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Healthy Eating: May All Your Christmases Be Green

By HERWriter
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Healthy Eating related image Photo: Getty Images

If you're trying to emphasize healthy eating during this season of decadent menus and excessive snacking opportunities, consider looking into some organic food choices. Organic foods are not contaminated with artificial fertilizer, herbicides, hormones or pesticides.

Organic fruits and vegetables contain more antioxidant phytonutrients (nutrients found in plants). Organic meats contain more essential fatty acids and less saturated fat. All of this lowers your risk for cancers, heart disease and stroke.

This time of year, many thoughts tend to turn towards turkey. This particular fowl has a venerable and long-standing habit of showing up on holiday tables, so think about making your holiday centerpiece an organic turkey.

This type of bird grew up living free range on organic feed, and was not subjected to hormones and antibiotics for quicker growth. Look for your turkey at farmers' markets, and regional farms, as well as at specialty grocery stores.

You may find a farmer who still does things the old fashioned way, and that means organic. Smaller local farms are good prospects for this.

In the grocery store, check labels carefully. Look for terms like "American Humane Certified", "Animal Welfare Approved", "Certified Humane", "Pasture Raised" or "USDA Organic".

Be wary of deceptive and misleading labeling. Tags and stickers that say "Natural" do not assure that you're buying a free range turkey. "Naturally Raised" only tells you that the turkey was not processed with dyes or preservatives.

If the price tag for organic foods is too steep for you, or if you live in an area where such things are hard -- or impossible -- to find, there are ways to limit the amount of interference from pesticides and other toxins. Asparagus, avocados, cabbage, sweet peas, onions and sweet potatoes generally will fall into this category.

If you can avoid using canned foods, it's a good idea to do so because then you are also avoiding bisphenol A, a synthetic estrogen on the inside of the cans. Foods that are in glass containers, or fresh foods are your better choice.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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