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Are organic foods always better for you?

Organically Thrown
Dear Organically Thrown,

While I'm not a nutritionist or an authority on organic foods, I have discussed this topic many times with some of my expert pals, and I do have a lot to say about it. To answer your question simply, NO, organic foods are not ALWAYS better for you. But the real question is, better for you than WHAT? And also, better for you HOW? There are many organic foods that are loaded with fat and calories and sugar. If you're watching your weight, those aren't exactly better for your diet than non-organic foods that aren't as fattening. For example, an organic brownie could contain 400 calories. That wouldn't necessarily be a better choice than a non-organic 100-calorie brownie. But even the obviously healthy organic foods -- like organic fruits and vegetables -- aren't automatically more healthful than their non-organic counterparts. Many experts say that the differences are pretty subtle and that there isn't enough evidence to show that fruits and veggies that have been treated with pesticides are harmful to us. Certain types of produce are more likely than others to retain pesticides -- apples, lettuce, and bell peppers, to name a few. So if you want to choose a few items to go organic with, those are best. As for meat and dairy? There's a lot of debate as to whether or not organic is better. If you're concerned about the potential effects of growth hormones (animals used for the production of organic foods aren't given any), then you may want to opt for organic. But if your overall goal is a balanced and healthy diet, then fruits, veggies, lean protein, and low-cal snacks are great staples, whether they're organic or not. If you'd like to see a video about this, click here and check out our close, personal pal Robert Davis (a.k.a. The Healthy Skeptic) shedding some light on this very subject. Enjoy!!!

Hungry Girl,

What's the butter substitute you recommended on the Rachael Ray show? And will you be on the show again?

Better Butter

Dear Better Butter,

Hi! I've made a few appearances recently on the Rachael Ray show (so much fun!), but it sounds like the butter swap you're referring to is one featured in the "Supermarket Ambush" segment that aired on 10/22. (See it by clicking here.) In that segment, I helped a butter-addicted woman named Kathy overcome her obsession with the real, fattening stuff. Kathy was very open to trying out HG recipes, and she and her family LOVED them. (Yay!) One of the products I introduced her to is called Brummel & Brown -- it's a spreadable butter swap that is made with yogurt and has half the calories and fat of regular butter. B & B completely ROCKS and has been an HG staple for years!!! It's sweet and creamy and will TOTALLY satisfy even the biggest butter-lover. Click here for more info about it and here to see where it's sold. Let me know how you like it! And to answer your other question, I will be doing segments on a few more episodes of Rachael Ray, including an upcoming holiday show. More info on that coming soon. Thanks for your email!

Today, November 4th, is National Candy Day. REALLY?! Wasn't Halloween just four days ago? We're rebelling and celebrating with broccoli slaw instead...
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