For many, eating healthy often goes hand in hand with eating organic. In fact, it is essential to choose organic farming for certain products, in particular fruits and vegetables so that they do not contain pesticides, but also for animal products because they will be richer in good nutrients (eggs from Intensive farms contain a lot of omega 6 fatty acids while organic eggs contain little, but more omega 3), and living beings are not treated with antibiotics (which are found on our plate). From an ethical point of view, choosing organic food means refusing the treatment inflicted on mass-reared animals: restricted living space, unsuitable food, taking medication without distinction between sick or non-sick animals, chain slaughter, etc.
However, organic farming is often a source of confusion, and it is common to go wrong when we want to reconcile diet and organic food. Here are three points to be wary of when consuming organic:
1. Organic food does not mean dietetic food…
If you’ve ever been to an organic store, you may have noticed that there is a whole aisle with sweet cereals, cookies, spreads, etc. Instead of cracking down on an industrial cookie box, buying a box of organic cookies made from fair trade chocolate will take away all the guilt for slipping away from your diet. Wrongly! Because these products, certainly made from eco-responsible raw materials and without chemicals harmful to your health, still contain sugar, and they are in all cases an excess of calories compared to your diet plan that you were fixed.
Where this is interesting, it is during a cheat meal, or the following cheat day in which case you are, to prefer this kind of products much more harmless to health than industrial products, and often the recipe total is much simpler than “classic” products containing dozens of ingredients, some of which are very doubtful or even clearly recognized as harmful. But don’t forget to take into account that this is a gap!
2. … And so-called “dietetic” products are harmful to health
In terms of diet there are a number of products touted as being healthy for the health. Take the example of fructose: from the fruit, this carbohydrate molecule is known to have a low glycemic index, which seems to be rather good news since foods with high glycemic indexes are legitimately incriminated for health, in particular because it promotes insulin resistance which can cause diabetes and obesity. However, fructose, when naturally present in fruit (at around 1% of its total weight), provides long-term energy, due to its slow assimilation in the body; but this is not the case when the fructose is isolated! Remember that fruits contain fiber, slowing digestion, and the carbohydrates they contain are in very low proportions. So admittedly, organic fructose syrup will not be made from GMO corn syrup, but will be just as guilty of making you fat as its industrial equivalent.
3. Organic food is expensive
It is often said that buying organic is reserved for a certain elite. Indeed, a large number of organic products are much more expensive compared to their industrial counterparts. But this is especially the case for products that are already assembled or cooked. It is important to remember that the best kitchen is the one you make yourself: if you only buy organic fruits, vegetables and animal products separately, the score will not be that high. In order to stay within a decent budget, here are some tips to note:
- buy your organic whole fruits and vegetables
- buy in large quantities rather than in small containers, it is usually cheaper per kilogram
- when planning your groceries, make a list in advance that you will stick to
- spend a little more money on organic and healthy products, in exchange promise yourself not to fall for a sandwich or a pizza when you don’t have enough time or motivation to cook, even if it means preparing a few dishes in advance to freeze to prevent this kind of situation
- reduce your consumption of meat and fish, favor eggs as a source of protein. But do not forget to eat fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring) at least once a week for a high quality DHA and EPA (omega 3) intake, and red meat also once for a iron. For chicken, which you can eat more regularly, you can turn to the Label Rouge which is a reliable guarantee but less expensive than organic. You can also turn to vegetable proteins like tofu
- there is no point in buying your organic salmon, because even if it is “organic” farmed, it still contains pesticides (yes!), while wild salmon will provide you with healthy and good quality nutrients
- more and more supermarkets are offering organic departments at affordable prices, take advantage of it!