Organic foods are claimed to have higher nutrition content but can they actually help you lose weight? The issue isn’t that organic foods cause weight loss, but that their counterparts, conventional foods, may cause weight gain. Should you eat organic to lose weight?
Organic foods do not contain any extra ingredients to increase metabolism or weight loss. So how could eating organic make you lose weight?
It’s not that the organic foods themselves induce weight loss, but that conventional foods have additives that may lead to weight gain. Not only may the foods you buy have added growth hormones and antibiotics, but the pesticides used may lead to weight gain.
Pesticides and Weight Gain? A common herbicide (a type of pesticide), atrazine, was shown to cause weight gain in a study published by the Seoul National University College of Medicine. Not only did the mice gain weight, but there was an increase in visceral fat. Increased visceral fat in humans leads to a greater risk of heart disease and other health issues.
Atrazine is one of the most common pesticides used on crops, especially sweet corn. There is currently no viable alternative for weed control in sweet corn production. Until other methods are discovered or there is a ban, atrazine use will continue.
Can You Reduce Exposure to Pesticides to Avoid Weight Gain? Thorough washing of conventional produce can remove most external residue. However, as the plants are growing, pesticides can be drawn into the plant through the roots from contaminated soil and water.
Perhaps not enough of these chemicals get into the food to cause health risks. But you have to wonder if these chemicals accumulate in the human body over time. If they do, weight gain might not be the only health risk we have to worry about.
Eating Organic to Avoid Weight Gain from Pesticides. A growing alternative to conventional produce is to buy organic. For a product to be certified as “organic”, it must meet certain guidelines including limits on pesticides and additives used to grow and increase crops.
Help Guide offers a page all about organic foods. You can find what qualifies a food as organic. Also, there is more information on organic versus conventional foods. You can find out which fruits and vegetables are more and less likely to contain higher levels of pesticides as well.
Should You Eat Organic to Lose Weight? Organic foods do not directly cause you to lose weight. But if you’ve tried losing weight with little success, the pesticides in conventional produce might be part of the problem. Since organic foods should not contain atrazine that could cause weight gain, you may want to go organic when trying to lose weight.
Soo Lim, et. al.; Chronic Exposure to the Herbicide, Atrazine, Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Insulin Resistance; Plos One
Help Guide; Organic Foods: Understanding Organic Food Labels, Benefits, and Claims