Whole Foods Market is full of organic and natural foods, so collegiettes should be able to trust all of its products, right? While the store name puts in our heads that all of the food is “whole” and therefore good for us, the brand definitely is deceiving. Whole Foods has many products that aren’t healthy, and here are 10 of them to prove it.
1. Whole Foods-Crispy Lemon Cookies
Ok so the packaging says “always natural”… but says “thin and buttery delicious delights”. What’s really going on in these cookies? Well, for one, the first ingredient is sugar, which is a huge warning sign. Plus, inverted cane sugar is listed again further down the ingredients list! The other ingredients don’t help much: regular white flour, butter and eggs along with flavorings. Safe to say these cookies don’t promise anything in the health department.
2. Hail Merry-Meyer Lemon Miracle Tart
Full disclosure: I’ve eaten this tart and it tastes incredible. Compared to other desserts it does have better ingredients- using coconut sugar, oil and flour rather than their regular counterparts, and it is suitable for Kosher, Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Raw, Paleo and non-GMO diets. Incredible. So healthy, right? While these numerous labels are impressive, the whole tart (which is pretty small, to be honest) is a whopping 400 calories with 31 grams of fat- 21g of which are saturated. Uh oh. Add 22 grams of sugar on top of that, and you should definitely be treating this like any other dessert. Share with a friend or eat in moderation!
3. Square Bar-Chocolate Coated Almond Spice
Organic protein bar! Just what you need. And the flavor sounds amazing. What about what’s inside? Just like the cookies, sugar is the first ingredient. Tons of Whole Foods products will mask sugars under tricky names like brown rice syrup, agave, coconut nectar and fructose, but don’t be mistaken. The bar is predominantly sugar, chocolate and coconut oil, with 7 grams of saturated fat and 220 calories. For a snack that fits in your palm, that’s a lot.
4. Namaste-Gluten-Free Brownie Mix
A brand name like Namaste just sounds healthy, with images of gluten-free yoginis popping into mind. But, like any other brownie mix, it’s high in calories and sugar with the first ingredient being-you guessed it- sugar. There are 120 calories and 20 grams of sugar in a measly 1/24th of the box! The only thing going for it is the replacement of white flour with healthier, gluten-free brown rice flour.
5. Annie Chun’s-Teriyaki Noodle Bowl
Like any noodle bowl, Annie Chun’s is what you would expect. With 400 calories that are predominantly from noodles, it’s no surprise that there is a massive quantity of carbs in this bowl: 76 grams! Add on the 820 mg sodium content that is typical of asian noodles, and this bowl is no healthier than a bowl of ramen.
6. Justin’s-Chocolate Hazelnut Butter
Justin’s has incredible all-natural nut butters. But is it really healthy? Unfortunately not. Although it has less sugar than your fave, Nutella, it still has 14 grams of fat and 8 grams of sugar in a mere 2 tablespoon serving. I knew it was too good to be true.
7. Cascadian Farm-Buzz Crunch Honey Almond
It’s cereal. And it claims to help save the bees. And the whole brand is organic. But- there are 230 calories in one cup, and not only is sugar the third ingredient (above whole grain oats), but it is also listed three more times in the ingredients as honey, invert cane syrup and molasses, bringing the total carb content to 47 grams per serving. This kind of breakfast cereal is just setting you up for a sugar crash.
8. Hi-Ball Energy-Black Cherry
Energy drinks in general tend to not be healthy, but since it’s in Whole Foods you might assume it’s better than other brands. Even though it’s organic, it has the highest sugar content on this list at 39 grams of sugar in just one can! The ingredients of this drink boil down to water, sugar, caffeine and black cherry flavor. At that point it’s a lot healthier (and better for your wallet) to just have black coffee or green tea.
9. Whole Foods 365-Cheese Curls
They’re cheese curls, so you can guess that these aren’t the healthiest. There are 7 grams of fat and 140 calories in one cup, with ingredients that are a majority just various versions of dairy: whey, reduced lactose whey, butter, buttermilk, cheddar cheese, blue cheese and butter flavor. Who knew so many forms of dairy could be in one snack?
10. Luna and Larry’s-Salted Caramel and Chocolate
This has to be one of my favorite brands of vegan ice cream. With a coconut base that is creamy and insanely delicious flavors, you can’t even tell the difference between this and regular ice cream. Similar to the real deal, this organic “coconut bliss” is full of fat and sugar that make it delicious, but not nutritious. The ingredients are comparatively better for you, but the 230 calories, 16 grams of fat and 18 grams of sugar per half cup serving is nothing to praise.
These ten are just a small portion of the many items found in a supposed “health food” store, just going to show that you still need to check your labels! Brands that are gluten-free, vegan, organic, all-natural, and the like can be super deceiving. Stay aware of what you put in your body, but don’t be afraid to indulge once in awhile on these not-super-healthy but very delicious foods! Balance is always key.