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Clean Eating Could Be a Harmful Trend, Experts Say

Why the diet could be a fast track to unhealthy habits
Is Clean Eating Bad for You
Photo: Rachel Vanni/Tasting Table

Lately, everyone has been getting in on eating clean. People are ditching processed foods, artificial flavors and high-fructose corn syrup for healthier alternatives. Even those funky green juices, something previously spotted only in health stores, can now be found in coolers pretty much anywhere. It's no secret many people pay close mind to what they eat and take pride in consuming things they feel good about. However, experts are issuing a word of caution to the wellness world: Don't let your clean eating get the best of you.

Food experts warn that high-intensity eating regimens, such as Whole30 or the 80/20 diet, can lead to an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy, Business Insider reports. For some, the fear of deviating from their clean-eating standards can be crippling and have the potential to develop into an eating disorder, unofficially dubbed orthorexia. Those impacted by this disorder can find their own self-image wrapped up in how they eat and whether they maintain their strict dining guidelines, the National Eating Disorders Association says.

It's a sentiment echoed by food bloggers like Alexis Joseph, whose food and wellness blog, Hummusapien, serves as an important online destination for those looking to eat clean.

"Now I’m watching as young girls, young me’s and young you’s, turn their passion for health into an obsession. Into an illness. Into a third cup of oats with PB2 on top for breakfast and toast for lunch," Joseph wrote in her March 9 blog post. "They can’t remember what hunger feels like because everything is a number. How did we get here?"

It seems that even moderation is good only in moderation. Eating clean surely has its benefits but is meant to keep you healthy, not harm you.

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