Is Eating Organic Food Better For Me?

Is Eating Organic Food Better For Me?

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Firstly let’s define what organic means.

It is a farming process that grows and produces food without using synthetic chemicals such as pesticides and artificial fertilisers. The use of genetically modified components or exposing food to irradiation is not used.

The term organic can also cover animal products like eggs, chicken, and beef.

This has lead to an increase in demand for organic products.  Walk into any supermarket and you’ll notice how much more shelf-space is being taken up with organic items.

It would make perfect sense to conclude that choosing organic food over conventionally grown products would be a healthier because of the processes used and the way it’s marketed.

But Does Organic Live Up To The Hype?

Several studies have been conducted to compare the nutritional content of organically grown food and conventionally grown produce, and most have shown no significant differences in key vitamins and minerals.

However some research has shown small differences in some organic foods with regards to:

  • Lower nitrate levels.

  • Higher Vitamin C levels.

  • Higher levels of selenium.

Although organic foods do have fewer pesticide residues than their conventional counterparts,  the levels in both foods are well within the levels for safe consumption.

It is also unclear whether the pesticides used in organic farming are safer than those used in more conventional farming methods.

What Does That Mean For You and Your Health?

You don’t have to eat organic to maintain your health according to current research.  

Organic products are generally more expensive than conventionally grown food products.  It takes longer to produce organic food as it is more labour intensive and the yield is lower.  Conventional methods are more time efficient and produce more which keeps costs down.

At the end of the day you have to balance the extra cost vs the perceived benefit of lower pesticide and chemical use.

If cost is not an issue then organic will provide you with some small extra benefits but not buying organic won’t mean your health is going to be hugely impacted.

Will I Feel Better Eating Gluten Free?

Will I Feel Better Eating Gluten Free?

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Throughout the years certain foods and ingredients have been targeted as the cause of various health conditions.

The latest recipient of this wrath is Gluten with many believing that it will solve a myriad of health problems when it’s eliminated from their diet.

We’ll discuss whether going gluten free is going to make you feel better and whether it is necessary for a healthy diet.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats.

The Number 1 Reason To Avoid Gluten

If you have Coeliac disease then a gluten free diet is the only long term treatment. Drinking or eating anything containing gluten will cause an immune reaction. Common symptoms are inflammation and damage to the intestinal tract.

Another condition similar in symptoms but without the intestinal damage is gluten sensitivity or non Coeliac gluten sensitivity.

What Going Gluten Free Really Means

Eliminating gluten means more than just giving up breads, cereals, pizza, and beer. It is also present in foods like frozen vegetables in sauces, soy sauce, some foods made with natural flavourings, vitamin and mineral supplements, some medications and surprisingly toothpaste.

The one detail that you need to be aware of when getting rid of gluten is that you can set yourself up for nutritional deficiencies.

Whole grain breads and cereals are good sources of vitamin B. Avoiding gluten may mean you need to supplement with a multivitamin.

Whole grain wheat is a major source of fibre which is crucial to keep the bowels working properly. Most people’s diets are chronically low in fibre so taking away whole wheat can make it worse.

There are other sources of fibre like brown rice and quinoa, fruits and vegetables, and beans but you’ll need to be proactive to make sure you’re getting enough.

At The End Of The Day…

Choosing to go gluten free is going to be expensive, quite challenging and outside of needing to do it for medical reasons there is no health benefit that’ll be gained from it.

If you feel that you might have a health issue with gluten then your first step should be consulting your GP so that it can be assessed properly.


How Can I Make Better Eating Choices?

How Can I Make Better Eating Choices?

It all starts at the supermarket. What you buy here creates your food environment at home.

To eliminate any confusion there are some pretty simple things you can do to make better eating choices.

Make A List And Stick To It

It takes a little time and some effort, but it will help you eat healthier and save money.

-Healthier eating will generally mean you’ll have to cook some of your meals at home. Having a few simple recipes that you can make regularly will help.

-Plan your meals a week ahead of time.

-Make a shopping list of ingredients for your weekly meals and any other basics like fruit that you’ll need for the week.

Buy Fruits and Vegetables In Season

In season items are less expensive and taste much better.

-Your local supermarket will sell in season fruit and vegetables.

-Try a local farmer’s market to get fresh in season produce.

-Canned or frozen foods are another option as they’re packaged or frozen at the peak of ripeness.

Spend Most Of Your Shopping Time In The Outer Aisles Of The Supermarket

The fringes of the supermarket is where you’ll find all the whole, minimally processed foods. All of the healthier food options like fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, eggs, dairy products and whole grains are found here.

-The closer you get to the centre of the aisles is where you’ll find the more highly processed products that are less healthy.

Keep It Simple

Having a plan and being a little more organised when you shop for food will make your choices much healthier. You can buy delicious food that is in season and fresh and importantly less expensive.

You won’t have the stress of trying to decide what to buy or wondering if you got everything or the right stuff.

You can be a little more adventurous and try some things you might have never eaten.