Obsession with ‘Healthy’ Food Can Cause Food Anxiety
Many of us suffer from excessive anxiety about what we eat. Someone regularly picks yolks out of eggs cooked for breakfast, someone decides to completely abandon products with sugar, and someone is sure that animal fats can cause all diseases at once. Of course, everyone has the right to decide what is best for his or her body, but sometimes such concerns turn into paranoia, when the most harmless snack precedes a scrupulous study of how healthy each component is.
What is orthorexia?
Such eating disorder is called orthorexia — an obsessive desire for healthy nutrition, which leads to significant restrictions in choice of foods. This anxiety often refers not only to the composition of food, but also to the way it is cooked and even the materials used: for example, a cutting board should be made only of wood, and a pan — only with a ceramic coating. The term ‘orthorexia’ was first used in 1997 by physician Stephen Bratman who himself was a long time adherent to the idea of healthy eating, but gradually he began to notice that all these restrictions made his life boring, and eventually realized that his concern for healthy food had acquired a manic form.
The statistics says that excessive obsession with healthy nutrition is often accompanied by too heavy sport loads on the brink of human possibilities. So let’s try to find out where is the boundary between a healthy desire for a balanced diet and an eating disorder, and learn how to protect yourself from food anxiety.
People today are seriously concerned about food, and more often one can hear the term ‘food anxiety’. Psychologists associate it with overcrowded anxiety of modern life: economic crises, military confrontations, material instability of life. At such times people often feel very unstable, and the easiest way to calm down such anxiety is to eat something tasty, and in such cases people eat much more than they physically need. Food anxiety is also provoked by the canons of modern beauty, especially for women. These canons plant ideas: the less you eat, the more beautiful you are.
How to protect yourself from food anxiety?
To protect yourself from food anxiety, you need, first, to read less slick magazines, and secondly, do not automatically follow all emerging trends — from gluten to sugar. In case of healthy problems, it is much better to visit a good endocrinologist and nutritionist, to check immune and digestive systems. It is also a good tip not to eat in front of TV. Negative emotions and shock information should not be combined with eating food.
The bottom line
Paying attention to what we eat is essential, but there is no need to spend half a life weighing a chicken breast. It is more important to learn how to “be friends” with food. Of course, without a balanced diet, it is difficult for us to maintain good health and cheerful mind. But there should be a reasonable approach even to the healthiest food as delicious food is one of the pleasures of life.