Gluten-Free Diet

A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein, gluten. Gluten proteins are found in wheat (durum, emmer, spelt, farina, farro, KAMUT® Khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in numerous types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.


The gluten-free diet is primarily used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet benefits people with celiac disease to control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications. People living with non-celiac gluten sensitivity also benefit from a gluten-free diet. There are no other alternatives to cure or manage celiac disease other than to stick to the strict 100% gluten-free diet.


Those who are gluten-free can still enjoy a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, beans, legumes and most dairy products. Such ingredients are naturally gluten-free, and safe for individuals who do not have allergies to these particular food groups.

 

Why Vegan?

A Vegan (pronounced vee-gun) is the strictest form of vegetarianism; someone who does not consume animal or dairy products of any kind including all animal by-products, such as honey. A popular adage to properly explain Veganism is that “you don’t eat anything with a face or anything that had a Mother.” Adopting a Vegan diet usually goes far beyond what type of food a person consumes and is more of a way of life as most Vegans aspire to eschew animal products of any kind for their personal use such as leather clothing, shoes or car seats. Veganism, as a philosophy, has at its core the desire to abolish all cruelty and exploitation of animals in such areas as zoos, circuses and television advertisements.

 

Why Vegetarianism?

Vegetarianism is a popular dietary practice, philosophy and way of living that excludes all animal flesh and organ meats (such as liver, brain, and thymus), fish (including shellfish and other creatures of the sea), poultry and fowl. There are several variants of the diet, but the most common is lacto-ovo vegetarianism, which includes dairy and eggs.

 

 

The Benefits of Organic Food

How your food is grown or raised can have a major impact on your mental and emotional health as well as the environment. Organic foods often have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally grown counterparts and people with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find their symptoms lessen or go away when they eat only organic foods.

Organic produce contains fewer pesticides. Chemicals such as fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides are widely used in conventional agriculture and residues remain on (and in) the food we eat.

Organic food is often fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives that make it last longer. Organic produce is often  grown on smaller farms near where it is sold. 

Organic farming is better for the environment. Organic farming practices reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Farming without pesticides is also better for nearby birds and animals as well as people who live close to farms. 

Organically raised animals are NOT given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts. Feeding livestock animal byproducts increases the risk of mad cow disease (BSE) and the use of antibiotics can create antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Organically-raised animals are given more space to move around and access to the outdoors, which help to keep them healthy. 

Organic meat and milk are richer in certain nutrients. Results of a 2016 European study show that levels of certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, were up to 50 percent higher in organic meat and milk than in conventionally raised versions. 

Organic food is GMO-Free. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants whose DNA has been altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding, most commonly in order to be resistant to pesticides or produce an insecticide.

 


Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are a broad group of plants, animals, and bacteria that are engineered for a wide variety of applications ranging from agricultural production to scientific research. The types of potential hazards posed by GMO’s vary according to the type of organism being modified and its intended application. Most of the concern surrounding GMO’s relates to their potential for negative effects on the environment and human health. GMO’s could directly effect human health are primarily products that can enter the human food supply. To date, the only types of products that have been approved for human consumption in the U.S. are genetically modified plants (FDA website).
All genetically modified foods that have been approved are considered by the government to be as safe as their traditional counterparts and are generally unregulated (FDA website). However, there are several types of potential health effects that could result from the insertion of a novel gene into an organism. Health effects of primary concern to safety assessors are production of new allergens, increased toxicity, decreased nutrition, and antibiotic resistance (Bernstein et al., 2003).

Food Allergy
Food Allergy affects approximately 5% of children and 2% of adults in the U.S. and is a significant public health threat (Bakshi, 2003). Allergic reactions in humans occur when a normally harmless protein enters the body and stimulates an immune response (Bernstein et al., 2003). If the novel protein in a GM food comes from a source that is know to cause allergies in humans or a source that has never been consumed as human food, the concern that the protein could elicit an immune response in humans increases. Although no allergic reactions to GM food by consumers have been confirmed, in vitro evidence suggesting that some GM products could cause an allergic reaction has motivated biotechnology companies to discontinue their development (Bakshi, 2003).

Increased Toxicity
Most plants produce substances that are toxic to humans. Most of the plants that humans consume produce toxins at levels low enough that they do not produce any adverse health effects. There is concern that inserting an exotic gene into a plant could cause it to produce toxins at higher levels that could be dangerous to humans. This could happen through the process of inserting the gene into the plant. If other genes in the plant become damaged during the insertion process it could cause the plant to alter its production of toxins. Alternatively, the new gene could interfere with a metabolic pathway causing a stressed plant to produce more toxins in response. Although these effects have not been observed in GM plants, they have been observed through conventional breeding methods creating a safety concern for GM plants. For example, potatoes conventionally bred for increased diseased resistance have produced higher levels of glycoalkaloids (GEO-PIE website).

Decreased Nutritional Value
A genetically modified plant could theoretically have lower nutritional quality than its traditional counterpart by making nutrients unavailable or indigestible to humans. For example, phytate is a compound common in seeds and grains that binds with minerals and makes them unavailable to humans. An inserted gene could cause a plant to produce higher levels of phytate decreasing the mineral nutritional value of the plant (GEO-PIE). Another example comes from a study showing that a strain of genetically modified soybean produced lower levels of phytoestrogen compounds, believed to protect against heart disease and cancer, than traditional soybeans (Bakshi, 2003).

Antibiotic resistance
In recent years health professionals have become alarmed by the increasing number of bacterial strains that are showing resistance to antibiotics. Bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics by creating antibiotic resistance genes through natural mutation. Biotechnologists use antibiotic resistance genes as selectable markers when inserting new genes into plants. In the early stages of the process scientists do not know if the target plant will incorporate the new gene into its genome. By attaching the desired gene to an antibiotic resistance gene the new GM plant can be tested by growing it in a solution containing the corresponding antibiotic. If the plant survives scientists know that it has taken up the antibiotic resistance gene along with the desired gene. There is concern that bacteria living in the guts of humans and animals could pick up an antibiotic resistance gene from a GM plant before the DNA becomes completely digested.
It is not clear what sort of risk the possibility of conferring antibiotic resistance to bacteria presents. No one has ever observed bacteria incorporating new DNA from the digestive system under controlled laboratory conditions. The two types of antibiotic resistance genes used by biotechnologists are ones that already exist in bacteria in nature so the process would not introduce new antibiotic resistance to bacteria. Never the less it is a concern and the FDA is encouraging biotechnologists to phase out the practice of using antibiotic resistance genes.

 

Why Organic

Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.

Essentially, crops are commonly grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers, irradiation (a form of radiation used to kill bacteria), heavy metals, solvents, and biotechnology.

By avoiding these harmful pesticides and fertilizers, people can increase their production of the phytochemicals (vitamins and antioxidants) and of course reduce the amount of exposure to antibiotics and pesticides that research has linked to damaging results in public health.

Organic foods are generally much healthier than conventional foods because they contain sustainably higher nutrients of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and micronutrients. The higher nutritional values rely on the soil in which the food is grown and whether it meets the standard of sustainable practice. In comparison to conventional foods, organically grown foods provide: 21.1% more iron (than their conventional counterparts); 27% more vitamin C; 29.3% more magnesium; 13.6% more phosphorus.

Organic livestock are given organic feed and have access to the outdoors unlike conventional farms where animals are confined to small spaces and are raised with antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones.

What is Vegetarianism?
Vegetarianism is a popular dietary practice, philosophy and way of living that excludes all animal flesh and organ meats (such as liver, brain, and thymus), fish (including shellfish and other creatures of the sea, poultry and fowl. There are several variants of the diet, but the most common is lacto-ovo vegetarianism which includes dairy and eggs.

Health Benefits of Vegetarianism
After much vigorous debate over the years, the America Dietetic Association has now concluded that a balanced, properly-planned and conscientiously executed vegetarian diet will satisfy the nutritional needs for all stages of life, from birth to old age. Many well-documented and reputable medical studies have shown that adopting the vegetarian diet can significantly lower risks of cancer, heart bowel and liver disease, osteoporosis, and other fatal diseases. All of life’s necessary nutrients: amino acids, protein, vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids and micronutrients can be found in abundance in vegetables, grains, nuts, soymilk, eggs and dairy.

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What is Veganism?
A vegan (pronounced vee-gun) follows the strictest form of vegetarianism; it is someone who does not consume animal or dairy products of any kind including all animal by-products, such as honey. Vegans eat plant products only. Adopting the vegan diet usually goes far beyond what type of food a person consumes and is more of a way of life, as most vegans aspire to eschew animal products of any kind for their personal use, such as leather clothing, shoes or car seats, or products tested on animals, such as cosmetics and soaps. Veganism, as a philosophy, has at its core the desire to abolish all cruelty and exploitation of animals in such areas as zoos, circuses and television advertisements.

Health Benefits of Veganism
The touted health benefits of a vegan diet include all those listed for vegetarianism, but go further to include lower cholesterol levels and lower incidence of osteoporosis, heart disease and colorectal cancers. The reason for this is largely due to the high saturated fat content and cholesterol in dairy and egg products. Dr. T Colin Campbell’s landmark medical work, The China Study, clearly and concisely presents incontrovertible evidence that switching to a vegan diet will dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.

Caveats
Vegan diets are generally lower in Vitamin B-12, the fat soluble Vitamins A, D, E, and K and in some cases, Iron. Therefore, it is very important to consider a supplement program to ensure your body is getting all it needs.

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What is Raw Foodism?
Raw Foodism, Rawism, or Living Foodism is a dietary lifestyle that advocates the consumption of uncooked, unprocessed foods in as close to their natural state as possible. Often, but not always, rawism is based on the fundamental principles of veganism and organic foods; there are some people who choose to eat raw dairy, eggs, and in some cases, raw meat. Generally speaking, if a person’s total raw food consumption falls somewhere between 60-100% then they are considered to be a raw foodist or living foodist.

Why Raw?
1.    Cooking foods above 115 degrees Fahrenheit destroys many nutrients
2.    Cooked foods tend to reduce immunity, clog the intestines and colon, leading to ills such as cancer and diabetes.
3.    The raw food diet is the natural diet of all wild creatures; raw is simply the natural way to nourish your body.

Health Benefits of Raw Foodism
•    People adhering to a mostly raw and living diet generally report many extreme health benefits such as:
•    Abundant energy
•    Better digestion and increased absorption of nutrients
•    Enhanced and more youthful physical appearance
•    Deeper sense of spirituality and mindfulness
•    Greater physical endurance and flexibility
•    Better control over weight gain
•    Increased libido and sexual performance

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Gluten-Free Diet
A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein, gluten. Gluten proteins are found in wheat (durum, emmer, spelt, farina, farro, KAMUT® Khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in numerous types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.

The gluten-free diet is primarily used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet benefits people with celiac disease to control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications. People living with non-celiac gluten sensitivity also benefit from a gluten-free diet. There are no other alternatives to cure or manage celiac disease other than to stick to the strict 100% gluten-free diet.

Those who are gluten-free can still enjoy a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, beans, legumes and most dairy products. Such ingredients are naturally gluten-free, and safe for individuals who do not have allergies to these particular food groups.

Buying Produce
In general, remember that when you're shopping for produce:
•    Use all your senses-- sight, smell, taste, and feel.
•    While you, as the buyer, have a right to inspect the produce, don't damage it. It is the market's product until you buy it.
•    Talk to the person behind the counter. Ask them when it was picked, where it was grown, and what types of fertilizers were used. They can also tell you some ways to use the produce.


Produce Tips
•    Refrigerate perishable fresh fruits and vegetables (like strawberries, lettuce, herbs, and mushrooms) at a temperature of 40° F or below.
•    Cut away any damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables before preparing and/or eating.
•    Wash fruits and vegetables under running water just before eating, cutting or cooking. Learning to store produce correctly can save home cooks money and heartache caused by spoiled fruits and vegetables.
•    Some fruits and vegetables, such as plums, peaches and bananas, are still ripening in the store.
•    The best way to store produce such as potatoes, yams, onions and other root vegetables is at room temperature. Avoid washing root vegetables until needed, since the moisture may encourage rotting.
•    A crisper drawer's main advantage when you store produce is a colder air temperature, not the ability to keep crisp leafy vegetables crisp indefinitely.
•    Most fruits and vegetables continue to 'breathe' after harvesting, so the perforations in the plastic bags allow for an exchange of gases.
•    Organic vegetables grow more slowly so they take up larger quantities of minerals and nutrients from the soil.
 
Seasonal Buying
There is so much variety in produce these days and knowing when to buy the best produce is important, not only for flavor but for value for your money, as well.
 
Not only is it more economical to buy fruits and vegetables when they are at their peak harvest time, but you get the best possible quality and flavor for all your cooking adventures.
Eating seasonal produce is a key element of Healthy Eating. The USDA Food Pyramid suggests eating 2-3 servings of fruits and 3-5 vegetable servings a day.
 
At 4th Generation Organic Market we feel that not just any fruits and vegetables will do. Canned and/or stored fruits lose their health benefits very quickly, so while you are able to eat and enjoy fruit all year, some no longer have the nutrients they did fresh from the ground. By focusing on seasonal produce you ensure that you are getting the most benefit from the foods you are eating. If nothing is in season, which is rare, frozen vegetables are a better option than canned.

 

 

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