I recently posted on FB that fast food gets over-demonized.
My point was that some people hyper-concern themselves with nutrition, and miss that being disconnected with hunger and satiety are way more detrimental to health than eating some fast food.
Have you heard of orthorexia?
Orthorexia is a disorder where you becomes obsessed with the “perfect diet” and the cleanliness of food, and eating a highly regulated regime. I call these people “righteous eaters.”
Caring about nutrition is fine, but when it turns into an obsession and a hunt for perfection, you can do permanent damage to your body and to your mental health, on several levels.
Here are some of the foods orthorexics tend to restrict, or completely remove from their diets:
Dairy, meats, and eggs: Cutting out these foods could mean you’re not getting B12, needed for proper brain function and red blood cell production.
Gluten and grains: Grains contain minerals that we need (like magnesium, which is needed for healthy bones and nerves; and manganese, which is needed for healthy heart function).
Fat: Good quality fats, found in foods like olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, grass-fed beef, grass-fed dairy and pasture-raised eggs are a must for the body. They keep skin healthy, cushion and protect vital organs, insulate the body against heat loss, protect nerve tissue, and help regulate women’s menstrual cycles.
Placing yourself under regular mental stress regarding making “perfect” food choices can trigger stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Normally, these hormones are meant to fire when you’re in a threatening situation to boost energy supply for immediately action. But when your mind believes there is a constant threat, even low levels of these hormones, like cortisol for example, can suppress the digestive system, the reproductive system, and growth processes.
So, instead of demonizing, or sainting certain foods, focus on responding to your body. Take the heat off of your eating decisions and relax a bit. An Egg Mcmuffin when you crave one isn’t going to hurt you, as long as you wait for hunger.
Eat what you crave, listen to your body. Refuse to eat without hunger.
Results of this?
Less stress on your mind, and therefore your body.
Happier relationship with food and eating
Stable lean weight
Quite a nice payoff for understanding the downside of “over worrying” about nutrition and “under worrying” about being connected to true hunger.