All food sold in a natural foods store has to be healthy, right? Surely we aren’t gullible enough to believe that, but it’s easy to be less cautious about food while shopping in a health food market.
Here are seven common danger zones to watch out for while shopping for healthy eats.
- Organic Packaged Food (or gluten-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO). Just because a package is labeled “organic” doesn’t make it healthy for you. These labels, while a great first step, do not necessarily mean the food inside isn’t full of sugar, salt or fat–ingredients that most Americans overeat.
Read the ingredient label to see what is actually inside every product you buy regardless of the label on the front. Sugar, for example, goes by 56 different names and many times is hidden in several different ingredients.
- Natural means Nothing (except when it comes to meat, eggs or poultry). The “organic” label is strictly regulated by the USDA, but food labeled “natural” has no regulatory oversight at all.
- Farm-Raised Fish is just as bad at health food stores as grocery stores. Farm-raised fish is still poop-eating, antibiotic filled seafood. Skip it. There may be a downfall to wild-caught seafood (mercury) but is, by far, a better option.
- Beef is no healthier simply because it is in a health food market. All fresh meat is eligible for the term “natural” if it has no artificial ingredients, added colors and is minimally processed.
Look for other accompanying labels such as “organic”, “raised with no antibiotics”, “raised with no hormones” or “grass fed” for further clarification. If the label doesn’t say it, it is not likely to be so.
- Pork and Poultry are not allowed to be raised with hormones. Labels on pork and poultry that indicate they are “raised with no hormones” mean nothing. But “raised with no antibiotics” does carry meaning.
- Brown Eggs are no healthier than White Eggs. Further, the terms “cage-free” and “free range” are really only better for the chicken. Add “organic” to those two terms and it is better for you and the chicken. Skip the “Omega-3 enriched” eggs and get your Omega-3s elsewhere. Best bet is “pasture raised eggs” but they come with a hefty price tag.
- Bulk food Candy is no healthier than regular candy in most cases. Many health food stores display giant barrels of bulk nuts, seeds, and grains. Those can be great choices, but candy is still candy.
Most candy is loaded with sugar and other ingredients to avoid by health-conscious folks. Read the ingredient label. If there is no label, don’t buy it.
Grocery shopping at natural food stores is a great idea on your journey to wellness. There are certainly more healthy options than at the regular supermarket.
Landmines still exist in most health food stores. Just a lot fewer of them.
Joli Tripp is a wellness advocate, blogger, professional home stager, Realtor, wife, and self-proclaimed foodie.
Joli is passionate about making simple changes at the grocery store, at home and in life to attain abundant health. She uses her journey back to health to inspire others to find courage to do the same. She provides practical advice about food, wellness, home and garden using natural solutions such as essential oils.
FREE PRINTABLE: List of Food Ingredients You May Want to Avoid.
Currently, Joli resides in Southern California where she blogs, Posts, Tweets and Pins about living a wellness lifestyle.