A healthy, balanced diet – sometimes called Clean Eating – is one of the cornerstones of our PURE DELIGHT nutrition philosophy. We believe that a healthy diet not only gives you well-being, but can also prevent illness and obesity. What is important to us is the “80/20 rule,” which states that 80 percent of the food you eat should be “clean”. The remaining 20 percent, on the other hand, leave enough room for less natural foods and guilty pleasures, which may not have particularly great ingredients, but which are at the very top of the pleasure scale.
But isn’t 100 percent healthy food even better? Not necessarily. Researchers have found out that you can also eat too healthy. In 1997, Steven Bratman, an American doctor, even went so far as to suggest that the compulsive fixation on the exclusive consumption of food that is subjectively considered healthy is a mental disorder called “Orthorexia nervosa”. Although orthorexia has not been recognized as an independent disorder, it has in theory found many supporters who agree with Bratman and report numerous clear cases.
To determine if someone suffers from orthorexia, or, as Bratman himself, has suffered from it in the past, can be done by simply a honest self-observation. The following list of questions, designed by Bratman, serves as a guide:
- Do you spend more than three hours a day thinking about your diet?
- Do you plan your meals several days in advance?
- Is the nutritional value of your meal more important to you than the pleasure of consuming it?
- Has the increase in the assumed food quality led to a reduction in your quality of life?
- Have you become stricter with yourself lately?
- Do you completely renounce food that you used to like to eat in the past in order to now eat “properly”?
- Does healthy eating increase your self-esteem?
- Do you look down on others who do not?
- Do you feel guilty if you deviate from your diet?
- Are you socially isolated by your eating habits?
- When you eat healthy food, do you feel happy and think that you have everything under control?
- Do your eating habits cause you problems going out and distance you from friends and family?
Bratman’s theory: Whoever answers more than 4 questions of these questions with yes, could suffer from orthorexia.
Incidentally, studies have shown that it is predominantly women who are affected, particularly often younger people and those who are active in sports. Orthorexia is treated similarly to other eating disorders. The main aim is to normalize and relax the eating behavior. Those affected should learn to indulge themselves again because it tastes good or they like it, without asking about its nutritional value and health consequences.
The 80/20 rule protects against obsession and creates a healthy balance
Anyone who lives a healthy life in principle, but allows a little bit of unhealthy sustenance in moderation, don’t need to fear that virtue will at some point become compulsive behavior.
In addition, we do not recommend our cleanse programs as a long-term nutritional strategy, but as way to get back in balance, when the 20 percent may have shifted to become 40-50 percent, as a purifying break or as a start to a long-term change in diet.