When it comes to eating healthy foods, the answer is always yes. But do you know excess of pure and healthy foods and their consumption can be disorder. Though, it is well known that excess of everything is bad for health. Yes, It is right that we all are encouraged to eat healthy foods and munch on healthy diet but some people take it too far and having too much of it; Not a good idea. Excess of healthy eating falls in eating disorder category, when taken beyond to a certain point and this disorder is called as Orthorexia Nervosa, which refers to compulsion to eat nothing, but healthy. It is an obsessive compulsive disorder that creates severe phobias about eating impure unhealthy food, though it may seem counter-intuitive but limiting oneself to certain category of foods, termed as “healthy” can be dangerous. Eating disorder charities are reporting rise in number of people suffering from this serious psychological condition. This condition, Orthorexia Nervosa was named by Californian doctor, Steven Bratman, in 1997, and is described as a “fixation in righteous eating”. This tends to effect equal number of men and women but sufferers tend to of over 30, middle class and well-educated. Orthorexics are solely concerned about their diets and quality of foods they put in their body, refining and restricting their bodies according to their personal understanding of which foods are “pure”. They have rigid rules around eating like refusing to touch salt, sugar, soya, gluten, yeast, wheat, caffeine or any foods containing artificial additives are also out. This obsession of ‘good’ leads to malnourishment in them most of the time.
Consultant lifestyle nutririonist Trupti Gupta says,”It’s a condition that stems from low self-esteem, or a need to be in complete control, even at the cost of punishing yourself.” If your life revolves around food and you cant plan your outing without specific meal availability, it can become a major concern for your family and friends. Moreover, due to this specificity, they also suffer from deficits as they take the reins of their meals in their own hands without seeking any professional advice. The most common issues faced by orthorexics are loneliness, depression, anxiety and failure. For those who can’t beat their obsession of clean green, healthy food, this is what it can lead to. To improve the condition, take emotional help from near and dear ones and watch carefully through these points;
Excessive Water intake: Water is excellent for health and drinking eight glasses every day is recommended. I know everyone has heard of it millions of times and no doubt follow it too. This is because water flush out the toxins from the body, but excess is not good, so you need to draw a line here too. As, one should not exceed their intake from eight glasses of water a day, because it leads to hyperhydration and which is not a sign of good health. It can lead to chemical imbalance in the body. So, keep check on your drinking amount.
Don’t Overdo your Proteins: Deficiency of proteins is not good. True. Even, sometimes fitness experts say going high on proteins and reduce your intake of carbohydrates, but it is advised to use your discretion here too. Carbohydrates, being source of energy can give adverse effects if kept out of your diet. When you can’t get your energy from non-carb diet, then it will be taken from protein and fat, which will put pressure on liver. In place, protein supplements taken in excess can put a strain on kidney, which can prove to be detrimental to health, and even lead to weight gain if not accompanied by proper exercise.
Check your Calcium intake: You must ensure that your calcium intake is upto the mark to maintain good good bone health. However, one should remember that excess of it in the body can affect your bones in a negative way. As, it can lead to the build-up of calcium deposits in the joints, causing pain in them and can also lead to stones in the kidney.
Popping of Vitamin Pills: Being conscious about your vitamins is good but indiscriminate popping those pills to maintain your vitamin content of body is not recommended. Remember, an overdose of Vitamin B1 can lead to deficiency in Vitamin B2. It can be even fatal. As, excessive Vitamin A can damage your liver and is also harmful for the bones and in pregnant women, it may even end up having birth defects in the child. On the other hand, Excessive Vitamin C can lead to diarrhoea. It is but natural that high dose of such supplements can cause adverse effects, especially if they are fat soluble like Vitamin A, D, E and K. So, its better to moderate your vitamin intake.
A body needs everything in moderation so that all the nutrients can be balanced according to their needs. The reverse of unhealthy eating habits, when fussing over health gets dangerous which is clear from many instances as above. Too much calorie calculation leads to psychological anorexia, further leading to many deficiencies. One should cut their quality of food of the basis of healthy eating with the perception of being healthy or losing weight as it may lead to malnutrition. Rather, one should measure our worth in laughter, peace and happiness not in weight or height. Moderation and Balanced diet is the key. So, eat healthy but don’t push yourself to healthy eating disorder.