Many people, upon hearing the word “organic,” think of organically-grown fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables will help you lose weight because fruits and vegetables are usually high in fiber, which helps you feel full for a long while, and low in fat and calories. Those benefits apply regardless of whether the fruits and vegetables are organic or not.
The term “organic” doesn’t just apply to fruits and vegetables, though. Organic foods are foods grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, weed killers or pesticides. Organic meats come from animals raised with antibiotics or growth hormones. You can buy organic beef, chicken and eggs. Any food made from organic ingredients is also considered to be organic, so you can even buy organic cookies or snack chips.
Now, most organic cookies are going to be healthier for you than most non-organic cookies. For instance, Bellas organic oatmeal raisin cookies contain no artificial coloring or flavoring and no preservatives. They have no ingredients you can’t pronounce or won’t recognize as food. And they are sweetened with agave nectar, so they only have four grams of sugar per serving. Compare these to Keebler Country Style oatmeal cookies with raisins, which are not organic. The Keebler cookies contain both white sugar and high fructose corn syrup. One serving has eight grams of sugar, twice as much as the organic cookies. However, a serving of the Bellas organic cookies has 180 calories. A serving of the Keebler cookies only has 130 calories. If you’re watching your weight, the Bellas cookies might not be the best choice, even though they are organic.
Of course, calories are not the only thing we should look at when we want to make healthy food choices. The non-organic cookies contain high fructose corn syrup, which may convert to fat more readily than some other forms of sweetener. It can also contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes and it increases the appetite. Avoiding high fructose corn syrup can help you lose weight.
It should also be noted that when people eat an organic diet, they usually avoid a lot of processed foods. That’s not always true. You can buy organic cookies, organic macaroni and cheese in a box, organic frozen dinners and organic desserts. Processed foods are often high in calories, high in carbohydrates and high in sodium. Those things will not necessarily help you lose weight, even though they are organic. But in general, people that eat an organic diet focus on homemade meals and snacks and eat a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, which will help you lose weight.
The Mayo Clinic reports that there is no evidence that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods, though many people believe they are. In the end, just how healthy a food is may depend on a number of factors, including how many calories it has, its fat and sugar content, and the ingredients it contains. If you want to lose weight, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and limit processed food items. Look for foods that are low in fat and calories and that contain little or no added sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/nu00255. Organic Foods: Are They Safer? More Nutritious?
Bellas Cookies. http://www.bellascookies.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=details&prodID=113&img=405. Organic Oatmeal Raisin Nutrition Facts.
Keebler. http://www.keebler.com/ServeImage.aspx?bid=70830&md5=6fb1bad229f965afe144a101459a9bde. Country Style Oatmeal with Raisins.
Diabetes Health. http://www.diabeteshealth.com/read/2008/08/20/4274/the-dangers-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup/. The Dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup.