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Clean Eating
The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno

The Eat Clean Diet plan, a new book by Tosca Reno is gaining popularity – for good reason! Clean eating is not a new concept and does have many benefits – Dietitian Juliette Kellow takes a look…

Diet Review – Clean Eating by Tosca Reno

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

The Eat Clean Diet

The idea of ‘clean eating’ is the latest buzz in the nutrition world. But what does it involve and will it help to shift those pounds and lose weight? Dietitian Juliette Kellow investigates Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet…

With A-list celebrities such as Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman reportedly being fans of the ‘Eat Clean Diet’, it’s no surprise that more and more of us are starting to think about ditching ‘dirty’ foods from our diet in an effort to shape up and improve our health.

The concept of clean eating isn’t a modern one. Its roots are actually based in the natural foods movement that took America and Europe by storm in the 1960’s and 70’s. More recently, Canadian mum-turned-fitness expert Tosca Reno, has popularised clean eating, selling more than a million copies of her Eat Clean Diet book.

The concept is simple – avoid eating anything that is:

  • refined
  • processed
  • contains artificial ingredients
  • grown using chemical fertilisers or pesticides
  • bred with the help of hormones and antibiotics

The result - a diet packed with fresh foods in their natural state.

So what does the Eat Clean Diet involve?

Quite simply, clean eating is about going back to nature for our foods - swapping processed and refined foods for ones that occur naturally and have little, if anything, added to them.

This means eating fresh red meat rather than meat products like sausages or ham, brown rice rather than white rice, and oats rather than sugary cereals.

Effectively, it’s about ditching anything that’s been ‘tampered’ with along the food supply chain and instead eating foods in their fresh, natural state.

Fitness guru Tosca Reno has created ‘The Eat Clean Diet’. This follows the basic principles of clean eating so encourages the avoidance of processed foods such as

Tosca Reno’s plan recommends eating six times a day to stimulate your metabolism and prevent hunger. Her menu’s combine lean protein-rich foods and complex carbs at each meal, having 2-3 daily servings of healthy fats, drinking 2-3 litres water a day and depending on fresh fruit and veg to provide fibre, vitamins and minerals.

She also advocates eating sensible-sized portions and avoiding supersizing.

What’s the benefit of eating clean?

Eating a ‘clean’ diet means you fill up on nutrient-rich foods whilst avoiding foods that are high in saturated fat, added sugar and additives. As a result, your whole body – from top to toe – should benefit.

Eating a diet that’s packed with vitamins and minerals, full of starchy, high-fibre carbs and low in saturated fat and salt will help

Fresh, natural foods tend to be nutrient-rich foods. In other words, they are packed with protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – great for optimal health and helping protect us from disease. In contrast, many refined or processed foods are low in nutrients but packed with added sugars, saturated and trans fats and salt, which are all linked to disease.

Many ready-made foods also include additives such as flavours, colours and preservatives. Although these are considered to be safe according to health experts, in many cases they’re not ingredients you’d naturally find in foods.

Is clean eating the same as a raw diet?

No! A raw diet, as the name suggests, means you only eat foods in their raw state. With the ‘eat clean diet’, as long as you are buying fresh, unprocessed foods, you can still cook them. This means you could still enjoy a chilli made from fresh lean minced beef and vegetables with brown rice, or a roast chicken dinner.

Do you have to eat organic foods?

Clean eating isn’t actually a strict diet with lists of foods to avoid and choose. It really is up to each person to choose how far they want to take the concept of ‘clean’. For example, some people might consider oatcakes, cheese and canned tuna in water to be ‘clean’, whereas others would consider them to be off limits.

In terms of choosing organic , there’s certainly some synergy between clean eating and ‘green’ eating. Many people who eat clean prefer to choose organic foods (although a restricted number of pesticides and chemical fertilisers can still be used in organic farming).

Other ‘green’ issues that are often included as part of ‘clean eating’ include:

  • consuming less meat
  • choosing seasonal foods
  • opting for products that are sustainably sourced
  • buying meat and chicken produced to high animal welfare standards
  • buying locally produced food
  • skipping imported products.

But ultimately, it’s up to each person to choose how ‘clean’ they want to go.

Dietitians Verdict:

The concept of clean eating works very much on the theory that ‘you are what you eat’. So in the same way that you’d use top quality petrol in a sport’s car to make it perform at its best and prevent it from breaking down, you should do the same by filling your body with good quality fuel.

It stands to reason that our bodies are more likely to break down or become damaged if they’re constantly fuelled with low-grade food – with the result that signs of illness or disease start to be seen.

Effectively, the ‘Eat Clean’ diet follows the principles of healthy eating – fewer processed foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt and more fresh, natural foods that are rich in nutrients. As a result, it’s hard to argue with a style of eating that nutritionists and dietitians have been recommending for many years.

For further information read The Eat-Clean Diet recharged! By Tosca Reno (Robert Kennedy Publishing), £10.07 from

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