The New York Sun says that salad and prepared food bars (at Whole Foods, for example) are making you fat. Why? Supposedly, the containers they give you are huge and lead you to unwittingly buy “supersized” portions of food for lunch.
From the NY Sun:
While many prepared dishes at Whole Foods can be healthful, an analysis conducted by a laboratory on behalf of The New York Sun found that filling the containers can result in a single meal containing large percentages of the Food and Drug Administration’s recommended daily allotment of calories, fat, and sodium.
“This is another variation of supersizing,” a nutrition expert for the American Heart Association and a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Judith Wylie-Rosett, said. “If you give someone a large container, they’re going to fill it up.”
In the analysis, the smaller-size containers from Whole Foods were filled halfway with salad bar items that could be considered to be healthful, including Chicken Provencal, Vegan Chicken Delight, Spinach Orzo Feta Salad, Southern Sweet Potato Salad, and Vegan Peach BBQ Tofu Salad. The salad samples were then sent to Microbac Laboratories Inc., based in Warrendale, Pa.
The lab found that some of the food choices were high in fat, calories, and sodium. For example, the Southern Sweet Potato Salad, which weighed about 15 ounces, contained 70% of the recommended daily allotment of sodium, and the Vegan Peach BBQ Tofu Salad, also at 15 ounces, contained nearly 54% of a person’s daily allotment of fat.
Vegan Peach BBQ Tofu Salad? Is that a joke? Whole Foods issued a fairly logical response to this hysteria:
“It’s a self-serve bar. You take as much or as little as you want,” Mr. Shank said. “We give our shoppers the choice. We provide them with foods that are healthful foods, that adhere to our stringent quality standards.”
The salad bar containers were also designed to appeal to many customer types. “They can be used for one person or multiple people,” Mr. Shank said. “People should still control their serving sizes to maintain a healthy diet.”
Um, we have to agree with Whole Foods here. Isn’t there a scale right there so you can weigh your food?
Apparently, you, the average consumers, are totally unable to control yourselves when faced with mounds of delicious tofu:
Health experts, physicians, and nutritionists said it is difficult for people to sample appropriate-size portions, which they defined as one-half cup, or four ounces, of one prepared food item.
“Visually, you’d want to fill the space,” a cardiac surgeon known for making frequent appearances on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Dr. Mehmet Oz, said.
“The average person who is going to a salad bar is overeating,” a registered dietician who is a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, Keri Gans, said.
Anyway, if you’re looking for nutritional information for Whole Foods prepared food items, click here.