Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Health Starts Here

Looking for healthy eating resources? At Whole Foods Market®, we have developed Health Starts Here® to help guide wise nutrition choices. Listen in and learn where to focus for the most benefit.

Akua Woolbright holds a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and is Whole Foods Market’s Senior Healthy Eating and Wellness Educator.

Whole Foods Market has developed a simple program to support your health and wellness goals:

  • Health Starts Here® uses a commonsense, back-to-basics approach to provide healthy eating education and support.
  • Our ultimate goal is to educate people about the benefits of eating real, whole foods (specifically plant foods) in order to live more vibrant, healthy lives.

There are four pillars to guide healthy eating choices no matter which dietary path one follows:

  • Whole Foods - select foods that are as unrefined and unprocessed as possible
  • Plant-Strong™ - consume more plants foods: fruit, green and colorful vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds
  • Healthy Fats – meet small daily fat requirements with whole plant foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados
  • Nutrient Dense - increase consumption of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals) while decreasing calorie consumption

Nutrient-dense foods can be helpful during weight management and cleansing:

  • Nutrient-dense foods are, by their natural makeup, those that are lower in calories and higher in micronutrients.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables or raw almonds are examples of foods that are low in calories and void of saturated fat and cholesterol.
  • One meets the criteria of nutrient density simply by using the other three pillars to help guide food choices.

Additional healthy eating resources are available online and in store:

  • ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) scores are listed throughout the store and rates foods from 0-1000, with a 1000 being the best.
  • Kale and certain other green leafy vegetables would score a perfect 1000! The best way to use ANDI is within categories to see which vegetables, fruits or perhaps legumes have the highest scores.
  • There are recipes and tips for getting started with Health Starts Here on our website. Many of our stores also have healthy eating specialists on staff to offer store tours, cooking classes, supper clubs, and printed materials. Ask for a healthy eating specialist at a store near you!

Visit our Whole Body site to download this month’s featured Be Good to Your Whole Body pocket guide and more.

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Tiffany says …

Try www.clearyourcells.com antioxidant tea today!!! Pack on the nutrients and receive all the many health benefits it brings :)

Renee says …

I so enjoy your health starts here program, Good on ya!! I am wondering What are the nutritional facts such as; Serving size, Calories, Fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, Potassium, Total Carbs, Sugars, Protein, Vitamins, calcium, iron etc; for Health starts here foods you sell at the food counter at my local store - Red Quinoa salad, minted basmati salad, tree green Edamame salad, Super foods salad and rainbow grain salad... and any others you may have associated with Health starts here. Also, how many calories per day and nutritional breakdown, serving size for recipes on your 28 day challenge program... I am trying to loose a few pounds and my doctor has given me my total daily break down of my nutritional needs to do so. Along with an exercise program. I am ready to begin the challenge if I can receive the nutritional details

Megan says …

@RENEE - The foods that are available vary by store. If you visit Customer Service at your store, they should be able to connect you with their local Health Starts Here team, who can help you plan your meals and get nutritional information. I hope that helps!

jodik says …

What are the nutrional facts on the hsh no oil tuscan mushroom salad?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@JODIK - Each of our regional and in-store chefs develops hundreds of recipes, often based on local and seasonal ingredients, and the data analysis necessary to create nutrition labels is not always possible. If there are specific dishes you are interested in, your local store may be able to help. If information is available for a specific dish it will be available in the Prepared Foods department. To locate your nearest store please visit: http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list

Rami says …

What are the sodium requirements for health starts here?

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@RAMI - I did not find any actual sodium levels on our website, but check with the Healthy Eating team member at your local store and they'll be happy to help!

Antony Lee says …

Can you tell me whether the ANDI scores displayed in your stores take into account how long it has been since the fruit and vegetables have been picked? As you know, the nutrient values of most fruits and vegetables falls precipitously between the date of picking and the date of eating, so are you able to adjust the ANDI scores based on the average time between picking and sale? Please let me know, thanks.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ANTONY - I spoke with a team member on our Healthy Eating team and she stated that it does not take that into account. The numbers that are plugged in to the ANDI formula are from the USDA food and nutrition database and they do not take that into account.

Robyn Strauss says …

Looking for nutritional content of NY Style Cornbread found in Coral Springs, Florida store I noticed there is a southern style and a NY Style. The NY style appears to have less fat in it. I am wondering what the fat grams per serving are.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@ROBYN - Since this is a product made in house, check with the Coral Springs store directly to see if they have this info. If it's available, they'll be happy to share it with you.