The Paleo diet strongly suggests organic foods. It is perfectly fine to start Paleo with whatever foods you have on hand, but sooner or later it is strongly suggested to consume grass fed meats and organic foods. Paleo is about clean eating, and organic foods are the best way to get the nutrients you need without the preservatives that you definitely don’t need.
The USDA has three categories of organic foods.
- 100% Organic- These foods are made with 100% organic ingredients.
- Organic- These foods have at least 95% organic ingredients
- Made with Organic Ingredients- These foods have at least 70% organic ingredients and no GMO’s.
Organic foods means that the meat, poultry etc. have not been given antibiotics or hormones. Organic foods are made with no pesticides or genetic engineering. But do these labels really mean anything? To be labeled “organic” the government has a third party inspector inspect the farm and to be sure that everything is organic as specified by a stringent code. So yes, the USDA organic label certainly means something for Paleo dieters as well as anyone concerned with the quality of their food. Please note that “natural” means almost nothing. You cannot be assured of the quality of your food by the label “natural”. For the most part, this word is a means for a food company to give the illusion of health and quality without actually doing anything.
It has been said that organic foods are about 25% more nutritious than conventional supermarket foods. Wth organic foods you should be getting more vitamins and minerals than supermarket foods.Organic foods do not contain pesticides or preservatives. These foods are not irradiated. This is why so many Paleo enthusiasts rely on grass fed and organic foods. You get more nutrition without the chemicals that are making so many obese and unhealthy.
GMO’s are a controversial subject these days and because the Paleo diet stresses organic foods, Paleo is also GMO free. One of the major concerns with these genetically modified foods is that they allow the use of more pesticides. Do we really want more of these dangerous chemicals in our bodies ? Preservatives and pesticides have been linked with serious diseases as well as weight retention and obesity.
It has been stated that organic foods are generally priced about 20% higher than average supermarket foods. However, someone following an organic diet may be able to save money in other areas. You will be eating less processed carbs so there is a savings there. You will also be eating less sugar products and this too can be a savings. Many American families actually spend quite a bit on foods that are bad for them. It is not unusual to see bottles of soda in many families shopping carts as well as candies, cookies and other unhealthy foods. Therefore it is not inconceivable, that by buying quality organic foods and by eliminating so many junk foods, that the difference may not be as much as you think. Quality over quantity.
Its not always easy to eat quality organic foods, and there is certainly no rule that you have to eat 100% organic to be Paleo. Many Paleo people eat as many organic foods as possible, but others do not. Many eat mostly organic foods, but allow themselves ordinary foods on occasion. You have this choice on the Paleo diet.
The main objectives of Paleo is to lose body fat and stop inflammation in the body. By avoiding grains and sugars, and eating good quality organic foods, you will certainly be making significant progress to a leaner, healthier body.