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Organic Snacks Aren't Necessarily Healthier Than Junk Food

The “health halo” effect

The “health halo” effect
It refers to a scientifically researched phenomenon in which certain claims, such as “low fat” or “made with organic ingredients” can lead us to assume a food is healthier or lower in calories. 

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Organic Snacks Aren't Necessarily Healthier Than Junk Food

Organic Snacks Aren't Necessarily Healthier Than Junk Food

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/organic-snacks-food-healthier_l_5c7ebd56e4b06ff26ba2f389

huffpost.com

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Key Ideas

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.

Organic isn't always healthy

Many organic brands tend to cater to a health-conscious crowd, meaning they’ll often use less processing or healthier ingredients to appeal to their consumers. But the organic label alone does not guarantee this.

The “health halo” effect

It refers to a scientifically researched phenomenon in which certain claims, such as “low fat” or “made with organic ingredients” can lead us to assume a food is healthier or lower in calories. 

Checking the labels

In general, a lengthy list of ingredients means a food’s been highly processed, especially if it contains refined sweeteners or additives like soy lecithin, glycerin or guar gum.

Manufacturers can use synthetic fibers or other nutrients to boost their nutrition label, the ingredient list can better clue us in.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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...

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.)

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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'Clean eating' is the most widely followed diet
'Clean eating' is the most widely followed diet

Clean eating can best be described as a holistic approach to finding foods that are fresher, less processed, and a higher quality. The broader idea comes from the belief that your ...

Clean eating mindset

Clean eating is about choosing whole foods and ingredients, products that are minimally processed, and as additive-free as possible. It is not a punishing mindset, but a prioritising one:

  • Whole foods and ingredients first.
  • Minimally processed foods made with whole and familiar ingredients.
  • Where possible, avoid synthetic chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives, as well as artificial sweeteners, flavours, and colours.

The practice also promotes home-cooking and developing a culture of food that leads to meals that taste great and are better for you.

What clean eating is not
  • It's not a hard science. It is a conceptual framework to help navigate the vast food choices available.
  • Exclusive and judgmental. It's not an all-or-nothing approach, nor a tool by which to measure someone's value.
  • Versus "dirty." Clean eating can only be contrasted with "messy," where western diets are complicated and confusing.
  • Inflexible. It is an inclusionary approach that you can adapt, whether you are vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, or simply choose not to eat certain foods.
  • Only about avoiding processed foods or chemicals. It is about moving toward quality and making the healthiest choice.

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People eat junk food mostly out of convenience
If you’re eating out all the time, it’s really difficult to eat well. Restaurant food tends to be loaded with salt and additives—stuff that makes it taste good and that won’t inflat...
Home-prepared meals are a key feature of healthy eating

If you want to eat healthier, the first and most important change you should make is to start cooking your own meals from scratch. And along with improving your health, you’ll likely save a ton of money by making your own meals at home.

The only time you have agency over what you’re eating is when you’re doing the purchasing and prep.

The only time you have agency over what you’re eating is when you’re doing the purchasing and prep.
Best foods don’t have labels
Best foods don’t have labels

Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or without dairy; with or without eggs; with or without some meat; high or low in total fat.

The "Age" of vegetables
The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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Ultra-Processed Foods

Ultra-processed foods like white bread, cereal, chips, and wafers are remarkably common, convenient, affordable, extremely profitable for the makers, come in strong flavors and are aggressively ma...

Our Everyday Foods

We consume ultra-processed foods every day without even realizing it.

  • The morning cereal and flavored yogurt.
  • The savory snacks and sweet baked goods.
  • The vegan hotdog and the chicken nuggets available on the street.
  • The doughnut or the premium protein bar we buy as a snack.
  • The carton-packed almond milk put in our coffee or the diet coke we have.
Apart from obesity, ultra-processed foods are responsible for depression, asthma, heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and even cancer.
More Light On Ultra-Processed Foods

Most cooked foods can be termed as 'processed foods', but ultra-processed foods are in a different domain, with few people having the clarity to differentiate.

A cooked carrot is processed food, but a bag of industrially-produced, carrot-flavored veggie puffs are ultra-processed and are still aimed at toddlers as a portion of natural food. Other examples include frozen peas or pasteurized milk.

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Decreasing The Health Halo Effect

It is difficult for consumers to differentiate and make healthy choices between products when there is a wide variation in serving sizes and nutritional values. So, increasing the amount of info...

Research On ‘Health Halos’

Protein bars are perceived as having an increased protein content and as healthier overall when the label reads “protein bar“ and “good source of protein. ”

The ‘Health Halo’ Effect

A ‘health halo’ occurs when a single health buzzword or claim causes a consumer to have other unsubstantiated positive impressions of the product.

Health halos in food advertising take the form of short messages on food packaging about the health benefits of an item. Product labels containing the words ‘low fat’, ‘organic’ and ‘gluten-free’ are perceived as healthy choices and influence consumer purchasing behaviors.

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What successful diets have in common
  • Low in added sugar. 
  • Eliminate refined carbs. 
  • Avoid vegetable oils high in Omega-6 Fat.
  • Eliminate artificial trans fats, linked to inflammation and condition...
Processed Food in History

The need for food preservation has historically led the Ancient humans to develop techniques to process food.

From learning to control fire to grinding grains, our ancestors have been able to...

Evolution: Shaping Up Humans

Processed food has aided the evolution of Homo Sapiens: As food became easy to eat and digest, our jaws and teeth became less powerful and smaller.

The shape of our brains and even the development of language resulted partially from our eating habits in our evolutionary path.

Changes in DNA
Processed food has changed our DNA and the way we look. 

The current crop of super processed foods is altering our insulin resistance, teeth, metabolism, brain chemistry, and internal organs.

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Detox and its limitations

Detox diets are generally short-term dietary interventions designed to eliminate toxins from your body.

A typical detox diet involves a period of fasting, followed by a strict diet of ...

Most Common Ways to Detox

Most detox diets involve at least one of the following:

  • Fasting for 1–3 days.
  • Drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, water, and tea.
  • Drinking only specific liquids, such as salted water or lemon juice.
  • Eliminating foods high in heavy metals, contaminants, and allergens.
  • Taking supplements or herbs.
  • Avoiding all allergenic foods, then slowly reintroducing them.
  • Using laxatives, colon cleanses, or enemas.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Completely eliminating alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, and refined sugar.
Which Toxins Are Eliminated

Detox diets rarely identify the specific toxins they aim to remove. The mechanisms by which they work are also unclear.

There is little to no evidence that detox diets remove any toxins from your body.

However, your body can clear itself of most toxins through the liver, feces, urine, and sweat.

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