Is clean eating worth the hype?

Brown bag filled with fruit and vegetables
March 20, 2024
The idea of eating a clean diet has been trending recently. But what does that really mean? Are there foods that are cleaner or better than others? Are there foods that should be avoided completely?

What are unclean foods?

That includes foods that have visible contamination (dirt, soil, dust), and foods that show signs of being spoiled (colour change, bad smell). Other than that, no foods are unclean!

Tip: Thoroughly wash foods that are 'dirty'. Foods that are spoiled should be thrown out, as consuming them could make you very ill.

What about pesticides?

Pesticides are used on many different foods to keep them free of disease and bacteria. The amount used on food items is safe and is monitored closely in Canada.

Tip: If you are still concerned, you can wash fruits and vegetables for 30 seconds to decrease pesticides on the outer layer.

What about genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

Similarly to foods grown using pesticides, the usage of GMOs is monitored closely in Canada to ensure they are as safe and nutritious as all other foods.

Tip: If you are still unsure, read more about the topic! There are a lot of great studies and information about the safety of GMOs available online, such as here:

What about highly processed foods?

There is nothing ‘unclean’ about processed foods (eg. chips, candy, cookies). They are often tasty, and can be enjoyed without guilt. Sure, they are not the most nutritious items in the pantry and do contain higher amounts of saturated fat, sugar and salt. However this does not mean they have to be eliminated from your diet.

Tip: Try having a small amount with your meals (eg. some chips with a sandwich at lunch). This may decrease the desire to have more later on in the day!

Consider what is the least amount that would satisfy you of this food. And no, that doesn't mean the least amount possible!

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