By GEORGIA I. SALVARYN
Healthy eating is an important part of every day life. Organic foods play a valuable role in healthy eating, but it’s not always easy to tell what is organic and what is not. Here are some tips on how to know your organic foods from your processed foods.
Shopping lists shouldn’t be missed
When you go out grocery shopping, make a list of foods that you need. With a grocery list in hand, you will do less time wandering and grabbing foods you want and more time getting what you need.
When you get to the grocery store, ask an employee where the organic fruits and vegetables are located. It is best to grab organic fruits and vegetables because they contain fewer pesticides, they are often fresher than other fruits and vegetables and are not genetically modified organisms (non-GMOs), according to the Understanding the Benefits of Organic Food and What the Different Labels Really Mean article on helpguide.org.
When shopping for meats, make sure you read the labels carefully. According to wholefoodsmarket.com, organic meats should have the following characteristics:
- raised on certified organic land
- fed certified organic feed
- no antibiotics or added growth hormones
- free range (outdoor access)
Wholefoodsmarket.com also suggests to check out the USDA (ams.usda.gov) website for details about the National Organic Program and access to the organic regulations.
“Only foods that are 95 to 100 percent organic (and GMO-free) can use the USDA Organic label,” according to the helpguide.org article.
Don’t be annoyed, just avoid
Try avoiding snack food and soda aisles in the grocery store; that way, you won’t be tempted to buy any unwanted snacks. When considering “snack” foods, avoid the snacks listed below:
- fruit and vegetable juices
- canned fruits with heavy syrup
- fruit snacks and fruit roll ups
- vegetable or potato chips
- salted or seasoned nuts
- ice cream bars
- sweetened yogurts or parfaits
Processed foods, like those listed above, are bad for your health and contain many chemicals that can cause health problems, such as cancer. One of the best rules to follow is, “If you can’t read it, don’t eat it.”
By following the guidelines above, you can lead a healthy, organic lifestyle.