Benefits of Health Food Stores

First Lady Michelle Obama launched a worldwide campaign to fight obesity. The White House launched a campaign that focuses on prevention and the weight loss industry is worth more than $61 billion. One would think that with all of the campaigns and billions of dollars poured into weight-loss products and plans, America would be well on it’s way to becoming the healthiest nation in the world. Not so. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite recent reports stating that the obesity rate for Americans has leveled off, nearly 34 percent of adults are obese, more than double the percentage 30 years ago. The share of obese children tripled during that time, to 17 percent.

So why is it so difficult for Americans to lose weight or stay healthy? Could it be the large number of food deserts across the nation? Or maybe the lack of grocery stores isn’t fully to blame. Maybe it’s the type of grocery stores that contribute to the problem. Maybe health food stores like Whole Foods, Mothers Market, and Wild Oats can help solve America’s obesity epidemic, or at the very least, help America develop better eating habits. Sure, traditional grocery stores do carry some healthy foods, but they also carry some of the unhealthiest foods you can find. Unless you’re committed to being healthy, it’s just too easy to choose Cocoa Puffs and whole chocolate milk over Kashi and rice milk. Health food stores don’t give you the option to choose one over the other. The only choice is “healthy!”

Health food stores rarely carry household names such as General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Wonder. You’re more likely to find health food brands such as Kashi, Muir Glen, Nature’s Path, Eden Organic, and Stonyfield Organic. Health food stores stock their shelves with foods that contain few to no chemicals, no additives, and no preservatives. Also, foods are mainly organic. Even the non-organic foods are made with healthy ingredients and without harmful chemicals. Meats, poultry, and dairy are usually organic, and the seafood is fresh and wild caught. If farmed, seafood is always antibiotic and hormone free, and raised in an environmentally conscious setting.

Health food store products can do more than just curb obesity. They can help those that are already healthy stay healthy, and they can help individual’s that may be an average weight, get healthy. Health foods stores are also the best places to shop if you have food allergies (peanuts, milk, gluten), if you are on special diet due to a medical condition (diabetes, heart disease, digestive conditions) , or if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, raw foodist, or follow a macrobiotic diet.

How to Locate Health Food Stores

If you live in a major city, chances you have a number of health food stores to choose from. Even some smaller cities have a local health food store. In some areas, finding a health food store may be a bit more challenging. Fortunately, several directories can help you search for health food stores by state. One of the best is GreenPeople.org. You can search for health foods stores by zip code or city, state, and country. The site lists thousands of health food stores. A search in Illinois alone returned more than 100 results.

  

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