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In a world flooded with fad diets and wellness trends, the term “eating clean” has emerged as a beacon of hope for those seeking to improve their health. Yet, some have struggled to see the results they were hoping for after making changes in their eating habits.

In this blog, we will discuss some of the misconceptions of “eating clean” and how they can mislead you on the wrong path to a healthier version of yourself!

What Does “Eating Clean” Really Mean?

At its core, eating clean refers to consuming foods as close to their natural state as possible, with minimal chemical additives and preservatives. This philosophy emphasizes consuming whole, nutrient-rich foods that fuel our bodies effectively.

However, as with many popular trends, misconceptions have arisen, leading some to adopt extreme interpretations that can actually harm their health.

The Evolution of “Clean Eating” and Its Pitfalls

As the concept of “eating clean” gained popularity, some diet trends began to twist its original definition for quick weight loss. The idea of consuming unprocessed foods morphed into a rigid approach that often included restrictive diets. Unfortunately, this shift has led to confusion and misunderstanding about the true essence of clean eating.

The Dangers of Misinterpretations

Many have fallen into the trap of thinking “eating clean” means eating minimal carbs, dairy-free, sugar-free, or a whole lot of vegetables.

Let’s break down each of these misinterpretations and discuss how this can be harming you more than helping you.

The Low Carb/Calorie Trap

One common misconception associates eating clean with drastically reduced carbohydrate and calorie intake. While reducing refined carbs can be beneficial, an excessively low-carb diet can deprive your body of essential energy sources for optimal functioning.

Women, in particular, need carbs for the endocrine system to function correctly. Women also need carbs for hormone production, regulation, and energy in general. If you’re feeling fatigued, check your carb intake and ensure it’s not too low.


The Dairy-Free Frenzy

Another interpretation of “eating clean” involves going dairy-free. While this might seem like a healthy choice, it’s important to remember that not all fats and carbohydrates are created equal. Whole dairy products are incredibly nutrient-dense and have a ton of different micronutrients that many other foods don’t have. Dairy, as a whole, offers benefits that support bone health and more. Eliminating dairy completely can lead to missing out on these benefits.


Cutting out dairy can lead to finding substitute kinds of milk, such as oat milk, almond milk, or soymilk, which are highly processed and contain other things we don’t want in our bodies, like preservatives.


It’s true that some people’s bodies don’t digest dairy properly; I would recommend working with someone to find out why that is because you are missing out on so many nutrients when cutting out dairy.

The Sugar-Free Obsession 

Cutting out refined sugars is often seen as a step towards clean eating. However, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s crucial to recognize that not all carbohydrates are the same. Natural sugars from fruits, for instance, play a vital role in providing energy and essential nutrients. Completely avoiding sugars can rob your body of these valuable resources.

Our bodies need glucose to function properly. Sugar alternatives don’t provide the glucose we need and can cause harm to our bodies.

The Veggie Overload

While vegetables are undoubtedly vital for a balanced diet and are nutrient-dense, an overemphasis on consuming unlimited amounts of veggies can lead to an unbalanced nutrient intake. Veggies can be hard on our digestive system, especially when not prepared properly or balanced with the right amounts of protein and carbs. Our bodies require a variety of nutrients from different food groups to function optimally.

The Impact on Nutritional Balance

Misinterpretations of “eating clean” can inadvertently lead to nutritional deficiencies. Our bodies require a diverse range of nutrients, including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, to operate at their best. Restricting certain food groups in the name of clean eating can disrupt this delicate balance and hinder overall health.

The Psychological Toll

The quest for an extreme version of “eating clean” can also take a toll on our mental well-being. Many individuals, especially women, tend to set unrealistic standards for themselves. When they inevitably struggle to adhere to these extreme diets, they might feel discouraged, leading to a cycle of guilt and self-doubt. Don’t be too hard on yourself; after all, we are meant to enjoy life, and eating something sweet or giving in to a craving won’t kill you!

A Balanced Approach to Nourishment

It’s crucial to understand that “eating clean” doesn’t mean adhering to rigid, one-size-fits-all rules. Instead, it’s about making informed choices that prioritize nutrient-rich foods and avoiding overly processed foods while allowing for flexibility and enjoyment. 

A balanced approach includes the following:

  • Variety -Embrace a wide range of whole foods from different food groups to ensure you’re getting a diverse array of nutrients.
  • Moderation, Not Deprivation– Enjoy your favorite treats in moderation. Depriving yourself of enjoyable foods can lead to cravings and unhealthy relationships with eating.
  • Listen to Your Body– Pay attention to your body’s signals of hunger and fullness. Every individual’s nutritional needs are unique.

To better understand the complexities of clean eating and its impact on health, explore my comprehensive podcast series. I provide insights, tips, and practical advice to help you navigate the world of nutrition with confidence and clarity. 

Be sure to check out my latest podcast, which delves even further into the misconceptions surrounding “eating clean” and how you can approach your health journey in a sustainable way.

Hey there, I’m Kari!

As a Pharmacist and Integrative Health Practitioner, I get the privilege of working with women who are struggling with fatigue, poor sleep, painful cycles, digestive issues, and irritability- all of which have become their norm. And they are struggling just to keep up, simply wanting their health back.

I know what it’s like to feel frustrated and left with the same issues, even after spending time, energy & money thinking I’d found the answer.

With the right support, a proven method, and the Lord as our guide, let’s get your health back so you can run the race set before you with perseverance and joy.

So thankful you found your way here! 

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