Orthorexia: Why it’s healthy to eat “unhealthy” foods. Unrestricted.

In this podcast Tabitha talks about orthorexia and why it is important to be able to eat all kinds of food without stress — including foods that you judge as unhealthy.

I see orthorexia as a restrictive eating disorder. The goalposts may be slightly altered, but it is still restricting certain types of food that the sufferer deems to be “unhealthy.”

If you have orthorexia you may find that you feel stressed about eating things like:

  • Fatty foods
  • Sugar and sweets
  • Salt
  • Artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • Pesticides or genetic modification
  • Non-organic foods
  • Animal products
  • Dairy products
  • Anything considered to be unhealthy

People with orthorexia often also get obsessive about foods that they consider to be “healthy”. So supplements may be excessively bought and used. Organic foods, foods that are sold as “health” foods.

Orthorexia is simply another form of fear-based dietary restriction. It is an eating disorder. Control, choice and freedom mean that you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. No food is off limits. No food causes fear.


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What do you think?

  1. Tabitha, thanks for this podcast. I like how you tied anorexia into it. I have a topic I wanted to suggest for another podcast: the physical damages done to the body by restriction. Especially the wasting away of muscle from the body basically eating itself to survive, and the organ damage/shutting down that can occur. And then how can this be detected. What does it look like on and in the body? What can we, who have anorexia look for (visual signs) and what should our doctors look for visually as well as in tests/lab work done? Are there specific tests, scans, imaging things they can do to show the actual damage that is being done or has already occurred? Sorry to be so lengthy here but this topic I feel is important and given I am struggling in my recovery, I think it could motivate me to know and see proof of the damage being done in and to my body. Thanks!

  2. I found this podcast to be very interesting, especially the part where you talked a bit about how the body decreases its need for nutrient dense foods when in a state of famine. Would this explain why, right now in my first week of TRUE recovery, that my body wants to always include fruits and vegetables in my meals? Or could this be an underlying subconscious Anorexia craving that I just haven’t quite taken into account? I’ve always been a vegetable and fruit eater, but before my eating disorder my mind did not consider them a necessity in my daily food intake. I just ate them when either I wanted them or when my parent’s fixed them as part of a family meal. I’m hoping I can get back to this open and carefree mindset further down the line in my recovery but it was a thought that crossed my mind listening to this.