Ask the Dietitian

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Organic Foods

Should I go organic?

The term “organic” doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Organic is simply a label for foods that are grown without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or genetic modifications.

Is it worth the extra money?

Organic foods are usually more expensive. But are they more nutritious? Some studies have shown that organic foods are better for you while others have shown them to be equally or less nutritious than conventional foods. If you want to maintain good health, it is important to eat a variety of vegetables and fruits.

Should I avoid pesticides?

Although non-organic farmers use pesticides, the quantities are regulated. There is little evidence that these quantities are harmful. Whether you choose to eat organic or not, following food safety guidelines is important. This means washing your fruits and vegetables carefully and cooking your meat and eggs well. Choosing to eat organic food is a personal choice.

Rima Nasrah, MSc, RD

Juicing

Is juicing the best way to get my fruits and vegetables?

When you put fruits, and vegetables in a juicer, you’re removing all the fibre. Your digestive system needs that fibre to keep you healthy. Fibre prevents constipation and may help reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer

Eating your fruits and vegetables whole gives you all the fibre plus the natural sugars, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. If you prefer a liquid meal, you can blend fruits or vegetables to make a smoothie while still benefitting from the fibre.

Try to eat at least five servings of whole fruits and vegetables and then you can add juicing as an extra if you like. For a balanced snack, add protein to your smoothie with a handful of nuts or a cup of Greek yogurt. If you are juicing, juice mostly vegetables with a bit of fruit for sweetness. This will lower the sugar if you are watching calories or your sugar intake.

Christy Brissette, MSc, RD
Reference
Rock et al., (2012). American Cancer Society guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer survivors. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 62(4), 242–274.

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