AUSTIN, Texas (Jan. 10, 2011) —Just in time for the New Year’s focus on health, Whole Foods Market® announces its 303 stores now feature its new Health Starts Here program, offering products, education, practical tools and wellness resources to promote healthy lifestyles.

Health Starts Here is an approach to healthy eating, rooted in four principles:

  • Whole Food:

    choose whole, fresh, natural and organic foods that are not refined or highly processed.

  • Plant-Strong™*:

    reconfigure your plate and incorporate more fruits, vegetable, whole grains, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes into every meal.

  • Nutrient Dense:

    make every bite count with foods that contain the most nutrients per calorie.

  • Healthy Fat:

    get healthy fats from whole plant foods like nuts, avocados and seeds.

As is repeatedly reported in scientific studies, this past year the Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended a more plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, and nuts and seeds to promote health and help reduce the risk of chronic disease.

“The link between food and health is clear,” said Margaret Wittenberg, global vice president of quality standards and healthy eating at Whole Foods Market. “Health Starts Here can help turn New Year’s resolutions into long-term health and wellness solutions.”

Shoppers can find Health Starts Here products and resources at all Whole Foods Market stores and online at Some major initiatives and offerings include:

  • Health Starts Here Prepared Foods:

    rolling out in the prepared foods departments of all Whole Foods Market stores, these convenient sides, salads, snacks and ready-to-cook entrée  options are made with whole, fresh, nutrient-dense foods that incorporate more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

  • Health Starts Here Sprouted Grain Breads:

    rolling out in the bakery department of all Whole Foods Market stores, these hearty, healthy, delicious breads are made with 100 percent whole grains and contain no refined flours, added oil, refined sugars or processed ingredients.

  • In-Store Healthy Eating Point Person:

    an informational resource for shoppers offering hands-on support through store tours and food demos to help shoppers learn more about how simple and delicious healthy eating can be.

  • Online Resources:

    offers a variety of tools including recipes, cooking tips, shopping and meal planning guides, helpful videos and external resources including recommended books and partner websites



  • New Health Starts Here Frozen Vegetables:

    nutritious as a convenient side or as an affordable entrée. Leafy green offerings: Collard Greens, Kale, and Leafy Greens Blend. Vegetable blend options: Garden Blend, Harvest Blend, Four Seasons Blend, Soup & Stew Blend and Beans and Greens Blend.

  • ANDI Scoring System



    Aggregate Nutrient Density Index is a patented scoring index**  providing a simple relative comparison of foods based on micro-nutrients per calorie. ANDI signage located throughout the store is a simple way to select foods with high nutritional content to make every bite count.

“Health Starts Here is not about depravation or counting calories, it’s about reconfiguring your plate, adding more fruits, vegetable, legumes and whole grains,” said Wittenberg, “By offering in-depth information, education and services to help support healthy lifestyle changes, we are going beyond just selling healthy foods but also taking action to help provide practical and delicious solutions to diet-related issues in today’s society. We’ve also formed a team of special medical doctors, nutritionists, chefs and other experts to continue to promote health and healthy eating education.”

Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that an emphasis on plant foods is a common feature of several distinct dietary patterns associated with health benefits, including lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2010 data, only 38 percent of men and 39 percent of women eat enough fruit, and six percent of men and four percent of women eat enough vegetables, which is far below optimal levels.

For more information including recipes and online resources, visit

*Plant-strong™ is a trademark of Engine 2 For Life, LLC and used, under license, by Whole Foods Market, IP, LP, and/or its affiliates.

**Patent by Eat Right America.