- When concern for proper nutrition becomes obsessive ‘orthorexia nervosa’ occurs.
- Orthorexia is described as ‘a disease disguised as a virtue.’
- In this desire to achieve a perfect diet, many end up with nutritional deficiencies and medical complications.
People cultivate their minds and pay less attention to their stomachs. American Doctor Steven Bratman coined the term “Orthorexia nervosa” in 1997. In a commune in upstate New York he developed an ‘unhealthy obsession’ with eating ‘healthy food’.
“All I could think about was food. But even when I became aware that my scrabbling in the dirt after raw vegetables and wild plants had become an obsession, I found it terribly difficult to free myself. I had been seduced by righteous eating”
Judging what is natural and healthy is a slippery slope. Some people on a raw food diet rely so much on fruit that their teeth begin to erode: from acids in the fruits that wear down the tooth enamel, from sugar promoting decay, from dried fruit(another raw vegan staple). Ironically for the raw vegan, most of the plant enzymes in raw food get destroyed anyway in the acid of the human gut. Fermenting or juicing raw foods also can make some nutrients more available, cooking too makes some foods more digestible and more nutritious. By eating both raw and cooked foods,”you get the best of both worlds”. Jennifer Nelson, director of clinical dietetics at the Mayo Clinic and associate professor of nutrition at the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn.
Researchers at Stanford University, investigated health claims of organic foods, they ‘discovered very little difference in nutritional content, aside from slightly higher phosphorous levels in many organic foods, and a higher omega-3 fatty acid content in organic milk and chicken
People obsessively buy organic, cook organic, or even eat pre-packaged organic meals, it appears as though they’ve done research and come down on the right side of science. People’s love for organic food stems from a love of self and a desire to prolong that self as long as possible. Just as all that glitters is not gold, all that is organic is not ‘healthy’. For that O-word, we pay a higher price and go home with a lighter conscience, and of course with a lighter wallet.
Plant based milk – soy milk, almond milk, oat milk is now a raging substitute to cow milk. Scott Gottlieb, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner declared at a Politico summit, ”An almond doesn’t lactate, I will confess”. Milk, according to food chemists is a liquid combination of fat, protein, enzymes, vitamins and sugar, produced by mammals to nourish their offspring. Not taking animal milk citing lactose intolerance is a valid argument but saying that cow milk doesn’t provide nourishment is wrong. Vitamin B12, which is required for brain function and is found in cow’s milk is not found in plants.
The hype around the herbal superstar ‘green tea’ is high, it is an elixir to health and is the highest selling wellness product. As of 2019, Green Tea market worldwide is projected to grow by US$8.1 Billion, driven by a compounded growth of 5.8%.
Green tea is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth long-term or in high-doses. Green tea seems to reduce the absorption of iron from food.
Gluten-free is the new mantra. A gluten-free diet is the only option for people with celiac disease. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rice, barley. It helps foods such as cereal, bread, and pasta to hold their shape. Avoiding foods that contain gluten can lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients, including iron, calcium, fiber, folate, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. Rice and breakfast cereals, which contain gluten are also fortified with vitamins. “Gluten is only bad for health, if you are a celiac” – Gaynor Bussel.
The protein powder segment held around 64.0% of the protein supplements market in terms of revenue in 2019. Research shows that you don’t need protein supplements unless you are a professional-level athlete in intense training or perhaps gravely ill from starvation or a wasting disease, and even then the need would be a case-by-case call. A woman requires 46 grams and a man requires 56 grams of daily protein, which can be attained by eating eggs, milk, nuts, chicken, fish. People prefer brown alternatives for rice, sugar and bread. Nutrition is all about context; where the food came from and how it was made, not its color.
Fresh vegetables and fruits make super-healthy snacks. Readymade snacks-baked not fried, low-cal, fat-free all have hidden ingredients that are not so healthy. Replace store bought yogurt with homemade yogurt, go to Youtube and learn how to make yogurt at home, it is easy and saves your time and money and health.
People have a sense of insecurity about their bodies. Only 56% of people believe they are in excellent or very good health.