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“Clean” Eating

It is not uncommon for me to hear, during a new patient consultation, for the person to inform me that “I eat clean”.   The concept of “clean” eating refers to the thought that the foods/drinks being consumed are healthy and should not be leading to weight control issues.  I will then query the person about more specifics of the eating habits.   Here are some of the responses I receive:

  • Oatmeal, a banana or orange and a cup of coffee for breakfast
  • A sandwich at lunch using “Dave’s Bread” or a 100 calorie bread of another brand
  • Dinner is a microwavable, caloric controlled Lean Cuisine or a Weight Watchers Meal
  • Snacks during the day or night consist of cheese, fruits and/or yogurt
  • One glass of wine per night

On the surface, there is nothing “unhealthy” about the above eating habits.  BUT, if people are presenting with a weight they are not happy with, clearly, the eating behaviors must be changed for weight to start coming off.

A breakfast of 2-3 eggs and bacon or sausage may be viewed as “unhealthy”:  The cholesterol in the eggs and fat in the bacon are much less healthy than the fiber of oatmeal and vitamins contained in fruit.  However, for weight control purposes, the eggs/bacon breakfast is a much better choice than the oatmeal and fruit.  Deli meat will be a much better snack choice than low fat cheese or yogurt.  And, sorry for you wine lovers out there, but the “heart healthy” aspects of red wine daily are negated by the metabolism damaging impact of alcohol on weight control.

So, please take a step back and reevaluate your assessment that your eating is ‘clean” IF your weight is not under control.  Clearly, if overweight people continue in the same eating/drinking patterns with the perception that this is “clean” eating, then the weight will stay right where it is and increase over time as the aging slows metabolism further.

And for those people that enjoy “clean” comedians, here is a clip of a very funny guy, Jim Gaffigan that can make us laugh without using a bunch of 4 letter words.

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