By Dr. Maeshowe Pierce
Orthorexia is the term for a condition that includes symptoms of obsessive behavior in pursuit of a healthy diet. We are inundated with information about food and what to eat. Eat only meat and veggies. Nope, fats and protein are the best! Nah, vegan is the healthiest. Wait, low fat is optimal! Forget all that, just don’t eat for 20 hours a day! It’s so confusing!!!! And all of this information can lead us to feel preoccupied with our health and what we eat. We are also living in a time where we are surrounded by delicious and abundant foods. Its challenging to have the self-control to skip those salty, fatty and sweet snacks. No wonder people are feeling so desperate to try new ways to lose weight or be healthy.
The problem comes when our thoughts and days become consumed with energy towards what to eat and what not to eat. We stop living our lives and become stressed about all of our choices. Or, some of our choices become stressful for our bodies. And just because you lose weight or are thin, does not mean you are healthy.
At Calypso Natural Clinic, we use your personal history, family history, exams and labs to decide what diet is best for you. Then we see how you do on that diet and make any necessary adjustments. Often patients come in attached to what they feel is working for them. And while we take that information into account, our goal is to support your health in the present and future. This may mean a shift in your diet even if you love the one you are on currently.
Here is a breakdown of some current diet trends and their pros and cons:
Paleo: Pros- Keeps your blood sugar down and increases your consumption of vegetables. Cons- Restrictive and not a lot of fruit consumption. Also relies heavily on animal protein.
Keto: Pros – Quick weight loss. Cons- Not healthy for your kidneys or GB long term. No fruit intake.
Vegan: Pros- Less inflammation from animal protein. High fiber and high nutrient (when done well). Cons- Can be difficult to get adequate protein or B12. Can rely too heavily on breads and premade snacks.
Intermittent Fasting: Pros- Gives your digestion a break. Decreases total amount of calories consumed a day. Cons- Tricks your body into thinking it is starving. May actually harm your metabolism. Can be stressful for your adrenal glands and thyroid.
The best diet is the one that works with your body and improves your health. If you have questions, make an appointment. If you are not a patient, we are happy to do consultations. We can come up with something that is best for you.