The “Best” Organic Foods You Should NEVER Eat: The 9 Worst Exposed
The “Best” Organic Foods You Should NEVER Eat: The 9 Worst Exposed.
How do you feel about your diet?
It stresses me out to hear that so many people are feeling guilty about every choice they make.
To be clear...
...it’s not because most of them don’t know what to look for. It’s because they later read someone else's assessment of that food item.
This Information Age may make us wiser in many areas.
But as it pertains to food, it’s kind of a curse, too.
It seems like there are few foods out there that are “good” and “clean” enough.
You can find many sources, both pro and con, which frame the exact same food in different ways.
Is it disease-causing, healing or the magic bullet for weight loss?
It all depends on who you ask.
We’re talking about a word with a lot of allure: organic.
What does it mean, and where does it count?
Does it even count at all?
Moreover, can we trust that a product is healthy because it’s organic?
Want to know the best part?
Read on to see organic food’s secrets exposed!
Pesticides, Produce and Organic Labelling
Organic foods are not genetically modified and are not grown with sewage, petroleum or most synthetic pesticides.
...that all the above can be utilized in producing non-organic food. On its face, going organic seems preferential.
But all-organic, all the time, isn’t easy for most people.
You’ve heard of the Dirty Dozen.
Or perhaps, you stick to the Clean Fifteen.
For the uninitiated, these terms refer to produce that is considered the most unsafe.
People have to choose between organic and non-organic because of availability and price.
Organic produce is always more expensive.
Thus, it makes total sense to save on fruits and vegetables that have a thicker skin. After all, they won’t absorb as many pesticides.
Yet, the critical misconception many of us hold is that organic produce isn’t exposed to any pesticides.
In actuality, they are, although many of these pesticides are not synthetic.
But the USDA’s own verbiage about organics states that they prohibit “almost all” synthetic pesticides. Almost.
...not all pesticides have the same toxicity.
Some are much more harmful than others.
While glyphosate and strychnine are prohibited from organic foods, other substances like peroxide and chlorine are not.
With pesticides, which include herbicides and insecticides, the dose matters a lot. Even non-synthetics can be harmful if they’re overused.
...organic produce grown with a lot of copper can be more toxic than conventional, synthetic pesticides.
It’s also worth noting that in organic farming, it is said that synthetics are rarely used for grains.
It’s important to bear in mind that organic foods are not always more nutritious. A Stanford study finds that the extra money you spend is never a guarantee of more vitamin C.
But what they do sometimes contain more of are antioxidants. As we know, antioxidants are what protect us from cell damage and free radicals.
Pesticides fall into that category.
So we must ask...
...can the enhanced antioxidants protect us from those pesticides?
Yet more than anything, concern over the way we regard organics. We seem to have an attitude that they should be better.
Is that so bad?
...but it’s not your fault.
Companies know that health-conscious consumers value the word “organic”.
They throw down the extra cost to make certification possible, and they need a return on that.
As a result, we end up paying a little more. Not just for fruits and vegetables, but for all kinds of foods.
If the ingredients are organic (95% organic) or “certified organic” (100% organic), they’ve tapped into a huge market of health nuts.
The truth is, it’s not necessary for everything you eat to be organic.
It’s one thing to buy some organic grapes and reap those extra antioxidants.
It’s another to be lured into buying sugary, processed foods that aren’t worth the extra money. Just by the word “organic”!
Next, I’m sharing 9 such foods that can trip you up.
It may say it’s organic, but does that mean it’s the best?
The truth may surprise you.
It’s A Trap: 9 Foods That Aren’t Healthy Because They’re Organic
Organic does not mean “unrefined”.
You can indeed refine organic grain.
While you may be avoiding GMOs and certain pesticides, refining grain is another harmful processing method.
Refined grains lack fiber and cause blood sugar spikes.
These nutritionally-deficient grains are high on the glycemic index. This quality alone makes them the best foods - to increase your risk of obesity.
On top of that, some organic cereals still contain added sugar and plenty of fat. The trouble with the higher fat content is that it often comes from processed oils.
Choosing healthier fat sources - like from all-natural nut butter or avocados - is much more important than eating organic.
This is not a universal problem.
The remedy is as simple as choosing wisely and looking beyond the organic label.
Consumer Reports did a study involving many different “healthy” cereals, many of them organic.
The ratings are based on fiber content, fat, sugar, sodium, and protein.
What they found was that some organic cereals actually deserved a lower rating than non-organic “healthy” cereals.
2. Fruit Snacks
How much do your kids love chewy fruit snacks?
Look... I can relate.
We feel better about doling these out because they’re not quite candy.
Or are they?
If you have time to think about it, fruit snacks are basically candy.
But companies push the word “fruit”...
...which says nothing of the other ingredients.
Some also pay to get them placed outside of the candy aisle. Over time, this changes our perception.
My above assertions aren’t revolutionary and they’re not a conspiracy.
Parents have brought lawsuits over this.
It’s okay to eat less-than-healthy things sometimes, but projecting an image of health where there isn’t is plain deception.
Still, the kids want their chewy, fruity treats.
And honestly... I wouldn’t think twice about snagging a few for myself. So this may lead you, as it once did me, to purchase an organic variety.
Well, that may be even worse.
When you compare a popular non-organic brand of fruit snacks and a bag of gummy bears to a bag of organic fruit snacks, what’s the bottom line?
Here is the bottom line.
The organic kind may have more sugar than both the candy and the non-organic fruit snacks.
To be fair, I do not think that organic cane sugar is as bad high fructose corn syrup.
But both kinds contribute to obesity and diabetes while offering no nutritional value.
The healthiest possible option is a piece of actual fruit. But that’s no fun for kids, who love the chewy texture and bright packaging.
Instead, try swapping out bite-size fruit snacks for fruit leather.
This variety is low in sugar, organic and contains well-hidden veggies, too.
3. Trail Mix
Trying to quit potato chips?
Working hard to avoid candy bars?
If that’s the case, organic trail mix seems like an ideal swap. I, for one, am pretty sick of companies offering “mixed nuts” only to find that it’s 95% peanuts.
Peanuts are okay, but they’re not the healthiest nut on the block, just the cheapest.
Not to mention... lots of trail mixes offer yogurt-covered nuts and fruits.
It’s not actually yogurt at all - just dairy derivatives, hydrogenated oil, and sugar.
And the same goes for the chocolate.
A little chocolate is great, but trail mix candies and coatings are more oil and sugar than antioxidant-rich cocoa.
On the whole, was the trail mix smothered in salt?
Was the dried fruit dusted with cane sugar?
We quickly see that organic truly isn’t synonymous with healthy.
My solution is that you should make your own trail mix.
Mix up a batch weekly, customizing it to exactly what appeals to you.
Do the words “empty calories” mean anything to you?
I don’t count calories, but I do want my calories to count.
Pretzels are a classic diet snack because they’re assumed to be healthier than potato chips.
But even organic pretzels offer too many carbs and very little fiber. Add a healthy amount of sodium, and you’re getting nowhere, fast.
All pretzels do is bloat your stomach.
The ingredients - refined flour, oil, and salt - is common to both organic and non-organic brands.
Compare the two, and you’ll undoubtedly find that the nutritional breakdown of one isn’t really better than the other.
I find that a big bag of snacks makes us eat more. If we have a lot of something at our fingertips, we are less likely to notice that we’re over consuming.
So if you can’t quit your pretzels, put servings into individual bags. That way, you won’t be filling up on empty grains, unhealthy fats, and lots of sodium.
5. Microwave Popcorn
I know many of my readers are aware that conventional microwave popcorn can contain diacetyl.
To avoid this, we turn to organic brands, as they also don’t use GMO corn.
The thing is, organic brands still often include tons of salt and fat.
Some organic brands contain double the sodium of non-organic!
Making popcorn is so simple that we really shouldn’t be letting manufacturers choose the salt and fat content for us.
It’s easy to avoid the burn of chemical-laced bags and sketchy oils - without sacrificing convenience.
Buy some organic popcorn kernels and some virgin coconut oil. You can pop it on the stove, or in the microwave using plain, brown paper bags.
6. Granola Bars, Cereal Bars, Protein Bars...Most Bars
I’ll avoid repeating myself in detail and keep this to the point:
Organic snack and protein bars largely have the same problem many cereals do. Lots of added sugar, refined grains, and little fiber.
If you love the convenience and tastiness of snack bars, there’s still hope.
Products such as Larabars skip out on added sweeteners, oils, and grains. Instead, they rely on a simple blend of raw nuts, fruits, and spices.
It also doesn’t get simpler than a That’s It bar. You feel like you’re enjoying a sweet snack bar, but it’s really only fruit.
7. Flavored Yogurt
Organic yogurt is a great choice.
After all, you definitely want to avoid growth hormones and products from cows fed with pesticide-laden grains.
But when you buy an organic yogurt that has fruit added, be wary.
A lot of these yogurts aren’t sweet because of the fruit, but because of all the added sugar.
Much like the non-organic kind, they mix the fruit with a sugary syrup. Drowning anything in sugar is the worst thing you can do to an otherwise healthy food.
8. Sports Drinks
Did you know that Gatorade has gone organic?
This more expensive version relies on organic cane sugar, and lots of it.
In fact, this Gatorade is not less sweet at all.
It’s the same sugary soft drink, only with electrolytes, and fewer chemical creations.
I find that there’s rarely a reason we should drink any sports drink, despite pro athlete endorsements.
If you’re sweating tons and want something more substantial than water - without extra sugar - go for coconut water.
9. Sauces and Dressings
Much like sports drinks and fruit juices, the organic label tells us nothing about sugar and fat content.
...non-organic salad dressings and barbecue sauces are the actual worst.
They contain hydrogenated oils, HFCS, and tons of preservatives.
Much like fruit compote on yogurt, they destroy the healthy foods you took the time and care to choose.
Organic dressings aren’t a whole lot better.
As we’ve seen, they use large amounts of organic sugar to “improve” taste.
And the oils?
They might be organic, but choosing a healthy oil involves more than just avoiding pesticides.
It’s best to make your own salad dressing.
Get creative with herbs and spices, and never worry about what’s hiding in your condiments.
Final Word About: The “Best” Organic Foods You Should NEVER Eat: The 9 Worst Exposed
If you can afford them, some organic fruits and vegetables are worth the money. They may even contain more antioxidants.
But placing an “organic” halo on a packaged food doesn’t mean you’re making the wisest choice.
These can still contain:
High concentrations of sugar
And the 9 foods I exposed today are, unfortunately, just an overview.
It’s a good reminder that even if something is natural or organic, we still need to read through the ingredients.
What items on this list are you never going to buy again?
Do you adhere to an all-organic diet?
Which of these 9 foods do you think are the worst? Let me know in the comments!