Local

Local

There is no formal national definition for the term local. What local does not mean is organic or more nutritious, which is something many believe.

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Natural

The term is not formally defined by the Food and Drug Administration. But, the government agency doesn't object to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.

Natural does not mean organic or healthy. So, always read the ingredient list to really know what's in a food.

Organic

The term organic doesn't necessarily mean healthy, as evidenced by organic candies and baked goods. Once again, when buying packaged food, the real litmus test is the ingredient list.

The Organic Seal indicates that food was produced without industrialized substances and under humane conditions. It goes from “100% organic” to "Made With Organic Ingredients"(the product was made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, with restrictions on the remaining 30%, including no GMOs.)

Gluten-Free

“Gluten-free” does not indicate that a food is whole grain, organic, low carb, or healthy. In fact, many gluten-free foods are highly processed and include ingredients like refined white rice, sugar, and salt.

The FDA defines as “gluten-free” the food that limits gluten to less than 20 parts per million (ppm). 

Grass-Fed

Grass-fed does not mean that the cattle's feed is organic, or that they aren’t given hormones or antibiotics

The USDA defines that grass-fed cattle must be fed only mother's milk and forage (grass and other greens) during their lifetime, and the animals must have access to pasture during the growing season.

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100 Calorie Packs

These pre-portioned packages usually contain little to no nutritional value, and people often eat more than one.

Instead, prepare your own 150 calorie snack by combining almonds and your favorite dried fruit for a good combination of healthy fats, protein, and carbs.

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Organic junk food is still junk food

From a macronutrient perspective, organic junk foods are often identical to their conventional counterparts. 

They tend to be equally high in sugar and low in protein and fiber, which makes food less satiating and more likely to cause health problems long term.

Understanding gluten

There's much confusion about if going gluten-free is a good option or an unfounded fad.

Gluten is a type of protein. It is naturally found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. As an additive, it can bind food together, which means you can find it in products like salad dressing or vitamins.

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