Is It Really Important to Eat Organic Food?

Whenever possible, eat organic ingredients. This is the rule I follow, and the advice I prescribe to my weight loss and wellness patients.

Organic produce refers to foods that are grown without the use of:

  • Pesticides
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • Petroleum-based fertilizers
  • Sewage-based fertilizers

Organic livestock raised for meat, dairy, and eggs:

  • Must have access to the outdoors
  • Must be given organic feed
  • May not be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal by-products.

Why is it Important to Eat Organic?

To optimize our health, it is important to reduce our body’s daily exposure to toxins. Eating organic food is perhaps the most powerful way to keep toxins under control. Foods that are not organic have many different toxins. Over time, these toxins weaken our body at the cellular level and increase our risks for certain diseases. Organic foods have a much greater profile of nutrients and antioxidants, and a much lower content of toxins like heavy metals and pesticides.

To optimize our health, it is important to reduce our body’s daily exposure to toxins.

I know it may be a bit daunting at first to go completely organic. Therefore, we recommend that our patients start off small, and replace one or two foods at a time to gradually convert to a diet that is mostly organic and non-GMO.

What are the Most Important Foods to Eat Organic?

For guidance on the most important foods to eat organic, we look to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The group publishes it’s annual list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” produce items. These lists help us to prioritize which foods to eat organic first.

The Dirty Dozen

The EWG identified the following items on its “Dirty Dozen” list of produce with the most pesticide residue:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes
    + Hot Peppers

The Clean Fifteen

Here are the items the EWG identified for its “Clean Fifteen,” which report the least likelihood to contain pesticide residue.

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Eggplant
  8. Asparagus
  9. Cauliflower
  10. Cantaloupe
  11. Broccoli
  12. Mushrooms
  13. Cabbage
  14. Honeydew Melon
  15. Kiwi

As we convert to an organic diet, our food choices serve us better, helping us achieve optimal health and wellness.

What About Supplements? Should Those Be Organic Too?

After transitioning to an organic diet, it’s a good idea to look at the other products in our life. Soaps, sunscreens, and beauty products are one good area to evaluate and convert to organic. Another area is nutritional supplements. My line of Awaken wellness supplements includes organic whey powder and other organic superfoods, formulated to help patients receive the nutrients they for overall health and wellness.

Schedule an appointment with a healthy weight loss doctor to discuss your optimal nutrition plan, and the role that healthy, organic food plays in helping you reach your weight loss goals for life.