Wednesday, March 13, 2013

President's Choice Spring Insider's Report

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.

My favorites:

Organic Kale, Chard and Spinach Salad Mix

PC Organics Kale, Chard, Spinach Salad Mix

Organic Baby Kale

PC Organics Baby Kale

New Varieties of Citrus Fruits

PC Easy to Peel Orri Mandarin Oranges
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.
PC 0% Greek Yogurt- Plain - 142 g
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!

PC Ciabatta Multigrain Buns

Here are some of the duds...

Turkey and Chicken Bacon

Better than pork, perhaps, but still a processed meat that contains toxic nitrites.

PC Blue Menu Chicken Bacon-Style
Granola Boosts

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.

PC Blue Menu Caramel Greek Yogurt Smoothie

Coconut Water

PC Coconut Water
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:

PC Biscuits For Breakfast • 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!
PC Gluten-Free Banana Loaf Cake
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!

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