Can An Organic, GMO-Free Diet Really Ward Off The Weight?

Every generation has its food and exercise fads. Juice diets, jazzercize, cabbage soup– at one point low fat diets were the go-to way to lose weight, only to be replaced by low carb diets.

There’s a new crowd out there redefining what it means for food to be “healthy.” Namely, that avoiding chemicals, conventionally raised livestock or GM produce constitutes a more healthful diet than monitoring portion size and nutritional content.

While nutrition science is notoriously tricky, one piece of conventional wisdom still rings true: If your calorie intake exceeds your calorie output, your body fat will increase over time.

Butter, even if it comes from a grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic dairy cow, still contains 100 calories per tablespoon, all of which come from fat. And although knowing your poultry was raised listening to Mozart may give you the warm fuzzies, it won’t impact the number of calories a serving brings to your plate (about 170 calories for a dry roasted chicken breast).

That’s how a lunch entrée at your local farm-to-table restaurant can still pack a whopping 1,200 calories (300 more calories than a McDonald’s quarter pounder with cheese meal), despite touting its “fresh,” “organic” ingredients.

For perspective, 1,200 calories is more than twice the recommended lunch calorie allotment for women, and about 1.6 times the amount recommended for men. Unless you plan on eating a single egg for breakfast and a sad salad for dinner, this type of health illusion is a recipe for weight gain.

It’s one equation young Americans could benefit from knowing. Today, more than two thirds of adults are obese. As a comparison, when the youngest Baby Boomers reached adulthood in the early 80’s, no state had an obesity rate over 15 percent. Obesity drastically increases one’s risk of developing health complications including high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cancers and sleep disorders.

When it comes to eating for their health, organic “foodies” would fare better by learning how to interpret existing FDA nutrition labels than trusting their waistline to a “Non-GMO Project” stamp on the cookie jar.