Experts warn that being obsessed with eating “clean” can turn into an eating disorder dubbed orthorexia nervosa. If eating healthy starts controlling your life, you have a problem.
Orthorexia can affect people that are too obsessed about what they put into their bodies. They can be so obsessed with food that they fail to enjoy life. Some experts believe the condition is a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder and should not be identified as an eating disorder.
The condition has not been identified as such in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DMS), but it is affecting many people because of social media pressure and healthy eating trends like veganism.
People affected by orthorexia obsessively read the labels on every product they purchase. They also stubbornly refuse to consume any high-calorie food and cut out food groups altogether, like gluten, carbs, or cooked foods.
Eating Disorders Can Impair Emotional Health, Relationships
But orthorexia is not only a food obsession. It is usually paired with a loss of balance and moderation. It can negatively impact one’s quality of life, emotional health, and relationships.
Around 10% of men are at risk of developing an eating disorder. Strangely, orthorexia affects fit, active, and healthy people. Men face a higher risk of developing orthorexia because they usually diet to achieve athletic performance or be healthy, instead of losing weight, like women do.
The main symptoms that you might have orthorexia include the elimination of entire food groups from the diet, an obsession with ingredients and other people’s diets, spending a lot of time on planning meals, and the feeling of guilt or shame if you eat something that you were not supposed to.
Experts recommend eating healthy but in moderation. Nutritionists warn that consuming only healthy foods can negatively impact your gut bacteria, as gut bacteria need diversity to thrive.
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