Will Switching to an Organic Diet Help You Lose Weight?

by Marixie Ann Obsioma, MT, undergrad MD on December 29, 2021
Last updated on April 19, 2022

Over the years, experts have debated whether organic foods are genuinely more nutritious. Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, whether organic or not, will aid in weight loss.

Will Switching to an Organic Diet Help You Lose Weight?

Many individuals in America are now familiar with the term “organic.” We notice it on food labels and in the produce section of the supermarket.

But, when it comes to food, what does it truly mean? What are the health benefits of consuming organic meals? When we eat traditional vegetables, how many pesticides are we exposed to? Is it possible to lose weight by eating organic produce and meats?

This is something we’ll discuss today.

We might be able to answer some of your questions if you’re on the fence about becoming organic.

What does it mean to be “organic”?

We’ll quote the USDA National Organic Standards Board directly because they describe organic so well:

  • “Organic agriculture is a type of ecological production management that encourages and improves biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity.” It is based on the use of as little off-farm inputs as possible and management approaches that restore, maintain, and improve ecological equilibrium.”
  • “‘Organic’ is a labeling phrase that refers to products made under the Organic Foods Production Act’s jurisdiction. The main principles of organic farming are to employ materials and procedures that improve the ecological balance of natural systems and integrate the many aspects of the farming system into a holistic ecological system.”
  • “While organic agriculture procedures cannot guarantee that products are fully residue-free, approaches are utilized to reduce pollution in the air, soil, and water.”
  • “Organic food handlers, processors, and merchants follow strict guidelines to ensure the quality of organic agricultural products. Organic agriculture’s fundamental purpose is to improve the health and productivity of interconnected communities of soil life, plants, animals, and people.”

In a nutshell, organic means that the food was produced in accordance with these guidelines in order to reduce pollution and use few to no pesticides.

What are the health benefits of eating organic food?

Organic foods have lower cadmium concentrations and higher antioxidant levels, according to a 2014 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition. Furthermore, organic food contains minimal to no pesticide residue.

Cadmium is a poisonous metal that is commonly found in fertilizers used in modern agriculture. According to Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety, it can also be discovered in plants, shellfish, fish, and animals that have been cultivated in a polluted environment. They also discuss how cadmium toxicity can impact our systems, specifically our intestinal tract, liver, heart, and kidneys.

Antioxidants are chemicals present in fruits and vegetables that help minimize and prevent cell damage. They are believed to aid in the removal of toxins from our bodies, which can improve our general health. According to Medical News Today, toxins have been connected to cancer, eyesight loss, atherosclerosis, and other diseases.

Fruits and vegetables also have anti-inflammatory properties thanks to flavonoids, which are antioxidant chemicals that help protect our cells from damage and other chronic ailments, according to the NCBI. Flavonoids also enhance our immune system, according to Live Science, and flavonoid-rich diets have been linked to the prevention of cancer, neurological illness, and cardiovascular disease.

Organic signifies that the meats, fruits, vegetables, and other food items have passed the USDA organic criteria.

How many pesticides do we come into contact with when we eat conventional produce?

Every day, the average American is exposed to 10-13 different pesticide residues. We are exposed to 1 to 3 highly harmful pesticides known as organophosphates on a daily basis. Heavy or repeated exposure to certain pesticides, according to the CDC, can result in adverse effects such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea. According to a study conducted by the Organic Center, eating organically grown foods can reduce one’s overall exposure to hazardous pesticides by 97 percent.

According to many studies, the level of pesticides discovered in conventional produce is relatively low, and it is nonetheless as nutritious as organic stuff. When you go grocery shopping and organic produce isn’t available, keep that in mind.

Is it possible to lose weight and reduce abdominal fat by consuming organic foods?

According to research published in Environmental Health Perspective and PLOS One, feeding conventional, non-organic fruit to toddlers under the age of two may have an impact on their future weight. Chemical pesticides used on our products have been related to higher BMIs in early childhood, as well as increased belly fat, insulin resistance, and total weight in mice.

As a result, several investigations suggest that the answer is yes.

Research, on the other hand, is continual and always evolving. When it comes to weight loss, organic food should not be the only option. Weight loss requires an examination of one’s general lifestyle habits.

Pesticide residue on produce, according to those who defend conventional, non-organic crops, isn’t significant enough to affect your weight or overall health.

Fresh produce, whether organic or conventional, such as fruits and vegetables, has been linked to weight loss due to its high fiber and vitamin content, which can help reduce appetite.

According to Sidney Fry, RD, the average person requires between 4 and 6 cups of fruits and vegetables per day, depending on their lifestyle, weight, and height.

Consume a variety of colored fruits and vegetables on a regular basis to ensure that your body receives the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it requires to stay healthy.

Make at least 12 of your lunch and supper meals with organic vegetables to assist you to achieve your weight-loss objectives.

Adopting an organic eating plan may also help you get rid of unwanted belly fat.

Choosing healthier foods, such as organic foods, maybe the most effective way to detox your body.

Here’s all you need to know about organic foods and how they can help you lose weight.

New Delhi, India: The desire to get that flawlessly toned and lean physique has resulted in a surge in gym and health club memberships. However, despite spending thousands of rupees on diet foods and workout equipment, many people become discouraged due to a lack of weight loss. However, believe it or not, the solution to this dilemma appears to be found in nature itself. Organic foods, it is said, can assist with weight loss.

We all know that we are what we eat, and that 70 percent of weight loss comes from eating a balanced diet, while only 30 percent comes from exercise. If you haven’t been able to meet your fitness objectives despite changing your eating habits, an organic diet plan may be the best option for you to lose weight and get rid of unhealthy belly fat.

Organic foods are those that were grown or cultivated without the use of synthetic chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified organisms. Organic food is grown and distributed using methods that follow natural farming principles.

While organic agricultural practices vary by country, they all include practices that recycle assets, decrease pollution, and maintain biodiversity. Irradiation, industrial solvents, and synthetic food additives are not used in the processing of organic foods.

So, if you don’t have any chemicals in your food, you’re less likely to develop food addiction or cravings, which can contribute to weight gain. It may take a few days, if not weeks, to become acclimated to eating organically, but choosing healthier options like organic foods may be the greatest approach to cleanse your system, get your hormones flowing properly, and restart your metabolism.

While it may be difficult to believe that eating natural foods will improve your health, choosing organic foods may help you avoid ailments caused by toxins found in processed foods. In fact, Rishabh Chokhani, Founder of Naturevibe Botanicals, claims that eating a natural, organic diet will give you more energy after just a few days.

Are organic foods more nutrient-dense?

Organic foods are thought to offer a higher level of minerals and antioxidants, although the data is inconsistent. Organic foods provide higher levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants and minerals including vitamin C, zinc, and iron. According to one study, antioxidants and vitamin C levels were 58 percent and 52 percent higher in organically cultivated berries and maize, respectively.

Organic milk and dairy products are thought to have higher quantities of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as slightly higher levels of iron, vitamin E, and carotenoids. However, organic milk may have lower levels of selenium and iodine, two elements that are essential for good health, than non-organic milk.

Organic beef has higher levels of omega-3s and somewhat lower levels of saturated fats than conventional meat, according to an assessment of numerous research. Many health advantages have been attributed to omega-3 fatty acids, including weight loss.

Furthermore, because organic farming does not utilize antibiotics in animals, these products often have lower levels of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms. As a result, choosing organic foods to lower your chance of exposure to toxins and other dangerous compounds may be a better option.

To summarize, eating organic foods is a healthier alternative that can aid weight loss while also providing your body with a variety of nutrients. Organic foods have grown in popularity in recent years as people have become more conscientious of their eating habits.

You’ve certainly considered going organic for a variety of reasons, but have you considered going organic to lose weight?

If you’ve ever bought an apple from your supermarket’s organic aisle, you undoubtedly felt you were doing something good for your health. And if you haven’t, you might be among those who believe that the potential health benefits of turning organic exceed the financial costs.

What if the advantages also included weight loss? We’ll look at how eating organic can effect your weight loss attempts. It is, however, entirely up to you whether or not you choose to become organic.

Better weight with more nutrients

While experts have debated for years whether organic foods are truly more nutritious than their conventionally raised counterparts, a review of 343 studies published last year in the British Journal of Nutrition found that organic foods (both crops and packaged foods derived from those crops, such as bread) have higher antioxidant concentrations on average than conventionally grown foods.

According to study co-author Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, “while an organic apple and a conventionally grown apple may both contain the same number of vitamins and antioxidants, the organic apple is much smaller, meaning it contains more of them per ounce.”

What’s the deal with the size difference? The irony is that, because organic, nitrogen-rich fertilizer is so expensive, organic farmers can’t usually afford to over-fertilize their crops to the same level as conventional farms, according to Benbrook. And because nitrogen is what calories are to people, when ordinary plants have too much of it, they do the same thing we do: they get large. However, unlike our muscles, their nutritious characteristics do not balloon with them.

“When produce is over-fertilized, the calories per antioxidant activity ratio skyrockets,” explains Benbrook. That means that, bite for bite, the conventionally produced, while larger, apple has less good-for-you nutrients and more calories (though not enough to ruin your diet), compared to the smaller organic type, he claims.

According to previous studies from Newcastle University, organic fruits and vegetables contain 12 percent more healthful plant chemicals than conventionally farmed produce, such as resveratrol and other polyphenols.

Furthermore, research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that flavonols, one of these beneficial plant chemicals, may help to keep appetite in line by stabilizing blood sugar levels, while resveratrol, another such ingredient, has been proven to increase satiety. However, several herbicides used in conventional farming may diminish resveratrol levels in plants.

So, if vitamins and antioxidants aren’t the reason for the non-organic apple’s increased size, what is? Benbrook claims that traditional food is often sweeter and juicier because of simple sugars and carbohydrates.

According to his studies, some organic fruits and vegetables have up to 40% more antioxidants per calorie than conventionally grown counterparts. “Choosing organic items to meet your five-a-day produce requirement is like obtaining a sixth serving without eating any more calories,” Benbrook explains.

However, just because an apple is organic doesn’t mean the farmer hasn’t packed on the nitrogen, lowering antioxidant levels while increasing calories, according to Benbrook. Some studies, like one published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012, indicated that the nutritional content of organic and non-organic produce is similar.

While organic crops are generally more nutrient-dense than conventional crops, an organic certification does not guarantee this. It simply shows that the crops were cultivated without the use of industrial pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, genetic engineering, or artificial fertilizers.

Do pesticides have an impact on your weight?

Each day, the average American is exposed to 10 to 13 pesticide residues, including one to three very hazardous organophosphate insecticides. According to studies from The Organic Center, a nonprofit research and teaching organization, organic farming reduces overall food exposure by 97 percent.

While studies show that being exposed to such pesticides as an adult has no effect on metabolic health or weight, eating conventional produce during pregnancy or feeding conventional produce to your child during his first two years may have an impact on his future weight, according to Benbrook.

Chemical pesticide exposure has been associated to higher BMIs in children and increased weight, belly fat, and insulin resistance in mice, according to research published in PLOS One and Environmental Health Perspectives.

“Humans are vulnerable to epigenetic changes during fetal development and then through age two,” Benbrook explains. “During this phase, some pesticides can up-regulate the child’s ‘thrifty’ genes, causing [the child] to grow up laying on fat.”

Pesticide residue discovered on produce, however, is too little to have a significant impact on your overall health or weight, according to proponents of conventional agriculture.

“I don’t believe the levels we’re exposed to are dangerous.” Carl Winter, a pesticide and food toxin expert at the University of California–Davis, states, “We can identify pesticide residues in food supply several orders of magnitude lower than what would cause harm.”

Still, the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen is the best place to start if you want to limit your pesticide exposure. When it comes to buying the 12 foods on the list, the EWG believes that choosing organic varieties will lower pesticide exposure by 80%.

You’ll still need more produce in either case.

Filling up on fruits and vegetables, whether organic or not, is consistently connected to weight loss.

“Vegetables and fruit are essential for weight loss because they provide volume for a small number of calories,” says Georgie Fear, a registered dietitian and author of “Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss.” She claims that how much you consume, not how they were grown, is the most essential aspect in losing weight. Winter adds, “I’d rather have people eat more conventional produce than a less organic product.”

So, how much food do you require? “Recommendations will be tailored to each individual’s age, gender, and degree of exercise. According to registered dietitian Kristi King, spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, “in general, it will be between 4 and 6 cups of fruits and vegetables each day.” “Aim for half of your plate to be fruits and veggies at lunch and supper, and you’ll be OK.”

You’ll also get a range of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals if you eat a variety of colors while you’re doing it.

References

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