• Delilma Nutrition

When did healthy become unhealthy?

We all understand the need to eat and live a healthy lifestyle and some of us can be more disciplined than others. But is there such a thing as being too disciplined when it comes to eating natural whole foods?

Well, recent studies suggest it is possible to have an unhealthy relationship with healthy foods. This is known as Orthorexia Nervosa.

Orthorexia Nervosa is a less common eating disorder that is characterised by a person having a fixation or obsession with healthy eating (clean, organic, raw foods in particular) to the point it impacts their physical and mental well-being as the fixation interferes with their day to day lives. For example, someone with Orthorexia may hear that carrots are good for eyesight. They will then eat a certain amount of carrots daily and not have a meal without them.

This is a perfect example of how too much of even something seen as beneficial can be detrimental.

What are the signs of Orthorexia?

Because Orthorexia is about the relationship had with food. One of the main signs is related to the amount of time spent thinking, choosing, and preparing healthy foods to the point it interferes with other dimensions of life. Other signs may not be easy to identify but include;

  • Missing meals because food choices available do not meet a quality standard.

  • Feeling unable to put aside personal rules about what you can and cannot eat, even if you want to.

  • Feelings of anxiety, guilt, or uncleanliness due to overeating food regarded as unhealthy by the individual.

  • Specific foods and food groups start being eliminated from your diet.

  • Consuming a low level of calories

How do we keep healthy, healthy?

Wanting to eat clean, raw, and or organic foods is not an issue and is encouraged to live a healthy lifestyle.

Eating healthy becomes unhealthy when as mentioned the behaviour towards these foods is extreme. In order to be healthy, we need balance, this does not mean we become un-disciplined and start to eat loads of processed and high sugar foods.

But It does mean we need to ensure our healthy lifestyle does not impact our day to day lives and we remove the psychological patterns of feeling guilty, depressed and or being unclean by consuming certain food groups.


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