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Healthier and better for animal welfare? Nutrition professional dispels organic myth

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Healthier and better for animal welfare?  Nutrition professional dispels organic myth

Have some advantages: Nutrition expert dispels an organic myth

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Nutrition expert Uwe Knop knows whether organic foods are really healthier cannot be scientifically proven – but they do have some advantages regardless. However, organic dairy products are an exception.

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Are organic foods healthier than conventional food?

This cannot be said in principle because there is no scientific evidence for this. There is not even any evidence (in the sense of the hardest research currency, causal evidence) that would allow a general classification into healthy and unhealthy foods. Therefore, the seven major specialist institutions of ecotrophology (nutrition sciences) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland unanimously reject this classification.

Even if organic fruit and vegetables may have a few more vitamins and fewer pesticide micro traces and organic milk, meat and eggs contain more unsaturated fatty acids, these surrogate parameters (replacement values ​​for relevant clinical endpoints) do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the effect on health to. However, organic products have advantages regardless.

7 in one go – Nutritionists: No division into healthy and unhealthy foods!

Focus Online expert Uwe Knop already surveyed the seven major nutritional science organizations in the German-speaking DACH region in 2019 about the “division into healthy and unhealthy foods”. Regardless of each other, nutrition experts unanimously agreed in their opinion. Let yourself be surprised by the compilation of extremely unanimous statements from the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), the Swiss Society for Nutrition (SGE), the Austrian Society for Nutrition (ÖGE), the German Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE), and the German Institute for Nutritional Research Potsdam-Rehbrücke (DIfE) as well as the two professional associations in Germany and Austria, the Association of Ecotrophologists (VDOE) and the Association of Nutritional Scientists in Austria (VEÖ):

“We don’t need rigid rules or classification into healthy or unhealthy foods. What matters is how much of what I eat.” Harald Seitz, Head of Public Relations Department, Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE) (March 2019) “We find the general classification into healthy and unhealthy difficult. Because whether a food is ultimately healthy or unhealthy is determined by the amount consumed.” Sonja Schäche, Head of Press and Public Relations, German Institute for Nutrition Research Potsdam-Rehbrücke (DIfE) (March 2019) “There are no forbidden foods. The combination of foods in the right proportions makes for a balanced diet.”
Thomas Krienbühl, communications expert, Swiss Society for Nutrition SGE (March 2019) “Food should not be classified as “healthy” or “unhealthy”. The decisive factors for a balanced diet are the quantity, combination and preparation of food.” Mag. Alexandra Hofer, Managing Director, Austrian Society for Nutrition (ÖGE) (March 2019) “We don’t think it makes sense to divide foods into healthy and unhealthy foods. What matters is how much of what I eat.” Antje Gahl, Head of Public Relations Department, German Nutrition Society. V. (DGE) (March 2019) “To speak of ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’ foods falls short when it comes to the complexity of nutrition. Populist recommendations for individual so-called ‘healthy’ foods or even bans on supposedly ‘unhealthy’ foods are more likely counterproductive and can lead to “consumer confusion.” Dr. Andrea Lambeck, Managing Director, Professional Association of Oecotrophology e. V. (VDOE) (May 2019) “The relationship between people and food is too complex to be able to derive a helpful classification into good and bad foods.” Mag. Andreas Schmölzer, 1st Chairman of the Board, Association of Nutritional Scientists in Austria (VEÖ) (May 2019)

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What are the advantages and what should you pay attention to when buying organic products?

Ideally, the products come from organic farming in your area, which can have a positive impact on the environment due to strict organic guidelines – for example on the biodiversity of wild herbs and insects. And: This also supports local farmers and the local economy.

Anyone who buys animal products such as meat or milk can assume that the animal husbandry standards are significantly higher and better than in conventional factory farming. The organic seals do not allow a statement to be made as to whether a product is good for your health, but they do provide concrete statements about quality standards in rearing and production.

About the expert Uwe Knop

Uwe Knop, born in 1972, is a qualified nutritionist, author, and speaker for lectures at professional associations, companies and at medical training courses. His book “Successfully lose weight and stay slim” was published by Springer-Verlag.

Why do consumers choose organic food?

On the one hand, there is still a widespread belief that organic food is healthier. On the other hand, you want to protect the environment and animals. On a meta level, from a slightly philosophical point of view, it is probably like this: when you buy organic food, a piece of “good conscience” ends up in your shopping cart. You want to do good and in doing so you partially buy yourself freedom from “collective guilt”.

These are all welcome driving forces, well-reflected thoughts, which are, however, occasionally counteracted by the power of fact – for example with organic dairy products.

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More from the EXPERTS Circle

Garlic is more than just a spice. A recent large study has provided surprising insights into the health benefits of garlic. If there is a natural “superfood” at all, it has to be garlic, says nutritionist Uwe Knop.

Nutrition expert Uwe Knop knows whether organic foods are really healthier cannot be scientifically proven – but they do have some advantages regardless. However, organic dairy products are an exception.

Aren’t organic dairy products the better choice when it comes to animal welfare?

The answer is “no”. Because – and this will come as a surprise to many – the increasing production of organic milk is leading to more and more organic calves being born. But: There is almost no market for the (in the true sense) organic reason for the large amount of organic milk, the organic calves. The result: “The animals are mostly sold to conventionally operating companies.

For the animals, this not only means long transport, they also usually leave the regional organic value chain as they are usually sold to conventional fattening farms. “These calves are not valued either from an ethical or economic perspective,” regrets the University of Hohenheim. And that is truly paradoxical to the point of being severely (dis)appointing: On the one hand, people buy organic milk with a “clear conscience” – and then on the other hand something like this: young animals in particular end up in factory farming. If animal welfare-sensitive organic product buyers knew this, they would probably also make much more differentiated purchases when it comes to organic milk.

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“They may also suppress this fact in order to avoid feelings of guilt when buying dairy products,” suspect the scientists at the University of Hohenheim.

Book recommendation (advertisement)

“Successfully lose weight and stay slim” by Uwe Knop

What does a healthy diet look like?

In general, the best diet is always completely individual. It is therefore important to listen to your own body, to know and pay attention to hunger and satiety and, above all, your individual tolerance. The best recommendation tailored to your individual needs offers the most natural form of nutrition of all: This intuitive Essen There are no bans, waivers or other “requirements” about what you can and should do.

With intuitive eating, everyone is their own “nutrition coach” – and that is the optimal way. The basic credo is: There are as many healthy diets as there are people every person is different. Good to know: There is no such thing as any of the ones currently being rumored Better-Eater-Hypes such as low-carb, vegan or paleo have proven to be the “best diet in the world”.

This text comes from an expert from the FOCUS online EXPERTS Circle. Our experts have a high level of specialist knowledge in their subject area and are not part of the editorial team. Learn more.

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