Video | The Unhealthy Side of Whole Foods
When I'm traveling in the States, I love going to Whole Foods.
You can easily get all the healthy foods that can be difficult to find in Canada: grass-fed butter, pasture-raised meats, and all kinds of specialty items. Plus, if you ask, they'll let you sample just about any of their yummy prepared foods.
I typically to make a bee-line to their BBQ counter (if they have one), and let me tell, I go HEAVY on the samples.
So, all to say, I'm a straight-up, hardcore Whole Foods fan boy. But, don't be fooled. Whole Foods has a dark side too.
As obvious as it sounds: just because Whole Foods carries it, doesn't mean it's healthy. They bill themselves as a health store, but they have just as much (if not more) junk than any other grocery store out there.
And their marketing it trickier. Instead of Ruffles potato chips which we all know, they have endless brands of "artisanal" sweet potato or taro chips.
Sounds fancy. Sounds healthy(er). Right? They're definitely more expensive. They even has a picture of healthy looking farmer on the front with soil on his hands. That's totes natural. We could treat ourselves and it won't be soooo bad. You know?
Wrong. All of the above are just fried, salted, crispy pieces of starch. Ruffles or hand-cut, taro crisps have more in common than they do in opposition. The marketing and presentation is just different.
Just because something's organic, or gluten free, or stocked at a health food store, doesn't mean it's the least bit healthy.
You know this. I know this.
But it's too easy to fool ourselves into believing that these items aren't so bad because we want it to be true. We want to be able to enjoy junk food and hope/believe/wish that it's not "as bad."
But these hopes are... well, just hopes. They're not grounded in reality.
What makes this all the more insidious is something unique about their stores.
Most grocery stores keep candy and treats in the aisles and also near the checkout. If you go around the perimeter of a store, you'll usually find whole foods: fruits, veg, meat, etc.
But at Whole Foods, they put baked goods, treats, and all kinds of crazy delicious looking bon-bons all over the entire damn store. You can't get through any part of the store without heavy duty temptation.
THE Bottom Line:
If you want a treat, go for it. Know what you're getting and make sure it's worth it. Then enjoy the pants off it.
But if you want to be healthier, lose weight, or have another fitness goal where nutrition is important, don't fool yourself and be seduced by 'healthier' junk food options.
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