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Do All Things Organic Lead to Weight Loss?

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Organic food is promising and considered healthy. It is regarded as being both safe from chemical and biological risks to your health as well as being better for the environment. Yet, there are other claims made by the organic producers. One of the more intriguing of these concerns the relationship between the eating of specific nutrients and the burning off of calories. In other words, organic products are sometimes touted as being more beneficial to weight loss than are their nonorganic counterparts.

Defining Organic

It should be easy to define the term organic. It is if you consider it is more of a label that is applied to specific farming or production lifestyle. Organic is used in a very specific way by the federal governments to identify what they perceive as organic. This is reflected in the labeling of food in accordance with these restrictions. The process of obtaining the right for your produce or products to have such a level is also somewhat complex. In fact, it is the process of production, the very methods of creating or manufacturing organic items that is used to define what is and what is not organic.

Organic foods are those that have been produced in a certain way. Organic products are described and defined as being free from or lacking in what is currently the norm among larger and more commercial producers or farms. The basics that make a producer organic involve several if not all of the following characteristics:

  • Organic products are free from the use of pesticides and herbicides
  • They do not employ enhancers or hormonal growth products
  • The producers practice environmentally friendly means of growing, producing and/or raising their “products”.
  • The farmers and implementers of these practices are considered to have higher standards of ethics in their production methods

Organic foods are generally perceived by the public as being healthier for consumers because of the way farmers and other producers turn them out or bring them up. One of the major issues relating to organic products and personal benefits focuses on health. This concerns the belief in the nutrient content of the products. The higher level of nutrients in organic food is perceived as useful in weight control.

Why Should Organic Products help you Lose Weight?

The argument in favor of including organic food in your weight loss program is based upon the quality and amount of nutrients. It also relies on the lack of any additives – including pesticides, hormones or herbicides, in these products. Essentially, the argument is a rather simple one based on the rate of the body’s metabolism. It can be stated as follows:

  • Organic food has high amounts of nutrients
  • The quality of these nutrients is also superior to other nonorganic products
  • As a result of these two characteristics, your body can digest organic food more readily and efficiently
  • The speed with which organic food is digested results in an increased or higher rate of  metabolism
  • With higher quality nutrients and a speedier metabolism continually and efficiently using the nutrients correctly, your body becomes less fatigued. You become more energetic and, therefore more efficient. As a result your body is more likely to burn off calories
  • The overall result is weight loss. Moreover, the process is continued and the weight reduction is also sustained

Yet, is this connection between weight loss and organic food substantiated by any of the research?

Does Research Support this Belief?

To date, the research on the nutrient content and therefore it ability to improve weight loss, has been mixed. Since the early studies of the late 1990s, the issue has been argued back and forth with any number of so-called experts weighing in on the topic. One 2001 study noted that organic crops were higher in vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus1. A 2009 study by Lairon stated the proof of higher quality production had been already supplied2. Yet, others find the information faulty, insufficient or too biased to support the belief in organics containing both superior quality and high amount of nutrients. A 2010 study by Rosen totally discounts any research relating nutrient counts favoring organic produce3.

Some studies go farther. In 2010, one study even found that eating organic foods could actually result in weight gain4. This research was based on the perceptions of individuals. Those who believed organics were better food somehow connected this with less caloric content. As a result, they thought they could actually eat more and gain weight rather than lose any pounds.

Conclusion

The ability of organic food to help you lose weight is more a possibility than a definite result. The research has yet to reach a definitive conclusion on the amount of nutrients actually found within organic food. While it is always best to avoid foods laden with possible toxins and always lower the risk of any serious consequence to your health, be sure you understand what you eat and why. Try to keep within the guidelines for a healthy diet. When dieting, remember to eat the right amount of fresh fruit, vegetables as well as carbohydrates and protein. Whether organic or non-organic, be sure to combine this with a healthy dose of exercise. In doing so, you will be able to reach your weight loss goal.



References

1 Worthington, V (2001) Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains. J Alternative Complementary Medicine 7: 161–173.

2Lairon, D (2009).  Nutritional Quality and Safety of Organic Food. A Review. Agronomy For Sustainable Development, 30(1): 33-41

3 Rosen, JD (2010). A Review of the Nutrition Claims Made by Proponents of Organic Food.  Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 9(3): 270–277.

4 Schuldt, JP; and Schwarz, N (2010). The “Organic” Path to Obesity? Organic Claims Influence Calorie Judgments and Exercise Recommendations. Judgment and Decision Making, 5(3):144–150.

DISCLAIMER

The content provided on this site is for informational purposes only. Our content is not medical advice and you should seek a licensed physician or health professional regarding all health issues. WEIGHTLOSS.US takes no responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, or application of medication which results from reading this site.