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Are All-Natural Foods on Their Way Out?

Could it be that the era of Whole Foods is ending? Has the all-natural food obsession of the last decade all just been a fad?

I never thought that this day would come, but there has been a lot of coverage of this topic in the health world over the last couple of weeks.

It turns out that people are starting to do the math, and with money tight in the pockets of Americans, we may see the decline in the purchase of all Natural foods.

We have been lead to believe that the health benefits of foods like natural peanut butter, honey, eggs, and tuna are more important than the cost, but a slew of recent studies have not found this to be entirely true. Yes, there are marginal health benefits to eating natural and anti-biotic free foods; we cannot deny that. But how big are the margins?

When it comes to frozen peas vs. canned peas, we find that the cost savings are significant, but the health savings are not. The only real difference between the two is that there can be a lot of extra salt and sodium in the can. The same can be said for peanut butter and tuna.

Premium olive oil can cost over $25 a bottle while store brand is only $5. The difference? The taste. Premium oils are said to have a more refined and purer taste, but if you are looking for heart-health, the two are the same.

The real confusion comes when you are talking about stuff like chocolate, peanut butter (again), and honey. Some of the natural products actually contain more calories and sugar than your run of the mill brand, but there is a reason for this. When you eat the natural stuff, you are getting more natural ingredients, and less artificial stuff. But the real nutrition comes from the chocolate being dark, the peanut butter having protein, and the honey being a natural sweetener, so you can still get the nutrients you want without the extra cost.

Then we come to eggs and milk. Both should be consumed in moderation because things like cholesterol, calories, and fat, but there actually is some benefit to the natural stuff. If you want to avoid antibiotics it may be better to drink free-range milk and eat free-range eggs. However, if moderation is the key then the difference does not matter as much.

At the end of the day, is healthy food going anywhere? It better not be (especially for my readers), but are "all-natural" foods really that necessary? Time will tell. As more studies are done we are sure to hear more in the near future. You all keep eating healthy, but do not stress too much about draining your pockets for natural foods.

 

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