More and more people recognize the value of healthy eating. Even fast food chains are cashing in on this trend. Clean Eating, as we have seen in last week's blog, can improve your health by replacing junk and processed food with wholesome food that you prepare at home.
But alas, as with most things in life, too much of even a good thing can be too much. A case in point: while exercise is undoubtedly good for you, some people with exercise addiction definitely overdo it.
Does that mean that we can be addicted to healthy eating? Indeed, we can. There is even a term for this condition called Orthorexia Nervosa. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, it is an eating disorder where "orthorexics become fixated on food quality and purity."
While most of us don't have to worry about being Health Food Junkies, here is a checklist of traits that may indicate that you or someone you know is taking healthy eating to an extreme:
- Do you spend a lot of time each day thinking about your diet?
- Do you plan your meals several days ahead?
- Is the nutritional value of your meal more important than the pleasure of eating it?
- Has the quality of your life decreased as the quality of your diet has increased?
- Does your self-esteem get a boost from eating healthfully?
- Have you given up foods you used to enjoy in order to eat healthy foods?
- Does your diet make it difficult for you to eat out, distancing you from family and friends?
- Do you feel guilty when you stray from your healthy diet?
- Do you feel at peace with yourself and in total control when you eat healthfully?
- Do you eat only healthy foods?
For more information on Orthorexia Nervosa check out Dr. Bratman's book on Health Food Junkies. Other titles highlight issues of other eating disorders and exercise addiction.