SHOULD YOU CLEAN UP YOUR DIET?

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Healthy Communities -

GOOGLE ‘ clean eat­ing’ and you’ll be met with more than 27 mil­lion re­sults.

There are also Face­book pages, books and a mag­a­zine ded­i­cated to it, but what is clean eat­ing and does it live up to the hype?

Gen­er­ally, clean eat­ing is all about con­sum­ing nat­u­ral, un­pro­cessed foods, fo­cus­ing on fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

Ac­cred­ited prac­tis­ing di­eti­tian and spokes­woman for the Di­eti­tians As­so­ci­a­tion of Aus­tralia (DAA) Char­lene Grosse said there are some el­e­ments of a cleaneat­ing diet that the DAA rec­om­mends, but it also has some po­ten­tial prob­lems.

“We support de­creas­ing dis­cre­tionary items, which means lim­it­ing foods that are high in added sugar, sat­u­rated fats and low in fi­bre and nu­tri­ents and in­creas­ing core foods such as non-starchy vegetables, whole fruits, lean meats, nuts, seeds and whole grains,” Ms Grosse said.

“How­ever, in a world where many peo­ple strug­gle to meet the rec­om­mended daily serves of vegetables, the idea of only con­sum­ing fresh or or­ganic may be un­re­al­is­tic.

“Frozen and salt-re­duced canned va­ri­eties are an al­ter­na­tive form to fresh fruit and vegetables and can be in­cluded as part of a healthy bal­anced diet.”

Other po­ten­tial prob­lems in­clude that some clean-eat­ing di­ets ad­vo­cate go­ing gluten-free, which Ms Grosse said was un­nec­es­sary un­less you are di­ag­nosed with coeliac dis­ease, or rec­om­mended eat­ing only raw food, which may leave you de­void of some nu­tri­ents.

She said key nu­tri­ents to mon­i­tor when on a cleaneat­ing diet are pro­tein, zinc, iron, omega 3, cal­cium, vi­ta­min B12 and vi­ta­min D.

“There is merit in in­creas­ing core foods and re­duc­ing dis­cre­tionary foods, how­ever it needs to be re­al­is­tic and man­age­able in the longer term to be a life­style change rather than a pass­ing phase,” Ms Grosse said.

“For the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion, the best diet (for weight and over­all health) is one that is based on the Aus­tralian Di­etary Guide­lines, which is sus­tain­able in the long term (and) based on the strong­est ev­i­dence.”

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