3 Foods to Eat Organic
Often times I hear “Eating Organic is Too Expensive.” For the most part I agree, but the key with eating organic is to know what to purchase organic and what to not even consider. In today’s email, I will list a couple of different reasons to eat organic and leave you with the Top 2 to 3 foods you should spend the extra money on.
Two Reasons to Eat Organic
So what’s the point of eating organic? There are a number of reasons people like to cite to eat organic, such as it’s better for the environment (which it is) or it has more vitamins and minerals (which hasn’t really been shown to be true), but at the end of the day, we all want to know how it will benefit us if we spend extra money on it.
As such, here are the top two reasons why you should eat organic:
1 – You eat organic for what’s not in/on the food.
You don’t eat organic for what’s in it (added vitamins and minerals), but for what’s not on/in the food. In other words, you want to avoid the pesticides, the antibiotics, the hormones, the organophasphates, and other chemicals that accompany the food.
These added substances have been proven to disrupt normal hormonal signaling, contribute to obesity and disrupt neuronal (brain) development in children. Beyond that, organic foods are also not genetically modified. Genetically modified foods have been shown to disrupt the normal gut bacteria, which can cause problems downstream. Needless to say, for now, it’s best to avoid being the science experiment with GMO foods (I don’t think GMO’s are awful, but I’d rather not play with that experiment).
2 – You eat organic for a healthy fatty acid profile.
Cows fed corn and other grains are foods they don’t have the ability to digest well. This alters the fatty acid profile of the meat, resulting in a higher Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio.
This ratio leads to more chronic inflammation in the body, exacerbating every condition from diabetes to obesity and arthritis. In addition to that, fat is where toxins are stored in animals and therefore, you end up eating a higher concentration of the pesticides and hormones when you eat meat (especially beef) from conventionally raised beef.
Grass-fed beef, for example, will have a better fatty acid profile, with more Omega 3 fatty acids (almost an even profile of Omega3’s and Omega 6’s) and CLA. It will also have less pesticides and toxins. The better fatty acid profile will help to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Reducing inflammation throughout the body is important because it can disrupt the signals that are read by your individual cells. Your cells, instead of functioning normally, start to send signals to your immune, endocrine (hormonal) and nervous (your brain) system. These signals then regulate how much stress hormones are released (impacts fat loss and can cause you to gain fat faster) and since muscle is regulated by how much inflammation there is, it becomes harder to build muscle.
In addition, it becomes harder to control your moods, which then effect your willpower, your ability to stick to a diet, get to the gym or simply move more.
Therefore, the less inflammation you have throughout your body, the more motivated you’ll be, the easier it will be for you to lose fat and gain muscle.
In addition to that, the fewer toxins your body is exposed to, the less your body will spend time detoxifying substances from outside sources and the better your body will be at breaking down the fat in your body and using it for energy.
In other words, you want to avoid certain non-organic foods because they contain substances and fatty acid profiles that make the signals your body needs to function correctly (including losing fat naturally), harder to hear.
If you remember the post on Leptin, you might remember that those signals are vitally important in order to lose fat. So with that said, what are the foods you should be purchasing and eating organic?
Top 3 Foods to Eat Organic
1 – Beef
I think of all of the foods to eat organic, beef (or any fatty cut of meat) is the most important. Conventional beef encompasses everything that’s wrong with conventionally raised animals, and a lot of what’s right with organic foods.
A – Feedlots from conventionally raised beef are atrocious for the environment.
B – Conventionally raised cows have a lot more hormones and antibiotics in order to grow them faster and to keep them “healthy” from eating food they weren’t made to eat (corn and other grains).
This same phenomenon is what happens when we (people) eat a lot of foods we were not made to eat (purified sugars and oils)
C – Conventional beef has a bad fatty acid profile.
What you eat effects the type of fat you have in your body. The same is true of animals. From eating corn and other grains (not hay, which is more natural for them and essential during the winter months), their fatty acid profiles are highly skewed towards a high Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio, which as highlighted above will cause more inflammation throughout the body.
In addition to that, when you’re buying organic beef, it should be 100% grass fed or grass-finished. Sometimes organic cows will be fed corn and wheat which is organic (which is better than non-organic), but since that’s not their natural foods, will cause them their fatty acid profiles to be altered. By ensuring the 100% grass-fed or grass-finished, you’re ensuring a healthier fatty acid profile, which helps to reduce inflammation in your body.
D – They have a lot more pesticides and “toxins”
You see, most meats, especially fatty cuts of meat, tend to store more toxins than you would find on any fruit or vegetable in their fat.
Whereas, 100% grass-fed beef comes from cows that have ate their natural diets their whole lives. As such, they usually don’t get as sick, leading to less antibiotics and pesticides ingested. Beyond that, their fatty acid profiles are much healthier.
And, if the farmer takes advice from Allan Savory, cows can actually help to sequester carbon dioxide from the environment and actually be beneficial to the environment. You can watch the video here:
2 – Milk
Milk suffers from the same issues as beef, except milk also has the added goody of having estrogen in the milk. This estrogen passes to humans and can disrupt a number of hormonal systems in both males and females. Therefore, drinking organic milk helps to mitigate that issue (but it’s still there).
But more than that, is the fact that a lot more pesticides, organophosphates and antibiotics can be found in the cow’s milk.
So, if you want less of an estrogen load, less pesticides and less antibiotics (which has been shown to lessen the ability of antibiotics to work when you actually take them), drinking organic milk is the way to go. And if you can get it from grass-fed cows, that’ll be even better.
3 – Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Dirty Dozen
You can see the full, updated list here: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php#.Wh8ySLQ-dsM
Here was 2017’s list:
1 – Strawberries
2 – Spinach
3 – Nectarines
4 – Apples
5 – Peaches
6 – Pears (new to the list)
7 – Cherries
8 – Grapes
9 – Celery
10 – Tomatoes
11 – Sweet Bell Peppers
12 – Potatoes
1 – If you could only pick one thing to eat organic, it would be fatty cuts of meat. Any meat that you eat, that’s not organic (besides bison) should be low in fat or extra lean. This isn’t because the fat in the meat is bad, but instead that’s where the toxins are stored. Therefore, eat turkey, pork or chicken that’s lean (very low fat), if not organic.
2 – You you would also want to try and avoid (or purchase organic) the foods on EWG’s “Dirty Dozen.” These are the foods, with the most pesticides when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
3 – Don’t fear any food. Although there are definitely reasons why you should try and limit your exposure to the top 3 foods you should purchase organic, that doesn’t mean that if you have a regular piece of beef (think bbq’s) with some berries and apples that you’re doing your body extreme damage.Your body can normally handle many insults that we throw at it daily.
If you’re trying to lose fat and consistently improve your health though, you would want to limit these foods as best as possible…unless of course, you’re purchasing them organic.
With all of that said, some people might look at this list and say that I know such and such that has not needed to eat organic and they’re healthy. Although this is true, the bottom line is that it’s like playing Russian Roulette. Just because someone else might not have gotten the chamber with the loaded bullet, doesn’t mean that you won’t.
If you have any questions for me, please feel free to let me know.
Also, if you really want to nerd out, you can read some more research here: Persistent organic pollutants in adipose tissue should be considered in obesity research