoes out of a box are significantly more processed than a whole potato.

If you are concerned about organics, there are lists online that discuss which fruits and veggies are the most contaminated by pesticides and other chemicals. Those may be items that you want to find organic versions of.

5/14/14 1:10 P

HAWKTHREE, yes, that's exactly why I'm glad I don't live on a farm. If I had to butcher my own meat, clean my own fish and grow my own vegetables I wouldn't need to lose weight, I'd already be thin.

My parents and grandparents always had vegetable gardens and as a kid I'd get grossed out by the occasional tomato that fell somewhere and rotted. I can't imagine what it would be like butchering chickens. It didn't help having an older brother who saw a rotten tomato, saw a little sister standing nearby and thought "Hmmm." :)

AV_MOM2 Posts: 53
5/14/14 11:34 A

Thanks for all of the responses. Like I said it was very overwhelming just starting to learn about this topic. It made me feel like everything I was eating was bad. I think I just need to find a balance. I have been cooking more at home. I think I am just going to try to start out with just cooking more fresh veggies and ease up on things like rice and pasta both of which are favorites with my kids.

HAWKTHREE SparkPoints: (60,266)
Fitness Minutes: (22,074)
Posts: 3,750
5/14/14 7:41 A

I think you've done a nice job of expressing it the way I feel as well.

I come from a rural background where we raised and slaughtered chickens and that is not clean at all. Decades later, I can still recall the smells and sounds (Silence of the Lambs, anyone?).

We lived off Elk and Deer during the winter.

I was 10 years old when I discovered you could actually buy green beans and tomato sauce already canned.

But living off our own produce and livestock was never clean. It was smelly dirty work. Clean was the lovely supermarket with its sterile packages and bright lights and wide aisles.

And that's why calling it clean eating doesn't work for me.

5/14/14 7:37 A

Clean eating to me is eating ingredients.

I start with fresh whole foods and make tasty meals out of them.

My meat is drug and hormone free, preferably pastured. My local farms are great.

My eggs are are yard-raised as well and I can't convince those "farmers" to let me eat one of their chickens! Not even the old ones for soup. They just love them too much, sigh.

I eat a few foods organic, my heavy cream is organic. But I don't consider organic a requirement for eating clean. Although I have found organic packaged foods tend to have less ingredients in them.

I try to eat clean most of the time, it's not a 100% thing. I like brownies and dark chocolate as much as the next guy. So I'll make it myself and then I know what's in it.

Best to you.

5/13/14 2:09 P

"Clean eating" has no specific meaning. It usually means eating organic, unprocessed food. I also find the term annoying. If someone handed you a food that contained quercetin and procyanidin, would you back off in horror? Those are some of the nutrients in apples. Life is complicated and messy and full of bacteria, whether we like it or not.

However, usually the term means eating foods that have not been tampered with much by man, which is a good thing. I think I know what it means to most people, but to me "clean eating" sounds too much like sterile eating, which would be taking all the life out of food altogether.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
5/13/14 11:30 A

For me, clean eating simply means whole foods as much as possible, avoiding processed whenever possible (which is a LOT of the time, for me), and cooking most of my own food.

I try to buy from sources which I feel are more organic, in addition to supporting the local growers and producers.
I get my eggs from a guy raising his chickens in his yard.
I buy most of my produce from a little independent market where I see the local farmers offloading their wares every time I'm there.
This store also has started selling truly pasture-raised-AND-finished beef, raised on their own farm.
I'd love to find a source for yard-raised poultry, but so far have had no luck. I could get some shipped from somewhere, but I'm not paying beef prices for chicken, no matter how much "better" I think they are!

My biggest idea in this clean eating thing is to keep it real. If a simple product has 20 ingredients, most of which I can't pronounce, I don't want it. It matters to me if something makes me feel better (or worse) too - and some things do affect me negatively. I never go back for a second attempt on those.

As others have said, the definition varies individually.

fixed links...

Edited by: EXOTEC at: 5/13/2014 (11:33)
MARTHA324 Posts: 5,691
5/13/14 11:08 A

I like this definition too:

EELPIE Posts: 2,700
5/13/14 10:54 A

"Clean Eating" is truly in the eye of the beholder.

For some people, yes, it means unprocessed organic food.

For some people, it means no processed foods - they make their own cookies, as opposed to buying chips ahoy, their own spaghetti sauce as opposed to a jar of Ragu.

Some people will only buy dried beans, as opposed to canned (the canned has added things like sodium).

Some people will make their own bread, some will just buy bread with the least amount of ingredients (nothing artificial, no additives, etc.).

Some go by the "If I cannot pronounce it rule (in ingredients), I do not eat it.

Some go by the 5 ingredient or less rule (reading label, 5 or less whole ingredients is ok).

Potato chips. Yeah, I could make my own...or I could buy a bag of plain Lays which contains potatoes, oil and salt - same things I would put on my homemade. Which is right? Which is wrong?

Pasta. Make your own? Or buy dried, with the same ingredients that I would use anyway?

Some people think of clean as no white sugar at all. Not in coffee, tea, iced tea, cakes, cookies - They use raw brown sugar.

I dunno....does that make sense?

MARTHA324 Posts: 5,691
5/13/14 10:34 A

I've seen lots of definitions of "clean eating" and the one I follow is from Michael Pollan to eat "real food, less of it, more plants." I avoid processed food as much as possible and when I do get processed food look for less than 5 ingredients or if more, at least ones I can pronounce!
I go organic when I can, but don't go crazy with that.
Here is one person's definition:

I also get a subscription to Clean Eating magazine and find that helpful. BUT I don't go nuts with this either.

HAWKTHREE SparkPoints: (60,266)
Fitness Minutes: (22,074)
Posts: 3,750
5/13/14 9:31 A

Can't say I've ever seen an agreed upon definition for clean eating, although in general I find the term to make implications that something is dirty eating.

LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
5/13/14 9:12 A

AV_MOM2 Posts: 53
5/13/14 9:09 A

Thanks that makes me feel better. I was doing some research on it last night but was kind of confused. There is an extensive list of "do not eat" foods and then it talks so much about eating organic that I was kind of overwhelmed.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
5/13/14 9:01 A

It means whatever you want it to mean, basically.

I sort of dislike the term myself, as it can easily come to be used as a "I'm more pure than thou" bludgeon, or contribute to a never-ending quest for impossible perfection in diet. But reducing or eliminating processed foods and added sugar is a worthy goal in itself and comes without that baggage.

AV_MOM2 Posts: 53
5/13/14 8:45 A

Does eating clean mean I have to eat mainly organic foods. If I eliminate the processed foods and white flour and sugars am I still considered to be eating clean.

Page: 1 of (1)  

Other Diet and Nutrition Topics:

Topics: Last Post:
Kidney Stones and Diet 6/4/2016 7:14:01 PM
Gaining Weight and cant explain it 11/3/2016 12:40:13 AM
Concerns with frequency of eating 2/14/2017 5:46:16 PM
Veg measurements in SP database? 11/1/2016 6:41:17 PM
Snacking and Fiber-Rich and Water-Rich Foods 5/3/2016 8:51:11 AM