Low carb, high fat. Keto. Gluten free. Dairy free. Vegan. Raw food. The list is seemingly endless. More and more people are adopting these diets in the race to stay healthy and fit.
Some have gone to the extreme, taking every care to ensure they do not violate the rules and boundaries that the diet lays down, leading to a term called orthorexia nervosa coined by Steven Bratman, a San Francisco-based physician. Orthorexia is not an interest in healthy eating — it occurs when enthusiasm becomes a pathological obsession, which leads to social isolation, psychological disturbance and even physical harm.
In today’s mad rat race, people are trying to stay as fit as possible given the sedentary lifestyle most lead. Diet is a crucial part in the race to get fit. In fact, most trainers and sports nutritionists say fitness equals 80 per cent diet and 20 per cent exercise.
But the key to which diet works best lies with you and what suits your body. But what most do agree upon is that processed food such as chips and biscuits, white bread, sugar, carbonated drinks and excess salt are bad for health. Those who are disciplined or committed to sport do manage to give these products up. They follow a healthy diet of protein, vegetables and fruit, which gives them the strength and stamina to train for hours.
But for the majority, cutting these products out completely may not be possible. Moderation then is the key along with regular exercise, both strength and cardiovascular. It will serve you well not to get too obsessed with one diet, which may lead to orthorexia. A balanced diet coupled with exercise is best for mind and body.