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YOUR Guide to Shopping at Health Food Stores | Herbalife Healthy Eating Advice

Making healthy food choices when shopping is key to staying on track with your nutrition. Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, FAND gives you pointers on how to shop at your local health food store.

Not all items at your local health food store are healthy. Make sure to keep that in mind while grocery shopping and don’t be misled by food labels that sound healthy. Certain foods have a healthy image or “health halo” because they’re labeled as fat-free, whole grain, gluten-free, low-fat or no sugar added but while the labels may sound good, they may be distracting you from the whole story. To learn more about ‘health halos’ check out this VIDEO:

Susan headed to a local health food store to pick up a few items and here’s what she found:

• All-natural ginger ale – The package on the ginger ale said “no high fructose corn syrup, sweetened with cane sugar, no artificial flavors or colors.” That may sound pretty healthy but when you look at the nutrition facts panel and take a look at the calories and sugar content, you will find it actually has more sugar and calories than a similar ginger ale from a regular grocery store.
• Natural Gel Snack – The ingredients listed on this item were sugar, citric acid and natural flavors. This was advertised as a “vegan, fat-free, dairy-free, no artificial colors” item. Compared to the nutrition panel on a similar product at the regular grocery store, you would find that this one from the health food store has a little more sugar and calories because the serving size is larger.
• ‘Fudge Mint’ Cookies – These cookies were labeled as having “no hydrogenated oils, no artificial preservatives or flavors, no high fructose corn syrup, all natural ingredients.” On the nutrition panel the ingredients listed included sugar, palm oil, and white flour. Despite the ‘healthy’ food labels on the packaging the fat and calories per serving is nearly identical to a very similar cookie that you might pick up at your regular grocery store.
Organic white bread – The packaging on the bread stated the bread was made with refined wheat flour. When a food is labeled as having wheat flour it doesn’t necessarily mean it was made with 100% wheat flour. The bread was labeled as “made with organic cane juice, organic oat fiber, organic oil, and sea salt.” The packaging also claimed the bread had 1g of whole grain per serving, that’s about a quarter of a teaspoon. If organic ingredients are important to you then this would be a good choice for white bread. But pay attention to the nutrition facts panel. The calories, fiber, and ingredients in this organic white bread is almost the same as the regular white bread you’d find at a regular grocery store.
• Organic potato chips – These chips were made with organic potatoes, organic vegetable oil, and sea salt. The nutrition facts panel on these organic potato chips compared to the nutrition facts panel on a bag of regular potato chips is exactly the same for ingredients, calories and fat.

If you’re grocery shopping at a health food store and find yourself swayed by the labels on the packaging, make sure to take the time to read the nutritional facts panel.

Has this Herbalife video helped you better understand how to shop for healthy foods? You can learn more about healthy nutrition by checking out Susan Bowerman’s playlist at take a look at Susan Bowerman’s healthy eating blog:


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