I love Whole Foods, my local farmer’s market, and do my best to purchase products from the best sources, including organic foods. That said, slapping organic on a label does not mean it will help you lose weight or slash fat, and in some instances it won’t even guarantee that a food is “healthy.” After all, an organic donut is still a donut.
What’s more, research published in the Annal of Internal Medicine reviewed 200 studies that compared the health benefits of organic foods to conventional foods and the results were surprising: There were no clearly distinguishable benefits of eating organic foods, whether measured by preventing disease or an assessment of overall health.
More specific to weight loss, a random comparison of organic to non-organic foods found no significant difference in nutritional information, including calories.
Organic sources of sugar are still sugar. And organic products loaded with 1,000 calories are still 1,000 calories.
The Organic Debate: Healthy vs. Weight Loss
More research on organic foods needs to be conducted. Organic foods have fewer pesticides and toxins, but the real question is if the sometimes-small difference in toxins makes any scientifically significant difference on weight loss (and yes, weight loss and health are two separate discussions).
Most important to you: labeling a food as organic is not an indication that it is weight-loss friendly. In fact, there’s very little evidence that organic foods promote the scale dropping. It could be the opposite because according to research at the University of Michigan, people who buy organic are under the impression that the foods contain fewer calories and oftentimes end up overeating.
That’s not to say organic foods are bad (As I said before, they are part of my diet). They are a great source of nutrition and tend to be farmed in a more responsible manner. The question here is about pure fat loss.
Organic sources of sugar are still sugar. And organic products loaded with 1,000 calories are still 1,000 calories. If you want to reduce the potential of anything bad entering your body, feel free to purchase organic products but still keep an eye on the label if your primary goal is fat loss.
Adam Bornstein is a New York Times bestselling author and the author of You Can’t Screw This Up. He is the founder of Born Fitness, and the co-founder of Arnold’s Pump Club (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Pen Name Consulting. An award-winning writer and editor, Bornstein was previously the Chief Nutrition Officer for Ladder, the Fitness and Nutrition editor for Men’s Health, Editorial Director at LIVESTRONG.com, and a columnist for SHAPE, Men’s Fitness, and Muscle & Fitness. He’s also a nutrition and fitness advisor for LeBron James, Cindy Crawford, Lindsey Vonn, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. According to The Huffington Post, Bornstein is “one of the most inspiring sources in all of health and fitness.” His work has been featured in dozens of publications, including The New York Times, Fast Company, ESPN, and GQ, and he’s appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and E! News.