Ask the RD How Healthy Are Organic Junk Foods


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In addition to containing fewer pesticides, any food labeled as organic — even processed ones like boxed crackers and mac and cheese — contains fewer preservatives, thickeners, artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners and refined flours than non-organic counterparts. Some foods are more processed than others. A registered dietitian explains what you need to know about ultra-processed foods and how they might be harmful to your health. Just because a product says it’s organic or contains organic ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a healthier alternative. Some organic products may still be high in sugar, salt, fat or calories.

Wash and scrub fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water. Plus, a 2016 meta-analysis found organic milk has a much healthier fatty acid composition compared to conventional milk. Even more compelling? While all of the mentioned studies looked at the composition of foods, one French study with nearly 70,000 participants found that eating organic food more often was associated with a reduced risk of cancer.

When examining the value of organic foods, it’s important to understand the definition of organic. In the United States, organic is a labeling term defined by the USDA. To be considered organic, a product must meet federal standards for production, processing, and certification under the Organic Food.

The nutritional content of foods also varies greatly according to when the food was harvested and how it has been stored or processed. Unless they are fresher, there is also no evidence that organic, natural, or health foods taste better than regular foods. Medically Reviewed by: Kelly Kennedy, RD In today’s era of “clean eating,” many health-conscious eaters view processed foods with fear and disgust. But not all packaged foods are evil. Health of organic vs non-organic dried beans.

Asked February 16, 2017, 5:25 PM EST I am writing you today because I am a RD (registered dietitian) and have received many consumer questions about the safety of eating dried beans that are NOT organically grown. Meat, eggs and dairy products that are certified organic, pasture-raised and/or grass-fed are generally the least environmentally damaging. Overal. Just because a product is labeled “organic,” it doesn’t mean that it is healthy.

Some of these products are still processed foods high in calories, sugar, salt and added fats.

List of related literature:

Based on a comprehensive review comparing the health effects of organic and conventional food, Smith-Spangler et al. (2012) concluded that the published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly safer than conventional foods.

“Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems” by Neal K. Van Alfen
from Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems
by Neal K. Van Alfen
Elsevier Science, 2014

In July 1999, General Mills received no objection for a claim linking whole grain foods to reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, based on statements from the National Academy of Sciences.

“Handbook of Food Products Manufacturing, 2 Volume Set” by Y. H. Hui, Ramesh C. Chandan, Stephanie Clark, Nanna A. Cross, Joannie C. Dobbs, W. Jeffrey Hurst, Leo M. L. Nollet, Eyal Shimoni, Nirmal Sinha, Erika B. Smith, Somjit Surapat, Fidel Toldrá, Alan Titchenal
from Handbook of Food Products Manufacturing, 2 Volume Set
by Y. H. Hui, Ramesh C. Chandan, et. al.
Wiley, 2007

What it shows is that there is little, if any, nutritional difference between organic and conventionally produced food and that there is no evidence of additional health benefits from eating organic food,” said Gill Fine, FSA’s Director of Consumer Choice and Dietary Health

“26 Years CAT Topic-wise Solved Papers (2019-1994) with 6 Online Practice Sets 13th edition” by Disha Experts
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Disha Publications, 2020

Their philosophy is: Aarstiderne delivers organic food products directly to the kitchen door of the customer, who values quality, variety and taste and thereby creates economic freedom for the development of the company and its employees.

“Grocery E-commerce: Consumer Behaviour and Business Strategies” by Niels Kornum, Mogens Bjerre
from Grocery E-commerce: Consumer Behaviour and Business Strategies
by Niels Kornum, Mogens Bjerre
Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2005

Whenever possible, organic foods are definitely a better choice, both for their superior nutritional content and because they are less apt to be contaminated with pesticides that can trigger an immune system attack.

“No Grain, No Pain: A 30-Day Diet for Eliminating the Root Cause of Chronic Pain” by Peter Osborne, Olivia Bell Buehl
from No Grain, No Pain: A 30-Day Diet for Eliminating the Root Cause of Chronic Pain
by Peter Osborne, Olivia Bell Buehl
Atria Books, 2016

Making the switch to whole, organic foods is a monumental step toward getting well.

“The 9 Steps to Keep the Doctor Away: Simple Actions to Shift Your Body and Mind to Optimum Health for Greater Longevity” by Rashid A. Buttar
from The 9 Steps to Keep the Doctor Away: Simple Actions to Shift Your Body and Mind to Optimum Health for Greater Longevity
by Rashid A. Buttar
GMEC Publishing, 2010

They find the possible health risks unacceptable, especially since the presence of organic products.

“Sustainable Agriculture Reviews” by Eric Lichtfouse
from Sustainable Agriculture Reviews
by Eric Lichtfouse
Springer International Publishing, 2017

Whole Foods has been one of the pioneers in organic foods, and gives a promise to customers that all products in their stores are ‘free of artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats’.

“The Retail Value Chain: How to Gain Competitive Advantage through Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) Strategies” by Sami Finne, Hanna Sivonen
from The Retail Value Chain: How to Gain Competitive Advantage through Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) Strategies
by Sami Finne, Hanna Sivonen
Kogan Page, 2008

There have been few reliable studies in this area but preliminary tests indicate that organic food has substantially more minerals—as much as 90% more compared with commercial foods.”

“Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition” by Paul Pitchford
from Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition
by Paul Pitchford
North Atlantic Books, 2002

Are organic foods safer or healthier than conventional alternatives?: A systematic review.

“Child Development From Infancy to Adolescence: An Active Learning Approach” by Laura E. Levine, Joyce Munsch
from Child Development From Infancy to Adolescence: An Active Learning Approach
by Laura E. Levine, Joyce Munsch
SAGE Publications, 2014

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Nice video informs about organic food is much healthier. You may also like the website (Harvestorder) where you buy fresh organic fruits and veggies for you.

  • Meditation and emotional well-being

    When you meditate, you may clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.

    The emotional benefits of meditation can include:

    -Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations

    -Building skills to manage your stress

    -Increasing self-awareness

    -Focusing on the present

    -Reducing negative emotions

    -Increasing imagination and creativity

    -Increasing patience and tolerance


  • I appreciate the intention behind this video, which is to help people not feel guilty if they are doing the best they can for their health and think they can’t afford to eat 100% organic. However, I wish there was more emphasis on the concept that we are all on a journey and that we would be helping our health by making small baby steps toward eating an ideal diet of organic, seasonal, local food. Stating that organic food is not more healthy or nutritious is problematic. In the studies that are done where organic is compared to conventional growing practices, the organic growing process is using the bare minimum requirements to be called organic. On the other hand, I would argue that buying local produce from a source where the soil is really nurtured to maximum soil fertility IS more nutritious AND more tasty. Why do you think a garden tomato tastes so much better than any tomato you’d buy in a store? There is something called a brix level which measures the minerals in the fruit/vegetables. A vegetable cannot be high in minerals if there are not plentiful minerals in the soil. Most conventional farming practices, such as tilling and pesticide use, do harm to the fertility of the soil and unhealthy soil leads to less nutritious produce. My suggestion to people is, yes, we should be kind to ourselves and give ourselves credit for all the wonderful things we do for ourhealth now. However, we would be wise to be open to exploring and improving our food choices even further. I belong to a wonderful biodynamic CSA that truely cares for the things I mentioned in this post and lovingly cares for the soil. The cost of the CSA comes to about $30 per week spread out over an 11 month period. I pay for everything up front but they have more flexible payment options. Another option is growing some of your own veggies! There are community gardens springing up in many places or you can grow things in containers. I grew many veggies on my deck in self-watering containers, some of which I made myself very cheaply. I did not use any pesticides. I found the container gardening to be very fulfilling and a form of stress relief! There are tons of youtube videos on making self-watering containers so that you don’t have to do so much work in watering so much. There are so many creative ways to eat an ideal diet. You need to be open to it, and look for opportunities, and be patient with yourself for where you are in your journey.

  • I’m ordered your book and downloaded the app yesterday I’m 6 months so it of surgery and your advice is just the best out there I was so sad because I’m at an stall for a couple of months now but understanding the set point and maintaining the healthy habits have been effective evento tho I’m not at my dreamed weight I’m look great and feel great and with your help I’m looking forward the long term results thanks so much for what you do

  • Fell asleep while listening to this last night and had one of the most restful nights of sleep ever. I woke up this morning with more energy than I know what to do with. Thanks for posting. This channel is a godsend!

  • Being fat will kill me with lifestyle diseases
    Taking Artificial Sweetener keeps me in a caloric deficit.
    If I had to attribute my weight loss to anything; it was to using splenda in my coffee n all my sauces and drinking diet soda

  • Thanks Dr. Matthew, no one never explained this cycle on the after math. But thanks for a well detailed, outlined, detailed in such a motivated way.

  • We most change our mind, changing bad habits I did bariatric surgery 2016 was 255 -158 Then weight my self on Nov 19:218 Icant believe J was 175 This same day I start creating a new habits low sugar diet and been almost 4 months Iam 145 pounds my goal now is 130 I promise to my self never go back it’s was painful..neveragain������

  • Friend:”I bought healthy oreos!” *shows me gluten free Oreos”
    Me:”Those… are not especially healthy… just gluten free”
    Friend:”Oh… Wait… What is gluten?”.

    It took me 17 minutes to explain this to her lol

  • 17 years out and * suggest H2O distilled with B4 each meal and apples and pears. And iron supplements and exercise, weight and stretching. Multi vitamins constipated me if I ate with them go figure.

  • My dietician advised sticking to small portions and my surgeon said beware of snacking. I followed it and 2.5 yrs out I’ve kept my weight off. I also love salad and veggies but did so before my surgery also. I always keep a bowl of yummy salad or low carb vege dish for my snacks in fridge. I think this surgery isn’t good for binge eaters as they restretch stomach quickly. Obviously that is not everyone as some are able to change habits.

  • Wow!!!! This video just gave me life!!!! Thank you for having the compassion to help people like me who are struggling. I’ve never been educated in this manner.

  • I’m 6 weeks post op RNY. I have an appetite and food cravings. I choose not to eat those cravings as I will get major pain. Im using that memory to keep the crap food out of my life.

  • Dont be afraid. You can let go and fall asleep. Dont worry, tomorrow will be a good day. God provides for us. Sending much love. ��♥️������

    I live alone. And telling everybody good night in the comments, helps me feel less lonely. I’m not alone. ♥️
    You’re not alone.
    I love you stranger. ☀️You can do anything. I believe in you. ��

  • Dr.Weiner you are amazing! Thank you for posting and answering all our questions. I would like to know, if some soft foods with in the 14 liquid pre-op VGS is okay? I seem to crave food but I have been doing well. I’m just afraid if this is a bad idea for the VSG…

  • To whomever needs this.. Hakuna Matata �� What a wonderful phrase.. Hakuna Matata for the rest of our dayssssssss, its a problem freeee philosophyyyyy Hakuna Matataaaaa ������ love from a FL Reiki Master ������

  • great video I’m glad that you mentioned protein shakes because as soon as I drink one I’m starving so definitely will be focusing on fruits and veggies
    thank you

  • I’m 2 years out and I’m regaining after having my baby. I wish I saw his videos right after surgery or before. I got pregnant too soon and didn’t think I’d regain so quick after having a baby. i thought I’d lose quickly. I lost the weight the 2nd week and the 2nd month postpartum, I started gaining. Now, I’m about 15 lbs up. I don’t eat well, I’ve started eating processed food (I was doing it in month 6 after WLS being dumb), I have the food cravings and head hunger so bad, I’m not as mobile as I was. I hate it. I’ve been watching his videos at work instead of snacking and I’m sipping on tea. I’ll have to watch these viedos for the whole 12 hour shift to make it and get back on track.

  • I’m curious if Layne has ever read and/or addressed the book “Wheat Belly” regarding today’s modern GMO’d wheat and its DNA structure vs old wheat. I’m don’t have celiacs but I do notice bloating from modern wheat vs let’s say sprouted grains.


    What’s you’re thoughts on this??? This would be a good episode for you. A challenge or just you’re research based info one the subject.

  • Dr.Weiner, I am confused about grains. Basically I stopped eating pasta, all types of bread/pastries and have drastically limited starchy veggies like potatoes/sweet potatoes….i make homemade crackers using hummus & oat flour for example. I use honey in the place of sugar. In your videos you say that grains are bad or unsuitable for weight loss? why? I eat Freekeh, brown rice or quinoa in place of refined white rice & only 1/2 a cup (uncooked). I do not understand why corn flour and oats should be avoided? I also have a salad with every single meal/snack to force veggies every time i can. I eat light feta in place of regular high fat. I use olive oil instead of any other kind of fat. My dessert is mainly fruit now. I do body weight exercises for 10-30 mins a day (as much as i can) + i actually like walking long distances (1.5 hours)…i am 6 yrs out of the gastric sleeve surgery. I had a slight regain and that’s why i’m opting to load up on the fruits/veggies vs meat/chicken & have cut out refined sugars/carbs. But i depend heavily on oats…why is that an issue? I’m rather confused now…mainly i follow the Mediterranean diet but without rice,potatoes & bread…..will this work for losing 10-15 lbs?

  • I am 63 years old and weigh 250 I want the surgery because my weight is out of control and I cannot take it off no matter how hard i have tried. I take medications that cause weight gain and I will have to talk to my specialist about getting off of at least some of them. My real concern is that I have senosis of the spine and cannot do much in the way of exercise even walking is painful I have tried aqua fit but it triggers the pain in my spine something terrible., Any comments or advice would be welcome.

  • So I was bought into the sound and I was bought into the comments…..I put this on my phone and went to sleep……..3 hours later I wake up with a disturbing dream that I was in a large supermarket arguing with staff and it’s security guys; the store was closing and someone had stolen my left shoe.

  • I am not a fan of vegetables and I cannot change that.  I know several people who have kept the weight off by eating Lean Cuisines.  We have busy lives and cannot be constantly making meals to eat during the week.  I’m an advocate of increasing your exercise which could be something as simple as walking 30 minutes a day and trying to eat as healthy as you can.  I also cannot stress enough that counseling is important.  Also Dr. Weiner is not factoring in that many of us have arthritic joints.  I cannot do high intensity workouts and things like squats?  My Doctor has told me absolutely not.  These recommendations by Dr. Weiner are not different than for those who haven’t had bariatric surgery.

  • You are loved You are of infinite value You are part of the awakening Trust the process, follow the light, and love in return ��

  • Finally someone talks about it!
    I’ll put an example: my grandpa plan a peaches tree. This is the second year it has given peaches and anyone has eaten them! There is a fly that put her eggs on the peaches and every single one is full of worms. None could eat those peaches without pesticides! I don’t know what kind of pesticide he will use next year (organic approved or not) but it is necessary. Imagine that in bigger scale! You loose all the plantation! And if some peaches are save they will be crazy expensive.

  • Dr. Weiner
    I am so glad to have found you. I had RNY in 2009 and lost 100lbs. I was at 173. I was so happy. Then I found I was pregnant, which my husband I went to extreme measure not do again. Today I am 239. I was depressed about it but recently I have decided I can get it off. I had went up to 256 after pregnancy. If I can lose 23lbs I can lose the rest one day at a time. Your videos are saving my life

  • Dr., will you address what people who have some physical disabilities should do? I have spinal injuries, and I live with daily pain. I work actively with Pain Management procedures, and minimum pain drugs, but I have them when really needed. I am hoping my weight loss will reduce foot pain, hip pain, and my doctor is delighted and encouraging, knowing this will help. Still would like your input. Thank you! Your videos are very clear!

  • Dr. Weiner, I am so glad I found you on You Tube! My sleeve surgery will be on 4/19/17 and you are the only person who is talking about healthy food choices for life and how to make this work over the long term. I have pointed several of my co-workers who have had surgery to your videos also and purchased your book. Thank you so much for talking about this in a real and meaningful way!

  • I am 1 year and a half out from having vsg went from 284 to 170. I have hit a point where My weight won’t move and I would like to lose 25 more pounds. I workout 6 days a week lifting heavy weights working difficult muscle groups and also cardio. What should my calorie intake be or my macros? I would love to be a bikini competitor. Advice please! Thank you

  • For the record, 80% of the land that is use for agriculture produce 20% of the food, that is industrial production so actually is less productive and over explodes natural resources like water and hydrocarbons.

  • Local over organic is better, I agree. However, there are a lot more studies than she claims related to nutritional deficiencies in non-organic vs organic crops. Also, it’s important to note that organic processed foods don’t have GMOs and their ingredients will have far less pesticides. “Organic farming isn’t as productive” is a load of crap. Their soil is so much better at producing huge amounts of produce. There are reports all over the internet about it. This is the same lie that Monsanto wants us to believe so we will support their GMOs. Buyer beware.

  • I’m 3 years out VSG, only lost 50 pounds and gained some back…..mostly my fault cause I stopped doing what I was supposed to do… I think I stretched my sleeve cause I can eat almost a full plate again….I also suffer from low blood sugar after surgery and I have to eat to keep my sugar up, which is not helping either….. Could I get a revision? Should I get my pouch checked? Go on a 5 day pouch test? Not sure what to do….:(

  • I truly feel blessed on hearing this video. Thank you for taking the time in making your very important educational videos as im going to start applying them now. This really clarified lots of unanswered questions ive had for years. Its been 10 years after bariatric surgery and regained about 100 lbs and discouraged on how to gain control. Unfortunately my surgeon has not been as invested in my well being as you are with your patients. Thank you again your very appreciated. 8/5/2018

  • Excellent video, very informative. Dr Weiner, what kind of nuts would be a great choice to keep weight off. Almond, cashew and peanuts are a good choice? Will it be too much of a problem if they are roasted or salted?

  • Love your Funny Yet Awesome Information & the Fact you are HONEST! On my way to BUY SOME OF YOUR…! Love&Light! xoxo Sheri Morgan

  • Hi Dr.Weiner.  I have been listening to you and everything makes sense.  However, as you know, the WLS community preaches protein first.  I have done well.  I have lost 160 total and 130 pounds in 9 months.  I have been eating very low carb, basically no fruits or vegetables.  This goes against everything I know.  I was vegan in the past but because it is a higher carb lifestyle I wonder if this would work after RNY.  I find it a delicious and easy lifestyle and would have no trouble switching but I’m afraid of weight gain.  My weight loss is slowing down so I’m thinking I need to change things up.  Can you speak to carbs? Should I track. I’m currently eating 700 cal, 60 g protein, under 30 carbs.  Just starting to incorporate exercise.  Thanks for this great information.

  • Thank you for this video. It is a great re-motivator. I’m far away from any support and several years out, (Dec 2008). I would consider myself to be a success because I’ve done things in my life the last 5 years that I’ve never imagined possible. Amazing adventures, hiking hundreds of miles on scenic trails, half marathons, you name it. I did it all! It is very challenging to stick with things when you are far away from your safe zone of people and situations though and I have experienced some weight gain. I’m grateful for your videos and feel a renewed ZING to hunker down and avoid the toxic food world we live in. Take care and thanks again.

  • Hi I am 8 years out from bypass surgery I have gained weight over the past 3 years at my lowest I was 157 that truly as not a good healthy weight for me for lack of a better word I looked like a sucked up loose skinned zombie I was a size 6/7 but looked sick. My husband begged me to gain some weight and the doctor told me I needed to eat some more and he did not out right tell me to gain some weight but implied it. So I tried and no gaining then I had a soda! Bad idea now I am hooked agin I did gain 35 pounds and I am now a 12/14 I look much better but I have been trying to loose again and after my 35 lb gain I was at 192 now I am back down to 187 but I feel like If I do not have a Pepsi (flat) I will be flat on my butt by 2pm. I want to get back to 165 to 170 that was a good fit for me. But how can I get the boost naturally with out drinking that soda…. I now consume 1-20oz Pepsi in 2 ice filled cups through out the day and I am an ice chewer” another bad habit. Any ideas?

  • I definitely agree with the fact that people mistake organic and healthy!! However, meats/eggs I will only buy/eat organic or pasture raised (for eggsyou can realllllyyyy tell a difference with the nutrition in the yolk, simply by looking at the color difference!) To me conditions of the animals/what they eat are soooo important to me!
    If I do buy packaged food (healthy packaged foods** I try to stay non-GMO!) Also, I try to follow the dirty dozen as close to possible (as you mentioned!) The only exception to my list is bananas, yes I will buy non-organic bananas, but the organic bananas from whole foods (for some reason,) are the MOST delicious bananas ever ahah!!
    Love your videos! <3

  • I had gastric bypass surgery in 2010 at the time I was 350 in 6 months after that I was 185 I kept it off until 2012 where I started developing pica (eating cornstarch ) and regained the weight back to 280 I seen my Dr but he told me that my stomach didn’t stretch from what he seen in xray so now what do I do Im still gaining the weight and no longer eating the cornstarch so I was thinking to get a second opinion and if it did stretch to get another surgery I just want to be comfortable and right now I’m not..what should I do oh I have been walking and exercising but the weight stays around the 280 when I do so

  • I had gastric sleeve and I have always had food cravings and appetite…Is there some hormone that my body produces that makes me hungry. The only time I never wanted to eat was when I was pregnant. i would forget to eat because food didn’t interest me. 

  • Dr. Weiner I had rny with ds on august 12, 2014. I have lost 50 lbs-this is 9-12-14. is that about right? I haven’t lost any this week. is this nml? I,m still weak but having difficulty getting all protein in. thanks  robin

  • Thanks for the video, it was very interesting, useful. I order organic veggies, as I thought they may be better for you, I wasn’t convinced, but since they’re not at all expensive (the ones I buy) I don’t mind. I will keep doing this though as I’m supporting local farmers as opposed to chains which is important for me.
    thanks for sharing!:)

  • And God said: I am not afraid, if “I” is not made the centre.
    “I” is only remembered through the mind, therefore be mindless in Me.

  • This video is perfect timing for me as I’m going to have GVS July 15, 2014. I will purchase: “A Pound of Cure” from Amazon.

    Thank you so much! Most people that have WLS don’t realize beyond year one. 

  • I like the last part about developing a healthy relationship with food & your body.  I see so many in the WLS community rush out and get plastic surgery because they’re not happy with what’s left after surgery.  Most haven’t put in the work in the gym nor have they really made the healthy changes to fruits & veggies you talk about.  So many have the plastics & are still unhappy.  I truly believe it comes down to self acceptance and learning to love yourself your body included.  I’ve favorited this video for future viewing when I feel the need.