Just because a snack food is organic doesn’t mean it’s healthy

Organic snacks can be healthier than non-organic junk food—but they still may be junk.

That’s the consensus of nutrition experts quoted in a March 12, 2019 Huffington Post article.

Organic choices might be healthier because organic crops contain higher amounts of antioxidants, some vitamins and minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids (in organic dairy products), studies have shown.

But organic versions of snack foods such as cookies or boxed mac and cheese may have the same unhealthy characteristics as their non-organic counterparts—including too much sugar and not enough protein and fiber.

“Now that you see more and more junk food products with organic labels, it can create a health halo, which may mislead consumers,” said Frank Hu, Fredrick J. Stare Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Being organic itself will not offset the detrimental effects of many ultra-processed foods, which are typically loaded with added sugars, sodium and refined starch.”

Hu said the best way to know if a food is healthy is to check the ingredient list for things like whole grains, nuts, fiber, and protein, and minimal added sugar.

Read the Huffington Post article: Organic Snacks Aren’t Necessarily Healthier Than Junk Food. Here’s Why.