BS Health Terms

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Here we discuss some of the bewildering array of terms and phrases that are used when talking about a healthy diet. Even the word ‘healthy’ can be interpreted differently; for some its lack of illness for others it’s an idealised state of bodily perfection; so when you throw the word food or diet on the end, you’re left with a lake of ambiguity full of misunderstanding and ripe for exploitation by unscrupulous peoples.

Terms such as ‘clean eating’, ‘heath foods’, ‘super foods’, ‘juicing for health’ or even ‘eating a healthy diet’ have caused great interest among health enthusiast’s, along with controversy and confusion; as their definitions are ambiguous and transient. They might resonate with you, but what do they actually mean?

Well it’s likely that the average person, health enthusiast and Health professionals (and those scientifically-minded) will have differing views. Scientifically minded people are likely to define them using scientific evidence and reasoning whilst health enthusiast’s tend to measure their definitions not with true science, but more subjective reasoning; how these types of things ‘make them feel’ or through even less tangible concepts. The food industry and health enthusiast make use of the ambiguity of these terms so that to them it can mean anything they want it to! It allows them to tell each other and the unfortunate ‘average person’ whose stuck in the proverbial middle how health regimes should be followed, which products to consume and why everyone should join their ‘bubble’.

Below is a table listing some terms along with how they are often perceived/interpreted by the public and by science.


  Spoiler alert

This is BS corner so you can be sure that these terms are not evidence based!


We will continue to add to this list as we encounter new terms. If you have any terms that you have seen and want added, please let us know!


Article written by: Alex Risby BSc, RD & Lynn Risby BSc Nutritionist
Feature image by: Susan von Struensee_Nutrition_flickr
Links:Detox The truth behind ‘superfoods’ FSA BS Corner(our blog’s latest section!)