Making Healthy Choices

March is National Nutrition Month and health experts from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics are re-stressing the importance of consuming the right amount of fruits, vegetables and healthy grains to achieve good nutrition. Eating more fruits and vegetables decreases the risks of heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. The USDA recommends increased fruit and vegetable consumption for a healthy diet, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas.

The theme of this year’s National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” and recognizes factors such as cultural heritage, family situations and lifestyles that shape food-related decisions. This theme is relevant to consumers who have another decision to consider as they wander through the produce aisle: organic or not?

A healthy lifestyle is about making choices: ice cream or apple? Potato chips or kale chips? When it comes to choosing produce, the good news is that consumers gain the same health benefits from produce whether it has an organic label or not. Researchers at Stanford University confirmed this last fall when they published a study showing that both organic and non-organic produce contains similar nutrient levels and provides similar health benefits. The review of more than 200 studies also affirmed the safety of the American agricultural system and found that pesticide levels on both organic and non-organic items were within allowable, safe limits.

This month, CropLife America reminds you to “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” and take pride that modern agricultural solutions help provide the ingredients for lifelong health.

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