I’ve seen several critical articles in the media this week about ‘clean eating’ and the bloggers/influencers who promote these diets on social media. Clean eating as a movement usually promotes a very restrictive diet. Often whole food groups are removed from the diet and foods are labelled as ‘dirty’ or ‘clean’. Medical practitioners are concerned that this mind-set is increasing eating disorders in teenagers and young adults, who can hide their condition behind a ‘healthy eating’ label.
The human body cannot obtain all the essential nutrients it requires to stay healthy from only one food. Our bodies require a complex combination from different food groups to be able to metabolise nutrients fully. The only exception is if you have been diagnosed with a medical condition by a GP or consultant.
The British Nutrition Foundation advises that the 5 main food groups are:-
- fruit and vegetables
- starchy carbohydrates – such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta
- proteins – such as beans, pulses, fish, eggs and meat
- dairy and alternatives
- fats from oils and spreads
Fruit, vegetables and starchy carbs should be the main basis of your diet, with moderate amounts of protein and dairy. Fats should only be eaten in small amounts. We all know we should try to avoid refined sugar, processed foods and saturated fats but it’s important to realise it’s not the end of the world if we do enjoy them once in a while. We are not “bad people” or “failures”.
A healthy lifestyle is all about ‘balance’, not the imbalance of ditching whole food groups.
Here’s my meal plan for this week, which includes all food groups:-
- Grilled salmon (or fish of your choice), new potatoes, and a spicy sweetcorn salsa
- Chicken schnitzel caesar salad
- Mexican chicken with a sweetcorn and avocado salsa, rice and salad
- Creamy asparagus and salmon pasta
- Spaghetti bolognaise
- Moroccan meatballs and rice
Have a super week everybody. If you like my meal plan, please share and like on the social media buttons below.