Recently I came across an article about orthorexia, which is orthorexia nervosa, or rather eating too healthy has become an eating disorder?
If you are not familiar with orthorexia it is considered an eating disorder, but is not in the DSM-5 yet (although it has been coined since 1997). It’s considered an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Recently I have seen more articles on this topic, because of the popularity of Paleo and Whole30 diets. Sadly quite a few articles I read have been attacking either as causing people to become orthorexic, which I imagine may start developing negative connotations for both Paleo and Whole30. Here’s where I say, “HOLD UP.”
Eating healthy is good. The Paleo and Whole30 diet encourages healthy eating. What becomes the problem with orthorexia is the word obsessed. I have read over and over from the creators of Whole30 saying it’s NOT the Whole 365, it’s Whole 30 meaning you are not expected to eat perfectly every day at every meal for the entire year and year after year. There is nothing wrong with being encouraged to eat healthy, and trying to eat as healthy as possible. Again, the main problem is the obsession of it. People can develop anxiety which can lead to depression and other illnesses. If someone is too obsessed with healthy eating they may avoid social activities, follow an extreme diet (because eventually everything can look scary), etc.
The main reason I felt the urge to write about orthorexia was the fact I want everyone to stay strong about eating healthy! As I mentioned there are so many healthy eating bashing articles because of this new trending word. Eating healthy can go to the extreme just as much as eating not so healthy can! The point is to eat in balance, live in balance.
So if you’re leading a healthy lifestyle, don’t be discouraged by naysayers, be educated and able to explain the difference between orthorexia and eating healthy.