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Orthorexia

Recently I had a conversation with Lucy E. Cousins from Marie-Claire about what happens when healthy eating becomes dangerous.

I am called a Dr in the article, which is not yet true. I am in the process of doing my PhD but it is a long road 🙂

Orthorexia is a term used to describe an eating disorder characterized by an obsession with eating healthy or “pure” foods. This can manifest in several ways, including restrictive eating patterns, an obsession with food quality, and a preoccupation with the health benefits of certain foods.

One of the key features of orthorexia is a rigid adherence to certain dietary rules. This may include avoiding certain foods, such as processed foods, sugar, or gluten, or only eating foods deemed “pure” or “clean.” These rigid rules can lead to a restriction of food choices, which can ultimately lead to malnutrition and other health problems.

Another feature of orthorexia is an obsession with the health benefits of certain foods. This can lead to an excessive focus on nutrient-dense foods, such as leafy greens and lean proteins, while neglecting other important aspects of a healthy diet, such as balance and variety.

A preoccupation with food preparation and cleanliness can also accompany Orthorexia. This can include an excessive focus on food hygiene, the avoidance of cross-contamination, and an obsession with food preparation methods, such as juicing or sprouting.

While the desire to eat healthily is generally considered a positive thing, orthorexia is characterized by an excessive focus on healthy eating that becomes all-consuming and harms the individual’s physical and mental well-being.

It is important to note that orthorexia is not yet recognized as an official diagnosis by the Diagn and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Still, it is gaining more attention from researchers and healthcare professionals.

Suppose you suspect that you or someone you know may be struggling with orthorexia. In that case, it is important to seek help from a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian or a therapist. They can guidehow to develop a healthy relationship with food and support you in your journey towards recovery.

In conclusion, Orthorexia is a complex and serious eating disorder that requires professional help and guidance to overcome. It is important to be aware of the warning signs and to seek help early on to prevent it from becoming more severe. Eating healthy is important, but it should never come at the cost of one’s mental and physical well-being.

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