Diets & Modern Human: How Staying at Extremes of the Spectrum Ruins Lives

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how diet affects your mental health

Why are modern humans obsessed with the idea of diets? Why is everybody having this undying desire to feel special? This obsession leads us to follow a diet or a certain health guru, convinced it would guarantee transformation of some sort. As such, we ignore our natural instincts and let an illusion of perfection corrupt our inherent self.

This fantasy, a chimera in your brain, affects both your reality and subconscious. The constant fear of eating the wrong food, anxiously checking labels, and always living on the edge – ask yourself, is this what you wanted out of your health journey?

A lot of young people with a quest to look a certain way, feel healthy, or even mask one of their many addictions, fall into the deep pothole of extreme diets and fad eating protocols. This appetite for health and attention is one of the biggest reasons why 70% of the youth is suffering from at least one form of an eating disorder or a mental health issue.

So, what awaits us at the end of this arduous pathway? Let’s dive deep:

1The Fat Phobia

It was at the beginning of the early 1950s when commerce products were introduced to the consumers. And, one such product was the vegetable oil and margarine (hydrogenated fat), which marked the start of the “fall of the fats”.

Soon, people were fed with misleading information about the good fats, animal protein, and some cooked fats, such as butter and ghee. Even though companies had profit and health both in mind, this “shun fat” movement made people paranoid about their health.

They started taking their calories seriously, eating less fats, and dwindled between diets like a pendulum. It was a journey to find a diet that lets them incorporate no fats at all.

2The Body Dysmorphia

Is the mirror in your room a foe? You may have borderline image dysmorphia. People are not aware of the fact that our brains are 48% cholesterol. There are numerous studies proving that lack of fats and cholesterol in the diet often leads to a condition called body image dysmorphia. An individual suffering from this condition has a distorted sense of existence and often projects their physical insecurities that do not even exist or are ideally not worth mentioning.

Physical attributes become an obsession and a person’s sanity may start to fall apart. For instance, a skinny girl might not feel highly of herself and strive to get even leaner, or an overweight individual thinks he is at a healthy weight. There are also instances when one obsesses over diets, diet plans, and fats in the food. Hence, this malfunction in the brain can warp reality that makes those who suffer from the condition struggle even more.

3Disturbing Behavioral Patterns

Notice the youth. Do they seem strange? Ask about their daily calorie intake and the replies shall leave you baffled. The modern human is delusional, often reaching out for that illusion of perfect health. Switching from one diet to another, ridiculous fasting protocols, practices, such as keto, veganism, fruitarianism, and only-seeds diet have wreaked havoc on their bodies.

A study by Harvard University states that lack of certain nutrients like cholesterol causes fits of rage, extreme tattooing, anger issues, sexual abuse, drugs, and even depression. The biggest pharmaceutical weapon- the anti-cholesterol, is often regarded as the culprit behind these self-sabotage tendencies in elderly people or young adults on these medications.

4Cognitive Distortion

Cognitive distortion impedes rational thinking and sabotages the doer mindset. A distorted sense of reality, unrealistic goal setting, and negative thought patterns are some of the visible symptoms. People with cognitive distortion find themselves trapped in their erroneous perception of reality.

Myelin, the intricate web of nerves coating the central nervous system, is a thick layer that protects the brain. Myelin needs fats and cholesterol to function properly. People who follow strict diets and focus on the exterior image lack dietary fats and HDL (good cholesterol) in their meals.

The prolonged absence of fats starves the myelin and this triggers the parasympathetic nervous system. Depression, anger issues, and irrational thinking start to unfold. For instance, observe long-term vegans and their speech issues.

5Eating Disorders

The cataclysmic events, with their roots in one’s childhood, eventually results into some form of an eating disorder. Bulimia nervosa, anorexia, and behaviors to recoup the self-sabotage activities, such as self-induced vomiting, laxative overuse, social media, and sexual activities are the connotations that no one likes to talk about.

Past trauma and extreme diets are some of the detected prime culprits. Statistical data on bulimia nervosa shows that 1.7%-2.0% of adult women and 0.5-0.7% of men, globally, suffer from a lifetime eating disorder and visit rehabs to counter relapse. Moreover, the data also states that 17% of the recovered subjects are likely to relapse.

People who suffer from an eating disorder escape frontline diagnosis and are confused with people who are simply losing weight due to stress or some kind of workload. Psychotherapy and complete support from family members are some of the surefire ways to help the patients.

6Amenorrhea & Body Hair Epidemic

As much as you would love to admit how social media created unusual gigs, it is equally disappointing to see that it glorifies absurdity as well. Some of the bizarre online activities that gradually became a trend are: fat acceptance (even if it kills you), body hair, acne acceptance, beauty DIYs, and loss of menstrual cycle. Yes, you read it right – loss of period.

A lot of influencers online take this as a normal biological process and regard it as a way to achieve greater consciousness. The medical journals diagnose this condition as amenorrhea. A condition, quite similar to anorexia, wherein the subject loses their period due to malnutrition, as well as malabsorption, and develop body hair. This condition reaches its severity when the individual is declared infertile or incapable to procreate.

There is a strange war between the obvious and some hoax, an altercation between the inner body signals and deep indoctrination. The modern human, unlike hominids in the paleolithic era who listened to their survival instincts, prefers listening to half-baked information.

The extreme diets, the severe health protocols, and all this for what? This is only to shed the skin we are supposed to be in and don something that is totally strange to our real self – both biologically and spiritually.

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Author: Vineeta Tiwari

Vineeta Tiwari is a passionate writer and a side-project aficionado. Into Digital content creation for 6 years, she enjoys writing research-based articles on Health & Wellness, Life Skills, Emotional Health, and more interesting facts. Apart from this, Economy & Career is another domain that holds her interest. As a side-project, she is also associated with a Government of India project, which aims to educate and uplift students from rural areas.

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