To start off, this isn’t a post against Whole Foods. I absolutely love Whole Foods and they are one of the main reason I love grocery shopping so much. I think they have an abundance of amazing products and I respect their overall mission. This article could also have been titled, “Not Everything at Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, etc. is healthy” but because Whole Foods is known as the “natural” grocery store, I thought this title was fitting. So, while I am still absolutely espousing the benefits of eating so many of Whole Foods’s organic/local/ natural foods, that doesn’t mean that every food/ product that is carried there fits this criteria.
My Dad used to come home from Whole Foods with cookies, chips, muffins, cereals, etc. and because they were purchased at Whole Foods I really think he figured they were much better quality and “healthy”. While I do love Whole Foods and am happy they are making a commitment to GMO transparency (which doesn’t mean they don’t have GMO products, they will just label accordingly), they also still use soy flour in baked goods and canola oil in the prepared food section (whyyyyy do they do this?!) This also doesn’t mean that a Whole Foods cookie isn’t still a cookie. While I am so not about the idea of shaming anyone for eating a dessert (if you want something- have it and ENJOY it!) we still have to be aware that just because something is organic, gluten free, vegan, from Whole Foods, etc. that doesn’t mean it won’t cause the exact same insulin surge/ sugar cravings that a cookie from a package will cause.
One of the most important things you can do for your health is become a bit of a “food detective”. I used to buy foods based on what I saw on the front of the box. Words like “healthy”, “sugar free”, “fat free”, and “organic” are slapped on packages in every single aisle of the grocery store because these businesses are trying to get you to buy their products. These businesses don’t actually care about your health or well-being, but they know that these are “buzzwords” and so by adding them to their packaged foods, you are more likely to pick them up.
The thing we all need to learn is that you have to ALWAYS turn the box around and read the ingredients. Yup. Every. Single. Ingredient. And if there are a ton of ingredients and you get tired halfway through the list, then I can almost guarantee there is some bad stuff in there and you want to put that product back on the shelf. Perimeter shopping is one of the best things you can do for your health and wellbeing, because once you venture into the aisles it’s terrifying what can be found hiding in there.
If you want to take charge of your health and really make a change, then you have to start analyzing every single product that goes into your shopping cart. While this may seem daunting at first, once you do this for a little while you will start to realize the foods that you don’t ever have to read (or that don’t have labels like fruits, vegetables and meats!) and those that you will always want to be cautious of (almost anything that comes in a box or package). Over time this will get easier and it will make a huge impact on your overall health and wellbeing.
So go to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, just make sure you still give their products the same scrutiny you would at any other store!
Thanks for reading!