Is organic fruit and veg better for your heath?

By Sarah Noone, Maebh Williams and Katie Abrahams Nutrition News   |   23rd Nov 2018

Our expert dietitian, Sarah Noone and student dietitians, Maebh Williams and Katie Abrahams, debunk the myths behind organic foods.

Organic foods have risen in popularity in recent years and seem to be associated with the belief that they are healthier and better than non-organic food, but is that really the case?

Are organic fruit and vegetables more nutritious?

Although some organic fruit and vegetables may be slightly higher in certain nutrients, others may have the same or even less than non-organic produce. However, these differences are likely to be insignificant considering overall dietary intake. There is simply not enough scientific evidence that organic fruit or vegetables are more nutritious or have additional health benefits to eating non-organic or conventionally grown produce. Ultimately considering that most people in Ireland are not eating the recommended five to seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day, the most important thing is not whether the fruit and vegetables you eat are organic, but rather that you include them in your diet every day.

What about pesticides?

All foods are regularly tested for pesticides and must follow strict European regulations that are monitored by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) to ensure they are below levels safe for human consumption. If you are at all concerned about pesticide exposure, make sure to wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly under cool running water before eating or cooking.

The most important thing is not whether the fruit and vegetables you eat are organic, but rather that you include them in your diet every day.

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The Bottom Line

There is not enough evidence to firmly state that organic fruit and vegetables are better or healthier than non-organic produce. The important thing is that you include fruit and vegetables in your diet irrespective of whether it is organic or not. When it comes to heart health, it is what your diet looks like as a whole that matter and not single foods or nutrients. Remember, a heart healthy diet contains lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, pulses, oily fish, modest amounts of oils, low fat dairy, and lean meat, and low intakes of foods high in fat, salt and sugar.

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diet myths dietitian healthy eating healthy living nutrition organic

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