Do you have a healthy “go to” food? The one that you can’t keep around because you would be up in the middle of the night eating all of it. Although the right nutrition and healthy foods are suppose to be good for you, they can also be unhealthy when you overdo them.
When Healthy Eating Becomes Unhealthy
Did you know that there is a sort of mental disorder (however, not officially recognized) of people that have an unhealthy obsession with eating healthy? This obsession is called orthorexia. A person may restrict their diets to an extreme that it creates a mental stress of trying to be a perfect eater and lead to nutritional deficiencies. This could even interfere with a person’s everyday life.
This type of disorder is different from bulimia and anorexia. A person with orthorexia will focus on the quality of food and not so much on how much weight they want to lose or the calories. An orthorexic will be fixated on trying to avoid the white flour, the pesticides in foods or the GMOs and their diet will not be flexible at all. An orthorexic has in their mind to be a perfect person, to feel as a virtuous person.
Some people with orthorexia may even avoid going out to restaurants because they did not prepare the meals themselves. They may also require food to be washed multiple times and cooked to kill bacteria to be sure that the food is indeed clean and pure. Even children can have orthorexia if their parents are eating this way. The child could follow suit which can hurt their development and growth.
What Can be Done?
A specialized dietitian or skilled practitioner that treats eating disorders would be best match up for someone who may be experiencing this. Once the person has found help, recovery can follow with a better under of what healthy eating should be. They would be able to see how food will not make them a better person and their identity will shift in a broader sense of who they are and they will be able to move from there.