Nigella Lawson
TV chef Nigella Lawson isn't a fan of fad diets. Nigella Lawson/Facebook

She is a culinary queen who has mastered the art of eating well, so Nigella Lawson knows a little about food. The TV chef, famous for her indulgent recipes such as Chocolate Guinness Cake, has revealed that she is not a fan of the clean eating trends being championed by her fellow celebrities.

During her recent appearance at the JW3 Speaker Series in London, the 55-year-old star said that many of the fad diets made popular by stars including Gwyneth Paltrow, Miranda Kerr and Jessica Alba were doing more harm than good by concealing something more sinister. She said: "People are using certain diets as a way to hide an eating disorder or a great sense of unhappiness and unease with their own body."

Lawson continued: "There is a way in which food is used either to self congratulate — you're a better person because you're eating like that — or to self-persecute, because you'll not allow yourself to eat the foods you want."

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Those that 'eat clean' eat and cook 'whole' food and generally shun processed foods such as crisps, sugary breakfast cereals or cured meat like bacon or ham. However the mother-of-two and author of new book, Simply Nigella, said that if you eat everything in moderation, you won't have to restrict yourself. "There are times when you need a slice of cake," she explained "You don't eat it every day but life has to be balanced and not too restricted."

This is not the first time Lawson has spoken out against the clean eating culture. Back in October she told the BBC "the notion of 'clean eating' is an implication that any other form of eating is dirty or shameful."

In a separate interview on Ireland's The Late Late Show, Lawson recalled first-hand the devastating affects of eating disorders. She only discovered her mother's struggles following her death from cancer in 1985. "I knew she had a thing about thinness but I worked out later. When she was dying she allowed herself to eat," she said. "To wait until you have a terminal disease to enjoy eating is awful."

Anorexia and bulimia are two serious mental illnesses that affect a person's relationship with food. Whilst people anorexia strive to keep their body weight low by dieting, vomiting, using laxatives or excessively exercising, those that suffer from bulimia are often caught in a cycle which involves eating large quantities of food (called 'bingeing'), and then vomiting, to prevent gaining weight.

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