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Everybody is talking about “healthy” eating – on TV, in publications, on the Internet, on food packaging. The problem is, what exactly does “healthy” mean? Is it organic? Natural? Gluten-free? The answer is, it’s not that simple. Many of the words associated with healthy eating are simply buzzwords, used loosely to help sell products. And “healthy” eating doesn’t always have as much to do with nutritious eating as it should.

So if you’re ready to begin your journey to a more health-conscious lifestyle, part of the effort we can help you with at Alison Wellness is becoming educated about your eating. We will help you understand how to put the right things in your mouth in order to lose weight and feel better. Call for a consultation today: (256) 489-5748. And here’s your first lesson in some of the lingo that actually does matter:

Organic certified milk This means the cows must be spending at least four months a year grazing in pastures, and their feed must be grown without chemical fertilizers, pesticides or genetically modified seeds. And organically certified cows aren’t treated with hormones or antibiotics.

Organically certified fruits and vegetables This means that plants are treated only with USDA safety-approved fungicides, pesticides or herbicides. The growers can’t use synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms or radiation to treat produce deemed organic.

Is organic worth it? A 2016 study found that organic dairy products and meat contain about 50% more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed animals. A 2014 study found that organic crops have much higher concentrations of antioxidants and other potentially beneficial compounds. The results indicate that at the very least, eating organic can reduce your ingestion of pesticides and cut your exposure to antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Is natural the same as organic? Natural doesn’t mean healthy or nutritious. What you need to know is that unlike the term “organic,” the FDA doesn’t strictly regulate the “natural” claim. They allow the use of this term as long as the items don’t contain added color, artificial flavors or synthetic substances – things that shouldn’t be in food in the first place!

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