I love Loblaws. I know, it's a big chain store. But it makes me nostalgic. My parents used to take us there to food shop since I was a little kid. I have always loved grocery shopping and would happily accompany them. Admittedly, part of the draw may have been the riding horse at the front of the store near our house. Even if my parents wouldn't give me a quarter to make it gallop, I loved sitting on top and pretending to ride.
Loblaws is a Canadian company, at least, and they do have some genuinely healthy products that they offer at competitive prices. Let's face it, while it would be ideal if we could all shop exclusively at farmer's markets and health food stores, most Canadians simply cannot afford that. I took Big A to a local market last weekend, and the prices almost made me fall over. Like $8 for a loaf of bread? Seriously? I am not saying organic, artisanal breads don't offer more than conventional, factory-produced bread. I'm just sayin' few people can afford to pay those prices!
Anyways, Loblaws is definitely not perfect. While they offer many nutritious products, they also continue to offer a lot of crap, and some of it they try to pass off as healthy. So lets take a look at some of their new offerings.
The good news is that, unlike their holiday Insider's Report, which focuses, of course, on indulgent, high-fat treats, the spring issue focuses on making healthier choices. So here are some of the best and worst.
Organic Kale, Chard and Spinach Salad Mix
Organic Baby Kale
New Varieties of Citrus Fruits
Fat-Free Greek Yogurt
Note that high fat dairy is NOT a healthier choice. I don't know why people acknowledge that the fat on meat is unhealthy, but seem to think the saturated fat in dairy is healthy. It's not. Also, avoid the flavoured kinds with added sugar. Sugar is not healthier than artificial sweeteners. Avoid both if you aren't comfortable consuming artificial sweeteners.
Whole Grain Ciabatta Breads
I know I say it all the time but I don't think I can say it enough: Lose the white flour folks!
Here are some of the duds...
Turkey and Chicken Bacon
Better than pork, perhaps, but still a processed meat that contains toxic nitrites.
Very high in calories and contain added sugars. Better to make your own!
Greek Yogurt Smoothie Bars
With just 100 calories, 2g of fat and 5g of protein these are definitely a better option than most ice creams or other alternatives, however they also have 12g of sugar. So just make sure you still treat them like a treat.
This stuff is all the rage, but really, unless you do endurance exercise, you likely don't need anything more than 100% calorie free and free-of-charge, tap water. Avoid all the other juices and other beverages, even the Blue Menu ones with reduced sugar. Just. Drink. Water.
I think these are my least favorite, however, the Oats with Vanilla Yogurt Filling:
Better than a jelly donut, perhaps? At least they are whole grain. But they are still cookies! Definitely not a good breakfast option!
Oh, and all their new Gluten-Free bakery products? Please remember, just because something is gluten-free does NOT mean it is healthy!
Most are still full of sugar and use mostly refined rice flour.
You are much better off baking your own stuff. Need recipes? I've got lots of gluten-free options on the blog!