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Updated: Oct 7, 2020

What may start out as healthy eating could easily turn into an obsession or uncontrollable desire for eating only nutritious foods, with no flexibility. You may find yourself spending excessive time researching and scrutinizing food sources, ingredients, and the purity of foods. This preoccupation with eating healthy can slowly develop into a behavioral condition known as orthorexia.

What is Orthorexia?

According to Steven Bratman, MD, the physician who coined the term, orthorexia is “the pursuit of healthy eating that intensifies and becomes an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating, with eating only the “right” foods, and with the restriction of food that is deemed unhealthy.” An orthorexic person will restrict ingredients because they are extremely concerned that certain foods might negatively impact their health and well-being. They may avoid eating out at fast food places and restaurants believing that the food in such places is impure.

Why is Orthorexia not good?

Orthorexia can lead to insufficiency in essential nutrients resulting in digestive problems and other health complications.

What to do about it?

First step to recovering from orthorexia is admitting that there is a problem and understand that you may not be doing the best thing for your body. It is important to establish a healthy relationship with food. This involves making mindful conscious nutrition choices 80% of the time, while allowing yourself to make mindless choices the other 20% of the time.

Review your eating habits. If orthorexia is affecting your health, social life, or mental well-being, it is strongly recommended that you discuss this with a functional nutritionist. Gooden Healthy Nutrition can work with you to create an individualized and balanced dietary plan to help change your eating behavior.

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