Understanding GMOs as you Lose WeightPosted: Jun 26 in Health And Wellness by Staff
In recent months there has been a lot of talk about GMOs and ways to avoid them in our food. While a growing number of people now hold a generally dissatisfactory opinion of GMOs, not many people actually understand what they are. There are a large number of people who think avoiding GMOs is similar to avoiding other common dietary ne’er-do-wells, like trans fats or sugar. However, this isn’t the case.
Avoiding GMOs is not likely to help you lose weight, but as you increase your awareness about the foods you eat you may choose to avoid eating GMOs anyways. Nutritionally, GMOs are the same as conventional and even organic produce. It isn’t the nutrient content that changes with different growing practices, but instead it is the chemicals that are potentially introduced during the process that many people are concerned about.
What’s a GMO?
GMO stands for genetically modified organism. The goal of GMOs is to generate larger, more colorful and more fertile plants. To fully understand what a GMO is, it helps to have a basic understanding of fruit and vegetable growing practices.
Farmers have been selective about the plants they produce for centuries. Plants can be developed to have sweeter fruit or larger branches as a result of genetic selection. By taking the seeds of the strongest plants and breeding those varieties together it becomes possible to weed out the weaker generations and to move forward with only the best. This is all done without making any fundamental changes to the integrity of the seed or plant.
GMOs take this process of selection to another level by genetically altering the seeds. In some cases this means using synthetic materials to encourage growth in a certain way. GMOs are engineered to withstand factors that might kill a standard plant, like herbicides and insecticides. The result is a toxin-resistant plant that grows fruit faster and larger than before while also helping plants to resist pests and bacteria. This makes GMOs pretty popular among large food chains, as less produce is wasted. GMOs can even drive down the price of produce, which is part of the reason they have become so prevalent.
If a fruit or vegetable is produced from a genetically modified organism, it is fundamentally altered from its original version. GMOs can be exposed to harsh toxic chemicals because the plant is bred to withstand them. But these chemicals can still seep into the fruit or vegetable, and may still be present when you are eating them later.
As you lose weight, fruits and vegetables will increasingly become a larger part of your diet. You are likely to come across a lot of talk about GMOs, so having a solid understanding of what they are might be useful to you. As you eat produce, be careful to wash everything. If you choose to avoid GMOs, consider shopping for locally grown organic produce, which can be found at a nearby farmers market.