Learn More About Orthorexia: The Obsession Of Eating Healthy Food
One of the hardest things to do nowadays is to eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. In this world full of fast, processed foods, eating vegetables and meat without any alteration of chemicals and pesticides seems impossible. Most of the food we eat contains growth hormone, chemicals, or pesticides that destroy the natural nutrients and vitamins found in it. That’s why a lot of us struggle to lose weight or just eat healthy organic foods as we’ve been accustomed to eating unhealthy foods. When we finally break the boundary and manage to lose weight, we feel like we are on the top of the world. We’re finally happy we managed to break the bad habit and stick to eating healthy foods and living an active, healthy lifestyle as much as possible.
But what if there’s also a disorder for those people who eat healthy foods obsessively? Wait, is it even possible? Yes, it is. As they say, too much of anything can be dangerous. That’s why let us not devour eating healthy foods in an unhealthy way because it may backfire on our health and well-being. Let’s learn more about orthorexia: the unhealthy way or obsession with eating healthy food and see how it can affect our body.
Orthorexia: The eating disorder of obsession with healthy foods
Because of the stunning benefits of being healthy (especially if we experience it first hand after losing weight), it’s only natural that most of us will be more motivated and inclined to live more healthy. But what if it can turn into an unhealthy obsession? That’s exactly what happened to the case of Ashley Bailey. She first experienced abdominal pain, diarrhea, and digestive problems before she convinced herself to eat healthy foods in order to rid of the pain. She started enlisting herself in a clean eating program in order to detoxify her body. When she discovered that she might be intolerant to milk and dairy because of lactose, she started eliminating milk and cheese from her diet and she was glad when it worked. Her heartburn disappeared.
Getting motivated to detox her body further, she also started researching other foods that alter health such as gluten, grains and starchy vegetables, meat, and even fruits. This enabled her to change her diet drastically and she eliminated most foods that were once part of her diet. She started building a habit of fact-checking every single food that comes in on her body. While it was fun and interesting at first, it developed into a full-blown obsession and now, she became extra anxious on every food that was served in front of her table.
When The Healthy Lifestyle Becomes Unhealthy For You
She confessed that it was a torture for her to eat because she couldn’t control the thoughts lingering on her mind. How was the food preparation? Were the spices and ingredients organic? Were the chicken injected with hormone growth or raised in cages? How much sugar was added to food or sauce? Is the bread she’s eating gluten-free? And that was just the start of her nightmare.
Whenever she eats food, she can taste flavors different from the “healthy ones” she normally ate. And this freaks her out because she didn’t know where or how the ingredients were sorted out. She quickly lost her weight down to 92 pounds. However, she finally realized that her “healthy lifestyle” became unhealthy the moment she saw a picture of herself a year ago where her collarbone was jutting out. At that time, she finally called her sister and broke down in tears, saying that she may have an eating disorder.
Dr. Dunn Associates the Said Disorder As Orthorexia Nervosa
The official term for what Bailey was suffering is orthorexia nervosa. It’s an eating disorder characterized by being overly preoccupied with knowing the nutritional makeup of the foods they eat. Dr. Dunn, an associate professor of Psychology in Colorado, explained that Bailey should start changing her perception with regards to food. She needs to make peace with food and that while eating healthy foods is a must, occasional splurges and cheat days wouldn’t kill you.
That’s why it’s also recommended to binge with your favorite food (even if they’re not healthy) once in a while because that’s what balanced eating is. The ability to eat healthy without depriving yourself of the foods you love to eat. He also advises Bailey to undergo a psychological treatment and counseling in order to overcome this eating disorder. Moreover, so that she can overcome this mental health problem.
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