All White Foods Are Not Created Equal
It’s a widely accepted idea that white foods are to be avoided — bread, baked goods, white rice and other foods containing bad carbs and sugar are some of the things that experts say you should steer clear of if you’re trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. In general, white foods have been given the reputation of being void of nutrients and anything remotely good for you. That is not entirely true, though — it’s just certain white foods that you should stay away from.
The Color Doesn’t Tell All
The color white is generally associated with foods that are less healthy for you such as processed and unrefined, but just because the food is white doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy. There are plenty of white foods that actually provide nutrients and are extremely healthy. White potatoes, cauliflower and turnips are just a few of the white foods that are good for you and completely unprocessed. However it’s always a good idea to check the GI Scale on some.
White rice sometimes gets a bad rap because of the carbs, it’s at 90 percent, but brown is at 85 percent. Further, it’s a good source of magnesium, phosphorous, and iron. It’s perfectly healthy to include a moderate amount in your eating plan.
Cauliflower is a great source of glucosinolates, a phytochemical that contains sulfur. Glucosinolates can help reduce the risk of prostate and lung cancers, and are also found in broccoli and Brussels sprouts. White beans, like other beans, are rich in soluble fiber — which can help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Another white food that’s good for you is onions. Onions contain an anti-inflammatory chemical known as quercetin, which eases arthritis discomfort and can also reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
The Bad White Foods
Of course, processed white foods like flour and sugar should be avoided, if not for any other reason than how bad they are for the human body. Sugar is perhaps the most unhealthy white food there is, for a variety of reasons. Sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever aside from calories. On average, Americans eat around 22 tablespoons of sugar per day.
The reason that many people suggest eating a “rainbow” — meaning that you should eat foods of various colors because of the nutritional value of multi-colored foods — is because of various benefits of different kinds of vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods.
Many Americans don’t eat as much of these foods as they should unfortunately, mostly due to the unattractive nature of them. A recent study even showed that women ages 19 to 50 years old are consuming just half of the 2.5 cup equivalent of vegetables that are recommended per day. But, that’s something that can be easily corrected with quick and easy recipes found on the internet and even YouTube like the one we included at the end of this post!
Balance The Good With The Bad
As you can see, white foods aren’t all necessarily bad or void of nutrients. It’s simply the refined, processed foods that you should avoid or eat in moderation. The reality is, a majority of people eat sugar and flour of some kind. As long as you’re balancing that with foods that are whole grain, rich in fiber and other nutrients and unprocessed, you’ll be healthier overall and have a lot more energy.
Don’t forget — white is a color, too! Just because food is white doesn’t always mean it’s bad.