When eating healthy becomes toxic...

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Thankfully, 'healthy' eating is becoming more and more mainstream. People are looking for fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains more often than they used to. The constant creation of new fad diets and nutrition information coming at us from all directions is for sure overwhelming. 

We all know the friend who won't eat pasta or dairy, is constantly spitting up new nutrition news/trends/facts, and is completely wrapped up in eating 'clean'. (What does that even mean?!) So when does this seemingly well-intended desire to eat 'healthy' go too far?

It goes too far and is even detrimental to a person's health and wellbeing when it becomes an unhealthy obsession or when...

...it gets in the way of his/her social life
This person's strong desire to eat 'clean' or 'pure' may prevent them from attending certain social or food centered events This person may not feel comfortable being around certain foods or around people eating those certain foods.

...he/she judges others on their food choices
The person is in utter disgust that you could possibly eat almonds or olives or whatever it may be, and they let you know it. They want you to get on board with their 'clean' way of eating.

This past fall, I was lucky enough to attend FNCE. FNCE is a national conference where food and nutrition professionals from around the country get together to learn about the latest and greatest research in our field. At FNCE, I attended a session in which a few experts discussed a lesser known eating disorder- Orthorexia. (Heard of it?) Keep in mind, the adoption of a dietary theory is not an eating disorder. It is the unhealthy obsession that makes it so. With this type of disordered eating, the person does not necessarily have a desire to be thin. They often adopt an obsession of being pure or clean. Orthorexia literally means an "obsession with eating the right food." This person is sometimes trying to 'fix' something else in their life through the context of food. 

If you are concerned about yourself or someone you may know. It would be beneficial to reach out to your doctor or dietitian for advice.