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Know your holistic lifestyle terms

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As you learn more about leading a holistic lifestyle, you may come across these terms. Some you should seek; some you should avoid. Here’s a brief description of the 14 most common:

  1. BPA-Free – a plastic container used to hold food or beverages that has been made without the industrial chemical bisphenol A (BPA)
  2. Fair Trade – indicates food items produced by farmers who are trained on sustainable agriculture practices, work directly with food cooperatives, and are often organic; these items typically come from developing countries
  3. Free-Range – food items produced by animals, especially poultry, that have access to outside spaces and are able to graze and range freely for food rather than confined in a feedlot
  4. Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) – a plant or food that has had foreign genes inserted into their genetic codes *Avoid
  5. Gluten-Free – an item that does not contain an ingredient from wheat, spelt wheat, rye, or barley
  6. Grass-Fed – beef coming from cattle that only eat grass and other foraged foods, as opposed to conventional beef from cattle that eat grains, such as corn
  7. Homogenized – a dairy product (usually milk) that underwent the process of breaking down fat in order to stay integrated rather than separated as cream on top *Avoid
  8. Local – food grown locally on the soil you live on; decreases food transportation time
  9. Natural – products that do not contain additives or preservatives; however, ingredients may have been grown using non-organic farming methods or genetically engineered grain
  10. Nitrate-Free – a processed meat, such as bacon, that does not contain nitrates, a preservative that could damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease; also may be labeled as ‘no preservatives’
  11. Organic – anything produced by an agriculture that does not use chemicals, genetic modification, or irradiation, using only natural products
  12. Paraben-Free – cosmetic products that do not contain chemical preservatives added to them to extend shelf life; the four main parabens in use are methyl, ethyl, propyl, and butylparabens
  13. Pasteurized – used to describe a food item (usually liquid) that has been heated to a specific temperature for a length of time to destroy certain microorganisms *Avoid
  14. Raw – any food that has not been cooked or cooked over 92-118 degrees Fahrenheit *note this is a range of temperature, because various sources record different numbers

Definitions compiled from www.organic.org, www.foodalive.org, and www.mayoclinic.org.

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