Britain's 'Clean Eating' is the Latest Foolish Food Fad

By ACSH Staff — Aug 24, 2015
The U.S. isn t the only country with folks providing scatterbrained theories about what people should or shouldn t eat, and why. We have our Vani Hari (aka the Food Babe), and now it turns out that Britain has its own group of loopy ladies who are also out to lunch.

myplate_blueWe ve called out numerous American purveyors of nutritional nonsense for example, the Food Babe and now we have some young British ladies who are giving her a run for her money by advocating what they call clean eating. In particular, as The Spectator reports, they seem to want us all to eschew gluten or adhere to low protein diets, avoid milk and dairy products, and avow that gluten causes leaky gut syndrome (yes, but only for those who suffer from celiac disease).

One of the more interesting claims, by 23-year-old Ella Woodward, is that milk causes bones to lose calcium. This, she avers, is because milk drinkers become acidic, which in turn, triggers withdrawal of calcium from the bones to counteract this. (Why the calcium in milk doesn t do so isn t clear.) But you d be more likely to change the blood pH by overindulging in calcium supplements than by drinking milk.

That clean eaters should avoid carbohydrates is also a misdirection. Carbohydrates are the basic energy fuel of the body, and as such should in no way be labeled bad. We ve recently described a study which found that diets low in carbs really are no better for weight loss than diets low in fat, no matter what these supposed diet gurus say.

If there wasn t potential danger in some of these ideas, we could just shrug and say everyone should follow their own preferences, says ACSH senior nutrition fellow Dr. Ruth Kava. But some of these ideas could certainly result in unbalanced diets, and if used for children could result in serious consequences, such as impaired growth and development. We ve said it before and we ll continue to repeat it here: a balanced diet that includes all food groups, and provides appropriate calories, is the best route to nutritional adequacy.