Health Tips from Riesbeck Food Markets
The Truth About Natural And Organic Foods
Are natural and organic foods more nutritious?
Before answering the question regarding the nutritional value of natural and organic foods, it’s important to understand what these labeling terms actually mean.
Many are confused by the labeling term “natural” because they believe it is interchangeable with the term “organic.” However, natural and organic mean two different things in the food labeling world. The term natural is only regulated for products containing meat and eggs. All other products labeled as natural are generally less processed, however because there is no standard definition it can and is broadly applied to products.
Conversely, organic is a more tightly regulated term indicating that a food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that promote environmental sustainability. These methods do not use any genetically engineered seeds or crops, sewage sludge, or synthetic fertilizers. Even though foods labeled as natural and organic are produced in a different way than conventional items, there is no evidence to support the claim that these foods are more nutritious than conventional foods.
The bottom line is that natural and organic products are not necessarily more nutritious; you still need to compare the nutrition facts panel and ingredient list to help you make the most nutritious choice.
Enjoy The Taste Of Eating Right
March is National Nutrition Month. That might not mean a lot to most people but to dietitians it’s like recognizing a major holiday. This year’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”
What does eating right mean? To put it loosely, “eating right” means consuming a variety and appropriate amounts of foods. Our bodies need a specific mix of nutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals) to function properly. Think of it as a formula. An optimum formula includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, dairy, and healthy fats.
Not everyone has the same exact optimum formula for eating right. To get a better idea of how much is right for you, visit USDA’s Choose My Plate website (www.choosemyplate.gov). Not only will you be able to customize your optimum formula, you can view a 7-day sample menu and learn how to track your foods.
If you are going to eat right, you should enjoy the taste. Many times, people think that if food is healthy it must taste like cardboard. I absolutely love food and I refuse to eat food that doesn’t taste good. As a dietitian, I like to prepare new and exciting recipes that incorporate good flavors. For example, take some bland tasting food like quinoa and black beans and add fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice. My mouth is watering just thinking of it. Allow seasonings to perk up ordinary foods! Instead of steaming plain Brussels sprouts, cut them in half and sauté in olive oil and garlic. Turn a boring grilled chicken breast into something exciting by drizzling with olive oil and sprinkling with Italian seasoning. It’s time to enjoy the taste of the eating right.
Visit Riesbeck's for all of your grocery shopping needs. We have full service meat, produce, deli, and bakery departments along with a large selection of grocery, dairy and frozen items!
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