The Best and Worst Foods at Whole Foods in 2021—Ranked!
Before we discover the best and the worst Whole Foods has to offer, let's chat about what makes a product "the best." When we consider nutrient composition, we are looking at naturally occurring nutrients that are found in less processed, whole foods (no pun intended!). That means, foods that have been processed or stripped of their nutrients just don't measure up in comparison. Some of the best foods at Whole Foods, or any other store, typically are whole grains, fruits, veggies, dairy, and high-quality protein sources.
Still, even the options that aren't the healthiest can still have a place in our diet as fun foods. When trying to figure out how many fun foods to eat in your typical day, we recommend using the 80/20 Rule: get 80% of your diet from nutrient-dense, high-quality foods (ahem, the second half of this list!) and splurge with the last 20% on your favorite fun foods.
Foods that aren't super nutrient-dense can be easier to overeat, which is why we want to have a general awareness of how much of our total diet is coming from more processed, low-nutrient quality foods.
While there are hundreds of amazing name brands sold at Whole Foods, for our ranking we specifically focused on the store's brand. We rank Whole Foods' 365 Everyday Value products by nutritional value, so you can pack your cart with the best healthy food options. We also omitted beverages from this list as we want to bring you the best and the worst of the food products.
From the absolute worst to best foods at Whole Foods, here's our official ranking. And for even more shopping tips, be sure to check out our list of the 6 Best Groceries To Buy At Walmart Right Now.
The worst of the frozen pizza pack, with 340 calories for a third of the pizza, this high-calorie option is too easy to overdo! We do appreciate the added veggies on top though.
These little nuggets may be delicious, but they are highly refined, deep fried, and not-so-filling for the nearly 1,000 total empty calories per bag!
Breaded Fish Squares
Battered and fried in highly refined soybean oil, this seafood option is at the bottom of the barrel. With 280 calories for two fish fillets, you won't be full for long with this choice.
White Sandwich Bread
Despite being an American favorite, this classic option is really lacking in nutrients. Its one saving grace is that it is enriched with vitamins and minerals.
Certainly a better option than traditional chocolate syrup, but the 22 grams of sugar per 2 tablespoons makes us want to reconsider here!
Contrary to its name, this oil is not the healthiest. While it is made from vegetables, it is high in ultra-processed polyunsaturated oil. We often get an overabundance of this type of fat in our diet from vegetable oils.
Organic American Cheese
American cheese is notorious for being ultra processed and unnaturally yellow. Even the organic option at Whole Foods doesn't score it enough points to be on our good side.
While this product is low in fat and high in lean protein, it is not super nutrient dense due to being farm-raised and fed a highly processed diet. Focusing on heart-healthy fish like salmon, tuna, and trout is a better choice!
High in polyunsaturated fats, this oil can be part of a balanced diet. You can cook with it at higher smoke points, making it a better alternative to vegetable oil.
While this type of oil is high in "good" unsaturated fat, it is considered subpar to monounsaturated oils like olive oil and avocado! Too many of the omega-6 oils in our diet can be inflammatory, so switching over to heart smart oils may be a better fit.
These salty snacks may be a fan favorite, but they pack a loaded punch with 270 milligrams of sodium in a 1 oz. serving. That is only 14 chips!
Strawberry Cereal Bar
Upon first glance, this convenient breakfast option might look like a winner, but with very little fiber or protein to keep you full, you'll likely be hungry in a couple of hours! When we peeped at the first ingredient, we didn't like seeing that this product is nearly all sugar.
Almond Butter Cups
Looking for a better-for-you peanut butter cup? With 2 grams of fiber per serving and a dose of healthy fat from the almond butter, these almond butter treats turn out to be a balanced option!
Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Sadly, hummus gets along with these chips better than we do. They are low in fiber and on the starchy side with 20 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
Plant-Based Cheddar Cheese
This middle of the road food provides a dairy free alternative, but has five times the ingredients when compared to the real thing!
Whipped Cream Cheese
With 70 calories per serving; this breakfast spread is lighter than most!
Cape Cod Trail Mix
Usually trail mix is loaded with added oils and sugars. While this option does have added oils, it is lower calorie and contains fewer sugars than most!
These are definitely an upgrade from fruit that's packed in syrup, but these canned stone fruits can still rack up quite a bit of sugar from the juice.
Organic Grass-Fed Hot Dogs
If you're going to grill out, choosing the higher-quality dogs can give you a nutritional boost! These grass-fed hot dogs are more nutrient dense than their conventional competitors. Still, we want to go easy on the processed meats for our health.
Uncured Smokehouse Bacon
This breakfast meat scores a few bonus points because it is uncured and has reduced sodium content! Despite it's reputation, 2 slices is only 90 calories and offers 4 grams of protein.
Savory Chicken Breakfast Sausage
Surprisingly, this product is comparable in fat to other breakfast meats, however, it is higher in protein. Delivering 10 grams of extra protein at breakfast, this option is more likely to keep you full.
Organic Sourdough Bread
With 7 grams of added sugar, this kefir is not the worst option considering the protein content packs a hefty punch!
The birds that produced these eggs may not have been in cages, but they still didn't get access to the outdoors. This product is a great source of protein, but the quality is still middle of the road.
Gulf Coast Shrimp
Grain-Free Almond Flour Tortillas
Low carb, and high quality! These tortillas are sure to impress. High in fiber and healthy fat from almond flour, they are sure to keep you full too!
A high-quality alternative to fish oil, this product is packed with omega-3's for healthy brain function. Add this to your salad dressing or mix a teaspoon into your oatmeal for a nutrition density boost.
Organic String Cheese
An easy, high-protein snack! Coming in at 80 calories per string cheese stick, this product offers enough protein and fat to keep you full between meals.
Find even more healthy options with our list of 35 Best Store-Bought High-Protein Snacks.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Light Coconut Milk
Only 5 grams of fat per serving here, and you still get the creamy taste and texture without extra calories to boot. Use up your can and cook this Curry with Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Stir Fry!
Quinoa, Rice, and Chickpea Blend
With a healthy dose of 4 grams of fiber per serving, you can't beat this medley of starches for a whole grain addition to your diet.
Organic Whole Wheat Sprouted Bread
With only 90 calories per slice and 4 grams of fiber, this whole grain option beats out many of the higher-calorie breads.
Spinach Feta Egg White Bites
Low carb and filling, these protein-packed morsels make a high-quality convenient breakfast. Two bites have just 120 calories from lean protein and filling ingredients.
Whole Wheat Naan
A brilliant creation; this product just gave your favorite Mediterranean dish an upgrade! With 5 grams of fiber per naan, you can't knock it.
Organic Turkey Breast
Ancient Grains Bread
This sandwich bread seems too good to be true. Only 70 calories per slice and 3 grams of fiber, you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Bursting with fiber and vitamins and minerals, this low sugar fruit is easy to add to smoothies or top off your favorite snack. Bonus: the frozen option is available all year long!
With minimal ingredients, you can't go wrong by adding this to your meals for a veggie boost. Consider adding this favorite to a stir fry or mashing with some potatoes to reduce the total carb content.
Organic Raw Almonds
Unprocessed and unroasted, these nuts are preserved with the highest nutrient value! These almonds provide monounsaturated heart-healthy fat and nearly 4 grams of fiber per serving. Bonus tip: keep them in the fridge to prevent them from going rancid.
Spray Olive Oil
Easy to use and saves you some calories, this multi-purpose oil is a kitchen staple. Perfect for grilling, sauteing, and roasting, this heart-healthy oil spray can reduce the total calorie content of nearly any dish.
Heart healthy, high in fiber, and one of the few plant-based sources of 0mega 3 fatty acids. What's not to like?
Sustainably caught and packed in water with no additives, this sustainable fish can't be beat! One serving contains 30 grams of lean protein with a dose of heart healthy fats.
Great Northern Beans
Providing a whooping 8 grams of fiber per serving, these beans are out to impress. Known for helping with anything from wonky digestion to high cholesterol, these are an all star player in the healthy nutrition game.
Tiny, but mighty is the name of the chia seed's game. These seeds are known to pack a punch: high in fiber and protein, they are beneficial for everything from digestion to high cholesterol. Just 3 tablespoons provide 9 grams of soluble fiber!
Wild Alaskan Salmon
Ding! We have our winner! Only one ingredient here, this heart-healthy fish takes the gold for the best food at Whole Foods. Get your daily dose of omega-3s from this Alaskan delight. High in protein, heart-smart fats, and wild-caught nutrients, this salmon is the king of Whole Foods land.
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