Logo Nautilus Plus Noir et blanc
UltimeFit, La plateforme d'entrainement en ligne Find a gym Promotions COVID-19 measures FR
Log in
User icon
Free trial
Icone abonnement

Obsessing About Healthy Foods: When Should We Stop?

There is a nutrition-related behavior that is similar to anorexia called “orthorexia”. Orthorexia is the obsession of eating exclusively pure foods that we have deemed “healthy”.

Here are some personality traits that people suffering from this psychological disorder may possess:

  • These people tend to be “all or nothing”. They prioritize “good” foods (vegetables, for example), and avoid “bad” foods, such as products that are fat, sweet, salted, non-organic, genetically modified, with preservatives or pesticides, etc.
  • They analyse each nutritional label or ingredient list in a rigorous manner, as well as the origin of the products and their manufacturing methods. They also worry about the way they will prepare and cook these foods.
  • Generally speaking, they give more importance to the nutritional quality of a meal than its taste.
  • It can happen that these people do not have complete control over the foods they eat. In that case, they can feel guilty, have a low sense of self-worth, and a general feeling of failure.

When orthorexia harms your health

“What’s wrong with eating exclusively natural, healthy, and nutritive foods,” will you ask me?

First, nutrition should be viewed as a whole. For example, we know that salmon contains omega-3 fats, and that these are beneficial to heart health. On the other hand, eating only salmon and neglecting other protein sources, such as poultry, eggs, or legumes can lead to a lack in certain nutrients. Don’t forget: what’s important is to vary your nutrition!

Also, the urge to have a perfect nutrition can even lead to restraining oneself from eating out at the restaurant, or at a friend’s house. This could affect your mood, as well as your quality of life.

In short, if you believe you suffer from orthorexia, I advise you make an appointment with a nutritionist. Together, you will be able to target the specific problem as well as its cause, and map out a personalized action plan in order to slowly reintegrate pleasure and variety in your nutrition.

By Vanessa Martin


ANEB Quebec. Article about orthorexia. Online. < http://www.anebquebec.com/pdf/bulletin_elec/quatrieme_edition.pdf >. Page viewed on february 1st, 2013.

Geneviève Pilon, and Martin Gaudreau-Pollenter. 2012 (septembre). Orthorexie : quand l’alimentation passe de l’« oral » à la « morale ». Psychologie Québec, 29(5), 33-35.

Vanessa Martin

A newcomer to Nautilus Plus, Vanessa Martin holds a degree in nutrition from the Université de Montréal and is a member in good standing of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec. She also works in the hospital setting and loves to blog in her spare time. Passionate and versatile, Vanessa plans on enhancing her knowledge in the field of psychology with an eye to better guiding and motivating the habit-changing endeavors of her clients. Member of a running club, she enjoys taking part in the competitions organized in her area. Vanessa is currently training for a 21 km race and would like to run her first marathon!

Obsessing About Healthy Foods: When Should We Stop? is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
Copyright © I'm taking charge 2013

I'm Taking Charge - Blog