You’ve probably heard the term GMO, or genetically modified organisms – but how much do you really know about genetically modified foods and how they affect your health as well as your waistline?
While some claim that GMOs are totally safe, that claim is misleading and misrepresents currently available scientific evidence that reveals the opposite is true.
Pro-GMO advocates say that hundreds of studies prove that GMOs are safe. In reality, many of these studies show no such thing, and some even raise safety concerns.
The patents on GMO seeds are owned by the biotech agrichemical companies, and those patents don’t allow unapproved independent studies.
Basically, that means that the studies often cited as supporting GMO safety, are typically conducted by scientists who are employed by biotech companies that sell GMO items. Not exactly unbiased, right?
GMOs and Weight Gain
It’s no secret that Americans are getting increasingly fatter, with more and more processed foods consumed as a part of our diets, but genetically modified crops are also believed to have a significant role in obesity too.
A long term study conducted in Norway which involved researching the health effects of GMO food, found that over a period of 90 days, rats fed a GMO-corn diet grew fatter and ate more food than rats who didn’t consume GMO foods.
Rats that ate fish that had been raised on GMO corn also got fatter.
The researchers wondered, if the same effect applies to humans, how would it impact those who ate GMO corn over a number of years, or eat from animals that fed on this same corn?
Another issue is nutrition
Nutrient levels in GMO crops, produced within the last half-century, have been found to be anywhere from 10 to 25% lower than they once were.
Experts believe that’s because the crops are bred for higher yields, like GMO crops, meaning greater quantity, but lesser quality. When nutrient levels are decreased, we have to eat more to get the nutrient levels our body needs.
GMOs are grown with toxic chemicals, and the resulting pesticide residues are well-known to be harmful to health.
Laboratory research using mammals fed GMOs have found adverse effects like damage to the heart, kidneys, liver, spleen and adrenal glands.
Their immune systems were also compromised – and, in some, their brain size was reduced too.
This also plays a role in weight gain. When our body is exposed to toxins, it tends to hold onto fat as a form of protection to the organs, making it difficult to lose or maintain an ideal body weight.
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That’s more than enough reason to go organic, don’t you think? I mean, why make weight loss harder than it already is?! Organics don’t contain any synthetic hormones, antibiotics, chemicals or GMOs.
And, independent studies have proven that organic food has more vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants than conventional food, which is generally now just saying GMO food.
But how do you know for sure that you’re getting “clean” organic food?
By following these 3 tips you can ensure that you and your family are getting the best possible foods for your health and your waistline:
1. Whenever possible, purchase food that is both local and organic. You can find a farm, purchase from a farmers market, or join a CSA. Ask friends, family, neighbors and co-workers for referrals. If you don’t have anyone to ask, try searching online on sites like Local Harvest, which can help you identify local, organic foods.
2. Read labels. You should always be reading food labels, and that will also help you to identify organic foods.
- Fruits and vegetables generally contain stickers with a PLU (product look up code) that identifies how it was produced.
- Organic produce has a five-digit code beginning with a 9, while conventional produce will have a four-digit code beginning with a 3 or 4.
- GMO produce has a five-digit code that starts with an 8.
3. Ask the seller. Whether you buy direct from the farmer, or at your supermarket, don’t be afraid to ask questions. You can ask, for example, whether their products are certified organic, grown using organic methods or produced locally.
Knowledge is powerful – use it as yet another weapon in your battle against stubborn pounds and enjoy a happier, healthier life too.
Yours in Health,