By the time we reach our 60s, most women tend to fall into two camps when it comes to their health. One group acts as if “the damage has been done” and refuses to make significant lifestyle changes like working out or eating healthy organic food. Other women “refuse to sink” and spend a great deal of time and energy getting their bodies and minds in the best possible shape.

My guest on the Sixty and Me Show Lynda Goldman, definitely falls into the latter category! Lynda is an author and nutrition expert. During our latest conversation, we discuss the health benefits of organic food for older women. We also talk through the controversy surrounding organic food.

What Are the Health Benefits of Organic Food?

We have all heard that, according to the USDA, many of the common foods that we eat have been exposed to pesticides and chemical fertilizers – but, is organic food really healthier? Is farm-bought produce worth the extra month – especially for those of us who live in cities?

I hope that you enjoy my conversation with Lynda. Please don’t forget to add your comments and questions for Lynda at the end of this post.

What Does the “Organic” Label Really Mean?

Part of the challenge is that the term “organic” is confusing and somewhat overused. So, the first thing that Lynda and I discuss is what “organic” really means. In the United States, if you see a “USDA Organic” seal on a package, you can be relatively certain that the food it contains has 95% or more certified organic ingredients. This means that it must not have been grown using solvents, irradiation or genetic engineering.

The question of whether genetic engineering is really harmful is a complicated one – and there are arguments on both sides of the fence – but, at least now you know what “organic” is actually about. This way, you can make your own decision.

The “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15”

If you are considering buying organic food for the first time, you may be concerned about the additional cost. I know I was! The good news is that, according to Lynda Goldman, not all foods need to be purchased organic. This is because some foods have thick skins that tend to protect their insides from harmful pesticides.

She talks about the list of the “Dirty Dozen” by EWG. These are the foods that tend to contain high levels of pesticides and should, where possible, be purchased organic.

On the same website, there is a list of 15 fruits and vegetables that have more build in protection from their tough skins. This “Clean 15” is less important to purchase organic, although you certainly can if you want to.

One important note is that the peels of the “Clean 15” can also be an excellent source of nutrients. So, if you plan on using them in your food, it’s best to go organic anyway.

Pay the Farmer… Not the Doctor

Organic food can be expensive, but, as Lynda points out, it is best to look at this as an investment in your health. According to her research, several studies have shown that the chemicals that are often sprayed on our food have been linked to serious illnesses.

Obviously, the level to which this is true will depend on where you live and how your food is prepared. Regardless, its best be conscious and forward thinking when it comes to choosing your food. As Lynda says, you have a choice – pay your farmer now or pay your doctor in the future.

Another nice side benefit of buying local produce is that it gives you an opportunity to support the farmers in your community. That said, you should probably take the time to have an honest conversation with your local farmer about how their treat their crops.

Getting healthy after 60 isn’t fair – in fact, in many ways, it’s harder than at any other point in our lives. That said, with proper planning and a good combination of exercise and healthy food, it is possible to be in the best shape of your life at almost any age.

I hope that you enjoy this interview with Lynda. Please join the conversation below.

Do you think that the health benefits of organic food are real? If so, do you think that the additional cost of buying organic food is worth it? What additional questions do you have for Lynda?

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