Healthy Living: Should you buy organic or conventional food?

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As we climb our way out of the pandemic, many of us are still just trying to make ends meet. That’s why finding affordable food is crucial for so many families.

This week, we’re diving into the differences between buying organic, versus conventional foods and what’s best for your wallet.

Remember that old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away?" Research shows it's pretty accurate.

The fruit is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a healthful staple in your diet.

With unlimited options in Washington, which do you pick?

"If you’re feeling discouraged from the price tags on the organic fruits and vegetables or foods like milk and protein sources, then buy the conventional fruits and vegetables because you’ll eat them and enjoy them and that’s what’s most important," said Registered Dietician with Swedish Edmonds, Jessica Sexton.

Sexton says it's a family's choice because organic foods aren't always the most affordable. Research shows organic food contains fewer pesticides, avoids hormones or antibiotics, promotes the ethical treatment of animals and some even say it tastes better.

Sexton says to let your taste buds lead the way because the benefits of both organic and conventional foods are about the same.

"I think that the studies that have been done to compare the nutrition content of organic versus conventional have actually shown very little difference in terms of vitamin and mineral content so you still get the health benefits from eating those conventional items," said Sexton.

If you're a meat-eater, and get drawn into those trademark labels like "simply raised" experts say look at the entire label. Simply Raised chicken is often advertised as no added hormones, steroids, or antibiotics. If you take a closer look...the label says federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones and steroids in all chicken.

"Having an "eat this, not that" mentality can lead to some fear-based behavior around food and eating should be fun," said Sexton.

If you’re still unsure of which foods to eat or drink, it might be a good idea to talk with your doctor and get a referral for a dietician. They can help come up with meal plans for you, suggest foods, and discuss mindfulness with food.

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