Orthorexia

124»

Replies

  • Christine_72
    Christine_72 Posts: 16,056 Member
    This isn't related to orthorexia... But the posts above about cancer sufferers and clean eating reminded of a friend of the family, who I would say went the opposite direction.

    He lived with his mum for the first 55 years of his life. She cooked his every meal for him, all of which came from their garden or the farm in their town. I very much doubt there was a "packet" or "tinned" food in their house.

    Long story short, she died leaving her helpless son behind. He then met a woman who was equally inept at cooking. He went from 100% clean eating, in the purest sense of the word! To take aways, tv dinners and the most basic home cooked meals every now and then. 5 years later he dropped dead of heart failure and was in the beginning stage of cancer, cant remember which one. The story goes, his body simply died of shock...

    Coincidence maybe, we'll never know...
  • Ohmum
    Ohmum Posts: 7 Member
    AJ_G wrote: »
    It's all about how you approach eating food. If you externalize everything and look at the food as the cause of things, you will begin to demonize certain foods. If you internalize it, you'll realize that you are in control of what you eat, and how active you are and you can understand that there aren't good foods and bad foods, healthy foods and unhealthy foods, there are just foods with different macro and micro nutrient makeups, and if you combine them correctly, you can always come up with a healthy diet.

    Great post!
  • Ohmum
    Ohmum Posts: 7 Member
    Thanks for the replies everyone. I going to err on the side of caution and keep myself in check. I try my best to eat organic and even though I eat meat, I have cut out sugar, dairy and wheat (for my own benefit - not due to following a certain programme).

    I guess it also depends on my goal, and, self-awareness. In other words 'keeping it real' :)
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    veganbaum wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Orphia wrote: »
    @tomatoey a more recent review of studies has shown there is no significant nutritional difference between organically and conventionally grown fruit and vegetables.

    http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/organic-food-no-more-nutritious-than-conventionally-grown-food-201209055264

    It's not nutritional differences that drive me to buy organic and grow my own food, but pesticide.

    EWG's 2015 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

    Nearly two-thirds of the 3,015 produce samples tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2013 contained pesticide residues

    ...Pesticides persisted on fruits and vegetables tested by USDA, even when they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

    USDA EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce recognizes that many people who want reduce their exposure to pesticides in produce cannot find or afford an all-organic diet. It helps them seek out conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that tend to test low for pesticide residues. When they want foods whose conventional versions test high for pesticides, they can make an effort to locate organic versions.

    Highlights of Dirty Dozen™ 2015

    EWG singles out produce with the highest pesticide loads for its Dirty Dozen™ list. This year, it is comprised of apples, peaches, nectarines, strawberries, grapes, celery, spinach, sweet bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and potatoes.

    Each of these foods tested positive a number of different pesticide residues and showed higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce items.

    Key findings:
    • 99 percent of apple samples, 98 percent of peaches, and 97 percent of nectarines tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
    • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce. [see next post for more]
    • A single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper sample contained 15 pesticides.
    • Single samples of cherry tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.

    The Clean Fifteen™

    EWG's Clean Fifteen™ list of produce least likely to hold pesticide residues consists of avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, frozen sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticides on them.

    Key findings:
    • Avocados were the cleanest: only 1 percent of avocado samples showed any detectable pesticides.
    • Some 89 percent of pineapples, 82 percent of kiwi, 80 percent of papayas, 88 percent of mango and 61 percent of cantaloupe had no residues.
    • No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen™ tested positive for more than 4 types of pesticides.
    • Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen™ vegetables. Only 5.5 percent of Clean Fifteen samples had two or more pesticides.

    See the full list.

    Read more: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

    I try to choose organic mainly for that reason. I have used the Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen as a guide to choosing when I have to make a choice. I would generally prefer organic, even if it's on the Clean Fifteen list, because I have found that organic produce usually tastes better to me. Conventional tomatoes, unless they are hydroponically grown, are mushy and tasteless to me. Organic, or from my own garden if I have one, are delicious. Conventional bananas are bland. Organic actually taste like, well, a banana. However, I have found that conventional oranges of any type are usually tastier than organic, so I'll buy conventional. Doesn't seem crazy reasoning to me.

  • eruthe93
    eruthe93 Posts: 1 Member
    I had a diagnosis of OCD for years before I went on a calorie counting diet. As soon as I lost a pound or two I was obsessed with counting and eating healthy. If I ate 3 baby carrots, I would log 3 baby carrots. I stepped on the scale twice a day, would not eat pizza, and exercised excessively. I eventually had to teach myself that a piece of cake would not kill my diet. Now, starting over I know to incorporate dark chocolate, the occasional frozen yogurt ect.
  • bpetrosky
    bpetrosky Posts: 3,911 Member
    eruthe93 wrote: »
    I had a diagnosis of OCD for years before I went on a calorie counting diet. As soon as I lost a pound or two I was obsessed with counting and eating healthy. If I ate 3 baby carrots, I would log 3 baby carrots. I stepped on the scale twice a day, would not eat pizza, and exercised excessively. I eventually had to teach myself that a piece of cake would not kill my diet. Now, starting over I know to incorporate dark chocolate, the occasional frozen yogurt ect.

    That sounds like you went through a pretty rough time the first time around. I'm glad you're working it out on a stronger basis this time.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited June 2015
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Organic bananas picked and eaten in Costa Rica are like ambrosia from the gods :)

    Best fish I ever had in my life was in Costa Rica as well. Caught and cooked within an hour.

    Some foods just don't transport as well as others. That's part of the problem with tomatoes - they are picked too early so they will transport.

    Supermarket kale that comes already chopped up is like a different food than the kale I pick from my garden, which is much more tender. Ditto for asparagus - garden asparagus doesn't even need to be cooked.

    Best bananas I've had were apple bananas in Hawaii. No clue if they were organic or not (and that seems unlikely to matter for bananas). They were local, though. Similarly, I think supermarket tomatoes and strawberries have no relationship to the excellency of local, fresh varieties, and thus I rarely buy either from the supermarket (except I do buy and prefer canned tomatoes out of season--one of my "dirty" choices, according to some). Hawaiian dragonfruit is amazing, yet I've heard it doesn't travel well at all. I also know Nicaraguan mangos put the ones I've had here to shame (although I still like them better than nothing and I simply cannot grow them, and the same goes for bananas, although I actually don't recall the Nicaraguan bananas tasting that different, to my palate). The plantains were better, but that's probably because I'm not great at preparing them by comparison.

    Anyway, not sure why we are talking about this here, as absolutely no one has suggested that there's anything wrong with preferring local fruits (although the bigger question is what if it's not available--should I not eat bananas even though I think they taste fine? should I not eat non local veggies even though that means my choices in winter and early spring are basically non existent? I'd be seriously interested in your response here). The point that has been made is that there's nothing unhealthy or contrary to nutrition about eating non local or non organic produce. If doing so floats your boat (like getting a CSA and sourcing your meat from local farms, like I do, floats my boat), no one criticizes. It's when you start claiming that those who don't do that don't care about nutrition or telling others they must do that or not be healthy or--as with orthorexia--the anxiety about not doing so interferes with daily life or your ability to eat that it's an issue.

    You say you don't judge others, but from your posts here you seem pretty invested in arguing that your choices are superior to those others make. Am I misunderstanding you? If so, what are the points of the most recent posts?
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    I firmly believe that my mom has orthorexia. She has been battling breast cancer and follows a version of "clean eating" that has her cutting out dairy, gluten, sugar, anything from packages, and a long list of things that I just haven't paid attention to enough to remember. It has gotten to the point that she makes everyone miserable every time we try to go out to eat or have a family party because she obsesses over what she can and can't eat. She is firmly convinced that if any of the "unclean" foods touch her lips, her cancer is going to come back. She demonizes food groups, literally cries if she sees my sister or me eating things she thinks are bad, and has let this fear control almost every aspect of her day to day life. I avoid visiting my parents close to mealtimes because it becomes a nightmare.

    Focusing on nutrition and properly fueling your body is one thing. I'm all for taking care of yourself. Demonizing and obsessing over food is another.

    Wow, my sympathies for your situation. That sounds awful.

    Cancer is bad enough, but orthorexia on top is just terrible.

    My sister had what I would now call orthorexia about 10 years ago, not eating meat, nor dairy, only organic, no gluten, and so on. She ended up extremely thin and having no periods for years, until after trying everything she realised her diet was too strict.

    Now she's not quite so bad. Just a bit annoyingly "crunchy". ;)

    I hope your mother has a realisation so she finds more enjoyment in her life. It can't be nice being so obsessed with things. My best wishes to you.
  • veganbaum
    veganbaum Posts: 2,002 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    Organic bananas picked and eaten in Costa Rica are like ambrosia from the gods :)

    Best fish I ever had in my life was in Costa Rica as well. Caught and cooked within an hour.

    Some foods just don't transport as well as others. That's part of the problem with tomatoes - they are picked too early so they will transport.

    Supermarket kale that comes already chopped up is like a different food than the kale I pick from my garden, which is much more tender. Ditto for asparagus - garden asparagus doesn't even need to be cooked.

    Best bananas I've had were apple bananas in Hawaii. No clue if they were organic or not (and that seems unlikely to matter for bananas). They were local, though. Similarly, I think supermarket tomatoes and strawberries have no relationship to the excellency of local, fresh varieties, and thus I rarely buy either from the supermarket (except I do buy and prefer canned tomatoes out of season--one of my "dirty" choices, according to some). Hawaiian dragonfruit is amazing, yet I've heard it doesn't travel well at all. I also know Nicaraguan mangos put the ones I've had here to shame (although I still like them better than nothing and I simply cannot grow them, and the same goes for bananas, although I actually don't recall the Nicaraguan bananas tasting that different, to my palate). The plantains were better, but that's probably because I'm not great at preparing them by comparison.

    Anyway, not sure why we are talking about this here, as absolutely no one has suggested that there's anything wrong with preferring local fruits (although the bigger question is what if it's not available--should I not eat bananas even though I think they taste fine? should I not eat non local veggies even though that means my choices in winter and early spring are basically non existent? I'd be seriously interested in your response here). The point that has been made is that there's nothing unhealthy or contrary to nutrition about eating non local or non organic produce. If doing so floats your boat (like getting a CSA and sourcing your meat from local farms, like I do, floats my boat), no one criticizes. It's when you start claiming that those who don't do that don't care about nutrition or telling others they must do that or not be healthy or--as with orthorexia--the anxiety about not doing so interferes with daily life or your ability to eat that it's an issue.

    You say you don't judge others, but from your posts here you seem pretty invested in arguing that your choices are superior to those others make. Am I misunderstanding you? If so, what are the points of the most recent posts?

    I'm not the PP, but I just took from their (sorry, didn't check gender) post that that they choose organic NOT because they believe there's a nutritional difference, but because of other concerns about the effects of pesticide. I didn't get that they see themselves as superior, but were rather adding to the conversation that some people choose organic for reasons other than thinking the food is superior nutritionally speaking.

    I saw their next response about fish and bananas as just a response to mine about how I find the flavor different, which is also a big reason why I choose organic. And their response goes to locality. I do think local also tastes better, probably because it can be taken to market close to when it was harvested. I only buy fresh peaches when one of our local farmers has his harvest, because most other peaches are watery and tasteless to me. So, I'd rather have peaches that are delicious for just a short period during the year than spend my money on peaches I don't really enjoy. But anyway, I didn't get a superior vibe, just someone trying to show that there are people who choose organic for reasons other than nutrition. But that's just me.

    A lot of times, it does seem others can get judgmental about those who choose organic and immediately jump in with arguments about nutritional differences, which makes it seem like they don't realize there may be many reasons people choose organic. Not saying that's the truth about what they think, because obviously I don't know what they think. But their response comes across that way. It's just kind of typical of some of what you see on MFP these days - black and white. Just like those who follow IIFYM will complain about others who try to make it seem like they don't care about nutrition and just eat junk. Some of that is because this is all written communication, which can make it easier to seem like one is stating an absolute when they're not. I just took PP's posts as demonstrating there are other reasons for choosing organic. And ultimately that relates to the OP because just choosing organic does not mean you have to suddenly be worried about whether you're stepping over into orthorexia.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited June 2015
    veganbaum wrote: »
    I didn't get that they see themselves as superior, but were rather adding to the conversation that some people choose organic for reasons other than thinking the food is superior nutritionally speaking.

    If I misinterpreted, I'm sorry.

    I didn't see it that way, because others of us (including me) had already noted that there were reasons besides nutrition to choose local or the like. So the poster in question's posts seemed to be intended for some other purpose, especially since I saw the argument, such as it was, as about the nutritional benefits.
    I saw their next response about fish and bananas as just a response to mine about how I find the flavor different, which is also a big reason why I choose organic.

    I don't think there's a different taste to organic, as it's from all over. (Organic tomatoes carted in from far away taste just as bad as conventional tomatoes from far away, for the same reasons. I strongly suspect that if you compared two local tomatoes you couldn't taste the difference between one that had been certified organic and one that was not.) However, although this is my view, I don't care if someone else disagrees and buys organic or if they think the difference in pesticide vs. not is worth the cost difference when buying from a supermarket. I only think it's orthorexic (the topic) if one is so scared of getting non organic produce that one cannot eat food they didn't prepare themselves and this affects your ability to participate in regular life in some significant way, if there's serious anxiety surrounding it.

    Personally, I do think (as I had previously said) that there's a taste reason to prefer some local products, of course, but from a nutrition perspective there is a limit to what's available locally, and I personally don't want to eat vegetables only when I can get them out of my garden. I live in the northern midwest--that would be quite limiting. (I make judgments based on what I think is much better locally and what is not--so like you I don't care to eat peaches out of season and I only eat local, in season corn, fresh tomatoes and strawberries when locally available, etc., but personally I do eat broccoli and spinach and bananas and canned tomatoes all year round.) I make my choices and don't judge those others make, so I find it obnoxious when others seem to be proclaiming their choices as the One True Way in a thread that's about something else.
    A lot of times, it does seem others can get judgmental about those who choose organic and immediately jump in with arguments about nutritional differences, which makes it seem like they don't realize there may be many reasons people choose organic.

    The specific issue in this thread was about nutrition, though.
    And ultimately that relates to the OP because just choosing organic does not mean you have to suddenly be worried about whether you're stepping over into orthorexia.

    But of course no one was saying that simply choosing organic makes you orthorexic. I usually eat organic simply because the local suppliers I choose are also organic.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,279 Member
    veganbaum wrote: »

    [snipped for brevity]

    I just took PP's posts as demonstrating there are other reasons for choosing organic. And ultimately that relates to the OP because just choosing organic does not mean you have to suddenly be worried about whether you're stepping over into orthorexia.

    Exactly, thank you.

  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,279 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »

    [snipped for brevity]

    I make my choices and don't judge those others make, so I find it obnoxious when others seem to be proclaiming their choices as the One True Way in a thread that's about something else.

    I express my thought process around my choices the same way you do, with "I" statements. Should I ever start making "You must" proclamations, do take me to task for One True Way-ism :)
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited June 2015
    Fair enough. I'm sorry for jumping to conclusions or reading into your posts.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,279 Member
    Thanks :)
  • saeku
    saeku Posts: 11 Member
    I was "orthorexic" back in college, I think. Was vegan, then cut out gluten, then all grains, then soy (plus some weird stuff like apples, raw tomatoes, and sunflower seeds.) By the end I was eating almost 100% local fruit and veg, hummus, pasta sauce, and Vega protein powder. Was miserable 24/7 and a frequent flier in the ER, and lost a ton of muscle mass as well as many friends because I avoided any kind of social occasion involving food.

    The messed up thing about it was that I never believed in animal welfare or any nutrition woo. Avoiding foods was a compulsive cycle that started when something traumatic happened in my life. Semi-starvation causes obsessive behavior (see: Minnesota Starvation Experiment), and when your subject of obsession is food, it's a vicious cycle. I can't imagine anybody subjecting themselves to that kind of lifestyle by getting "too into" healthy eating, unless they have some pre-existing severe anxiety.