Most people working in the health field have some familiarity with disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and emotional overeating, but few could imagine that there is another disorder on the horizon that could tax to your time and mind, and have potential health implications as well.
What is Orthorexia?
Orthorexia is a relatively new term for a disorder where one becomes obsessed with the “perfect diet” and the cleanliness of food, and eating on a highly regulated regime. Recent studies were unable to determine who can fall into the orthorexic trap, but one thing is for sure — when food becomes an obsession on any level, it can be mean trouble for your body and your peace of mind.
Orthorexia Can Harm Your Health
Caring about what you eat is a great thing, but when it turns into an obsession you can actually damage your health in ways you may not realize.
For example, health zealots who eat a very restrictive diet can be missing out on serious nutrients that you body needs every day by restricting foods, like lean protein, plenty of fresh vegetables, and good quality fats because they label them as “bad” foods.
In terms of your mental health, constantly worrying about food or what may be in your food can destabilize your emotional state and even trigger stress hormones in the body that have serious repercussions on your immune system.
So don’t choose your meals based on fear rather than your body’s reaction to those foods. If you’ve developed a serious fear of food, by all means seek professional help. Listen to your body with no judgements and experiment with healthy foods, like plenty of fresh veggies especially greens, foods high in good quality oils, like olive and nut oils, good fats like avocado, nuts and seeds.
Have you — or someone you know — experienced orthorexia? What concerns you most about it? How do you think people fall into the orthorexia trap? Share in the comments below, or take the discussion to facebook or twitter!