Are Organic Foods Clean Automatically?
Hey fit friends! When people find out I’m gluten-free, the first thing they often say to me is “oh, do you do that as a diet?” At this point I want to respond by pointing out all of the gluten free donuts, chips, cookies, and cakes that are available! One common misconception people have about food restrictions is that narrowing down your foods or leaving out certain ingredients automatically makes your diet healthy. Obviously, I could be gluten-free and still overindulge in sugary, high-glycemic, highly processed foods and be much less healthy than a person who eats a well-balanced diet without eliminating gluten. Is the same thing to be said with organic foods? Are organic foods clean?
“Organically grown” food is food grown and processed using no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. I’ve been doing lots of research lately on organic foods, because I’ve become interested in some claims that eating organic helps to balance hormones. However, a question seems to appear in forums and blogs and comment sections all across the board: is eating organic food equivalent to eating healthy food? And is it cleaner to eat organic products rather than those that are commercially grown? There are two sides to this argument, because there are certainly beneficial health aspects to organically grown foods that outweigh the benefits of their competition.
Organic clean eating recipes
The main trap to make sure you don’t find yourself in is the old “oh, it’s organic, that means healthy!” trap. If you see a packet of cookies at the grocery store, most of you are likely to think “hmm, cookies = bad for me” and put the sugary troublemakers back down on the shelf (where they belong). However, if you were to see a packet of cookies at the store riddled with labels like “100% natural ingredients!” and “Certified organic” or “Fair trade!” you are way more likely to put them in your cart! We’re all guilty of this, and I can’t say that I always avoid this trap myself! I mean, they have to be a little bit better for you, right? And they probably are to an extent, so when you do feel like treating yourself, go ahead and pick up a box of organic cookies or an organic chocolate bar! It’s all about balance, and you should be enjoying life, even when you have fitness goals!
What foods are clean calories?
Eating organic clean food can help you get all of the nutrition that nature provides us within the foods you are eating. High processed or chemically treated fruits and veggies have less of the nutrients than organic options, which is made evident in their taste and even appearance! Have you ever looked at an organically grown food, such as a bag of organic carrots, next to the same food that was treated with pesticides? The color and size of the organic carrots will be noticeably darker, richer looking, and larger than the chemically treated carrots! As we know, the darker the veggie or fruit is, the more nutrients it generally contains; therefore, the organic carrots will visibly have more nutrients than the conventionally grown carrots!
That being said, the thing to watch for is that you don’t become overly obsessed with eating only organic, because you may limit yourself in variety and nutrient intake due to fear of pesticides. While eating a certified organic apple is superior to eating a commercially grown apple, eating a commercially grown apple is superior to eating no apple at all! The nutritional benefits of an apple outweighs its low pesticide content, and should be included in your diet regardless.
If you are planning to go organic, here are some guidelines to help you get started! There are some food where it is more important to buy them organic than others. Here are some foods that should be first on your list when you are making the switch to eating organic!
Apples (gala, red delicious, green apples, honey crisp, etc)
Fruits with peelings that you do not eat are not quite as crucial to buy organic (see banana nutrition facts), although you should keep in mind that the pesticides will seep into the earth and end up inside the fruits, regardless of if you are eating the skin or not.
Chard (Swiss, rainbow, etc)
As rule of thumb, any veggies that you can eat without removing the skin or husk should be grown organically to avoid excess consumption of pesticides. Don’t let this limit your veggie consumption if organic veggies are not always available! You can still absorb nutrients that are essential to your health and well-being from all fruits and veggies.
Have fun nourishing your body with organically grown, nutritious foods, babes!