Orthorexia: when did eating healthy become a disease?

Orthorexia: when did eating healthy become a disease?

As a counter balance to the epidemic of obesity ravaging the western world, there is now another food-related “disease” incited by the social media culture: orthorexia. It is to be overly concerned about the healthfulness of the foods that one eats. It is to obsessively monitor food quality and ingredients and to limit one’s intake of certain foods based on their impact on one’s health. In severe cases, the healthfulness of food becomes the dominating factor in one’s life, impacting one’s social life and relationships.

Orthorexia: when did eating healthy become a disease?
Many orthorexics use online tools such as cronometer.com to track their nutrient intake.

Let’s get this out of the way right for starters. I confess to being what they call “orthorexic”. It all started with avoiding dairy and gluten because of skin rashes and progressed steadily to shunning all processed foods and additives, until I was sticking only to whole foods. Later on, I dropped all animal products, soy, and processed sugar.

I was already by any “normal” standards a picky eater, a difficult guest, and “special” when it comes to food. But as if I had not already caused enough anguish to my poor grandmother, I started eating only raw foods, obsessing over the ripeness and purity of my produce. Moreover, avoiding salt, overt fats and too many ingredients at one meal, I am pretty much the nightmare dinner guest of any decent 1st world citizen.

People ask me, “Why?”, but I like to direct this question back to them. “Why do they not absolutely prioritize their health, the health of their children, and the health of our planet?”

Orthorexia: when did eating healthy become a disease?
At least 85% of the ongoing Amazon deforestation is a direct result of animal agriculture.

Caring about what you eat doesn’t have to be about looking like a Victoria’s Secret model and posting flawless Instagram pictures. What you put into your body is about how you feel, how long you live, the quality of your life and your relationships, your mental health, the health of your children, the genetic preservation of the human race, world hunger, saving the amazons, saving the oceans, species extinction, loss of biodiversity, supporting small local communities, it is about our capacity for compassion for other species, the evolution of our collective consciousness, awakening, and ultimately, the very survival of our species.

In this day and age, what we put into our bodies is no longer a personal choice. Yes, it is our choice, but it impacts everything. It is all about consciousness. How conscious are you of the choices you make every day, and of the impact they have? Do you ever stop to think? Or are you blindly driven by your impulses and cravings to the ice cream aisle? Are you driven by a habit? If you answered yes to any of the above, you are not driving your own car, no more than a metro driver is choosing his destination. It is predetermined for him.

Your health depends on your choices and so does the health of your (potential future) children.  If you are not shaken by the state of our planet and its many creatures, at least you should be concerned about your own health. Do you really want to suffer for decades and ultimately die from obesity, diabetes, cancer or Alzheimer’s for the sake of convenience and habit (and guide your children to the same fate)?

You don’t have to.

Orthorexia: when did eating healthy become a disease?
Watch this brilliant video by Dr Michael Greger on the leading causes of death or check out his website at nutritionfacts.com.

Now, am I going to tell you to become a low-fat fruitarian? Of course not. That’s a path that I have chosen with my free will. But I can help you with a list of things that you might want to consider when making your food choices.

  • Meat is cancer causing, the leading cause of deforestation, contributes to more CO2 emissions than all transport combined, and the leading cause of most (animal) suffering on our planet.
  • Dairy is extremely mucus forming, inhibiting gland function, leading to calcium loss, and contributes to animal cruelty just as the meat industry does.
  • Processed foods are toxic and create acidity in the body
  • GMO foods destroy ecosystems and harm local farmers, they have also been shown to be cancer causing in some studies.
  • Choose organic to avoid harmful pesticides and other chemicals, also to support ecosystems and bees.
  • Eat raw foods for vitality, cleansing, longevity, vitamins, minerals, hydration and so much more.
  • Eat seasonal foods to minimize transportation and to maximize your food quality.
  • Avoid processed sugar and salt. Sugar invites fungus and promotes weight gain. Salt causes adrenal weakness and water retention.
  • Complex carbohydratess cause fungal problems, promote diabetes and cause mucus lining on the gut, leading to malabsorption.
  • Excessive proteins are acid forming and damage kidneys in the long run.
  • Simply simplify!

The shear paralyzing apathy of our society is unbelievable. And it is not only the unwillingness to care that is so saddening, but the  tendency to belittle and ridicule those who do care. Are they blind? Or simply enchanted by the matrix? I’d say they are simply asleep.

Orthorexia: when did eating healthy become a disease?
Talking to most people about health is like battling an agent in the Matrix.

Saving the planet is not so much a matter of education (oh people do know), as it is a matter of awakening to one’s power. I may be orthorexic by their definition, but if that is the case, I’d like to propose the definition to be modified as follows:

“Orthorexic: A person with legitimate and justified concern over the health of our planet, the survival of our species and the potential degenerative, chronic illnesses threatening their family, to the point where these concerns drive their eating choices, even at the expense of their social life and relationships. Will stop at nothing in the pursuit of a perfect state of health for oneself, for the planet and for all its inhabitants.” 

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