US Myprotein Writer
“Hi!….I’d like to order the gluten free, fat free, low carb, paleo, sodium free, organic, pizza. With a side of all natural, pasteurized, omega, whole grain, free range chicken wings…….oh and please bring them in a bpa, plastic free, recycled box. Thanks!”
Okay I think you get the point. Often these terms can be over used and more of a marketing tactic than anything else.
Now I’m not saying these things are bad for you. Choosing higher quality foods like grass-fed meat or organic vegetable are great options. They provide us with extra nutrients, less pesticides and lead to an overall healthier gut. The problem with a lot of these terms is that they are often used for marketing. These terms give products more appeal and they can charge you a little more, just because it says “natural” on the packet.
Another problem with these products is, since we believe they are healthier for us, it leads to over eating and we end up eating more than we would, if we thought it was unhealthy! It’s still important to be conscious of how much you’re eating. Just because the food is organic or gluten free they usually still have the similar calorie and macro amounts, so be careful of your portions.
How Healthy Is Organic?
Not all these products are a waste of time. If you do have a little extra to spend on your food, I recommend you buying foods like grass-fed beef, pasture eggs or wild caught salmon. These foods have a little higher fat and nutrient content then most.
It’s a good idea to buy organic fattier food because, fat is where the toxins are stored within the foods we eat, so by choosing organic fattier foods we get healthier fats from these such as omega 3s and CLA.
Wild caught fish is a huge difference then farm raised, because farm raised fish contain far fewer omega 3, also known as fish oil, these fats have numerous health benefits.
Another good option is organic fruits and vegetables. By choosing organic you limit the amount of potential pesticides and chemicals you consume, especially when you are receiving your fruit and vegetables from a foreign country.
So What is Organic, Really?
An important part of choosing these foods is knowing what each term really means. Organic is one of the few terms that has some validity.
In order for a food to put organic on there label, they must actually go through a series of steps and abide by multiple standards, to be classed as organic. These foods do cost a little more, because of the standards they must have. Of all the terms used the one with least validity is Natural.
The term natural is very broad when it comes to food. It basically just means it’s a real food, that is minimally processed, which all foods should be any way. Also be careful of what all the ingredients are on a label. Sometimes a food will have just one “Natural” ingredient in it, thus making it okay to put “Natural” on the label. So make sure you’re paying attention to the labels and are actually getting what you pay for.
Going Gluten Free
The last term I’d like to discuss is Gluten Free. This term has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years and is even on many menus now. This term can either mean a great deal or mean nothing!
If you have celiac disease or a problem digesting gluten, then yes you want to choose the gluten free options. But it was found that many people actually had no gluten sensitivity when they believed they did. This can especially be a problem, because many gluten free options are higher in calories from the added fats and sugars, to make up for the lack of taste.
So if choosing gluten free, make sure you actually have a gluten sensitivity.
Healthy Take Home Tips
At the end of the day what matters most is that we consume a diet filled with a variety of nutrients, coming from whole foods and nutrient dense sources. It’s also important to remember that just because something is organic does not mean its suddenly calorie free.
You still need to be aware of how much you’re consuming and how it relates to your fitness goals.