I’ve just been reading an article about orthorexia. “Ortho-what?” you say… Orthorexia which, according to the good old Oxford English Dictionary, is officially defined as “an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy” and “a medical condition in which the sufferer systematically avoids specific foods that they believe to be harmful.”
This isn’t actually a firmly diagnosed condition as experts are in disagreement over the causation of the condition but it clearly is an issue for many people. I regularly see this in my practice where clients become unhealthily fixated on foods they believe are damaging them in some way or other. They may be avoiding numerous food groups or ingredients yet still feel ill, unhappy or dissatisfied with their health. Very often it’s not the actual food that’s the problem but rather imbalances in the person’s body such as their hormones or digestive system.
Many people in this position become obsessed with ‘clean eating,’ such as long-term plant based diets that avoid gluten, dairy, sugar and pulses. They may also be vegan or vegetarian and in some rare cases even fruitarian! You only need to scan Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to see the millions of images showing gorgeously ‘clean’ smoothies, salads and snacks. Not to mention the swimwear wearing gods and goddesses who are competitively obsessed with fitness.
In our culture of ‘over-sharing’ it’s even more worrying as many of these bloggers, vloggers and so-called nutritionists are giving out really bad advice to an impressionable audience. Remember, simply eating a vegetable only diet and doing hot yoga every single day won’t necessarily give you a sun tan and a six pack. Everyone is unique and what works for one person may cause serious consequences in another.
If you have a problem with food or are finding your intolerances are getting out of hand, call in a professional who can design the right diet for you and help you to understand the root causes of your symptoms. The problems won’t go away by simply avoiding those foods.
If you’ve read my blog or scanned my website you’ll notice that my philosophy around food has always been about balance. If there are problems you should always fix them with the support of a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist and then find the diet that is right for you and your body. Simples…