Organic Food Isn't Always Low-Fat Food
Can Organic Food Make You Fat?
If given a choice, most Americans would prefer to eat organic foods. It’s the reason why so many supermarkets are adding sections that offer this option. But now a new study points to a Catch-22 in our desire to eat what’s best: People who opt for organic tend to buy more and take in more calories – especially when it comes to snack foods. Researchers from Cornell University investigated whether the sight of an organic label was enough to make consumers believe the food was filled not only with desirable ingredients but also contained fewer calories. Almost 150 shoppers were asked to taste what they thought were conventionally and organically-produced chocolate cookies, yogurts and chips. Then the shoppers were asked how tasty and nutritious they believed the food was. Not only did they believe the organic foods were more delicious but in general they judged the organic foods to be 40 per cent lower in calories. They also believed the organics were lower in fat and higher in fiber, and worth paying the higher price. However, the nutritional labels on both the organic and conventional snacks were actually identical. The findings were presented at the annual conference of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. To avoid falling into the organic trap and packing on the pounds, simply make it a habit to read the calorie count on labels whether you’re opting for conventional or organic snacks and other packaged goods. And if a package doesn't say "low fat," it isn't. Robin Westen is ThirdAge’s medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. See what others have to say about this story or leave a comment of your own.