Is organic food healthier? New study says no

OrganicFood

As a registered dietitian, one of the most popular questions I get asked is, “Is organic food better for me?” My usual response is that the way to better health is to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, organic or not.

No significant difference in nutrition

A new review of the published literature sheds some light on this very question. The authors found that for produce — fruits, vegetables and grains — there was no significant difference in vitamin levels of organic items compared to conventionally grown items. However, researchers also found detectable pesticide residues were significantly less likely to be found on organic produce.

What do these results mean for the average consumer? The question of whether organic food is better for you is usually coupled with cost concerns, because, in general, organic produce can be more expensive. However, the most recent data indicates that in terms of nutrient content, organic and conventionally grown produce are equivalent.

What about pesticides?

There are, however, other reasons that consumers choose to purchase organic produce, and the fact that they tend to have lower quantities of detectable pesticide residues compared to conventionally grown produce is one of them. This finding, however, may not be as significant as it initially appears to be. First of all, it means that organic produce still contains pesticide residues, just less often than conventional produce. Secondly, the levels of residue found on organic and conventional produce generally are well below upper limits set by the government. In other words, exposure at these levels is less than what has been shown to cause adverse health effects.

For anyone who still has concerns about pesticide residue levels on produce, I would advise thoroughly rinsing all produce before consumption.

Bottom line

In light of these results, it is my opinion that if you’re trying to adopt healthier eating habits, consuming more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, organic or not, is definitely a step in the right direction.

This article originally appeared on www.HealthBytesNYC.com. Simone Walters is a clinical nutritionist at Beth Israel Medical Center.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

NFL

Source: Drafting Geno Smith was '100 percent' John…

It might have been a “Jets decision” as general manager John Idzik likes to say, but it wasn't a unanimous decision to draft Geno Smith last year.

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Chloé: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Chloe Spring 2015 show from Pairs Fashion Week.

Parenting

What to eat if you're trying to get…

The guru who helped Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet and other celebrities get pregnant shares her tips.