Posts Tagged ‘ organics ’

Organic Milk Is Healthier, Study Finds

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Researchers at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University have published a study that finds more nutrients–including heart-healthy fatty acids and proteins–in organic milk than in non-organic milk.  NBC News has more:

“There’s really no debate around the world — when you feed dairy cows more grass, you improve the fatty acid profile of milk. You also increase the protein level,” [study author Charles] Benbrook says. On the other hand, cows fed a corn-based diet produce milk that’s higher in omega-6 fatty acids.

The reason organic milk is healthier comes down to its ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which is lower than in regular milk. A diet containing too many omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3s has been linked to heart disease, as well as cancer, inflammation and autoimmune diseases. That’s because your gut converts omega-6s to arachidonic acid, which can cause inflammation. But the anti-inflammatory powers of omega-3s help to counterbalance that reaction, which is why keeping that ratio low is so important. (An omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 2.3 to 1 is best for heart health, research suggests.)

“It’s true that both omega 6s and omega 3s are essential – we have to have some of them,” Benbrook says. “But it’s when they get out of balance, the adverse health effects appear to kick in.”

If organic milk is out of your budget, conventional milk is still OK – but choose whole milk, rather than skim or 2 percent. “The heart-healthy fatty acids in milk are part of milk’s overall fat content,” Benbrook says. “This benefit will be reduced about 50 percent when people choose 2 percent fat milk, and by about two-thirds when purchasing skim or low-fat dairy products.”

Even if you don’t consume dairy, Benbrook says the larger message here is to try to cut back on foods that are very high in soybean or corn oil, both of which have high omega-6 to omega-3 ratios – things like fried foods, or chips.

Learn how to make healthy homemade baby food with our guide. Then, check out which 20 snacks kids find irresistible.

Image: Glass of milk, via Shutterstock

Valentine's Day Treats: Strawberry Milk
Valentine's Day Treats: Strawberry Milk
Valentine's Day Treats: Strawberry Milk

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Organic Food No More Nutritous for Kids Than Conventional

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

In a study that echoes other research that shows organic food to carry no more significant nutrition than conventionally-grown foods, a new report says that organic food is not conclusively more healthy for growing children than conventional foods.  MSNBC.com reports:

The nation’s pediatricians have weighed in on the issue for the first time, and they say that when it comes to nutritional value, organics are virtually indistinguishable from conventionally produced foods.

“Pretty much every study shows no nutritional difference,” said Dr. Janet Silverstein, a professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Florida. She’s a co-author of the report published Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Silverstein and her colleagues reviewed the available studies on organic and conventionally produced foods, including produce, dairy products and meat. They considered research about issues including nutrition, hormones, antibiotics and synthetic chemical exposure, plus factors such as environmental impact and price.

Overall, the docs came to a conclusion that may surprise some parents who believe organic is best for their kids

“In the long term, there is currently no direct evidence that consuming an organic diet leads to improved health or lower risk of disease,” AAP officials said in a statement.

Image: Baby food, via Shutterstock

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