Are there any risks associated with eating natural foods?

Discover the difference between organic foods and their traditionally grown counterparts when it comes to nutrition, safety and price.

Organic foods, once found only in health food stores

, are now a common feature in most grocery stores. And that has created a small problem in the produce aisle. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established an organic certification program that requires that all organic foods meet strict government standards.

These regulations control how these foods are grown, handled and processed. Some data show the possible health benefits of organic foods compared to foods grown using the usual (conventional) process. These studies have shown differences in foods. However, there is limited information to demonstrate how these differences can provide possible general health benefits.

Organic foods aren't healthier in and of themselves in terms of nutrients. You're still getting the same benefits from conventionally grown foods as from organic foods. The basics of a clean diet involve choosing natural, nutrient-rich foods and avoiding processed and refined foods. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, eating healthy, like dieting, increases the risk of orthorexia nervosa (ON), which consists of strictly avoiding foods that a person perceives as unhealthy.

While some people may avoid certain foods for ethical, religious, or health-related reasons, people with orthorexia have obsessive thoughts about their eating habits. This can include eating more whole fruits and vegetables, beans, and high-quality protein, while limiting processed foods. They can also limit the amount of ingredients in food and avoid foods treated with antibiotics, pesticides and growth hormones. Usually, the word “natural” on a food label means that the product has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

The ultra-processed foods in the study included reconstituted meat products, savory snacks and frozen foods. However, is it really true that organic is healthier? The idea of organic food is a great concept, but it can also put a hole in your wallet. Paying attention to what you eat and eating a variety of healthy foods from the 5 food groups is one of the most important preventive measures you can take. Of the 702,308 adult deaths due to heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, 318,656 (45%) were associated with inadequate consumption of certain foods and nutrients that, in general, are considered vital to a healthy life, and to the excessive consumption of other foods that are not.

For example, a large study published in The BMJ found that eating 10% more ultra-processed foods increased the risk of coronary heart, cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases by at least 10%. Food bloggers, social media influencers, and magazines that are often trusted for nutritional information often promote so-called clean eating. Research suggests that a healthy diet can lead to excessive dietary restriction, leading to nutrient deficiencies and the loss of social relationships. In addition, the “natural” label on foods means that they do not contain artificial flavoring ingredients or colors, but that doesn't mean that they are organic or pesticide-free.

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