Say Yes to These White Foods
By Mary Hartley, RD
White food has gotten a bum rap because white sugar and white flour may be harmful in excess. But it’s unwise to discriminate against “white” when it’s the color of some mighty healthy foods. Milk, cottage cheese, cauliflower, garlic, onions, tofu, potatoes, white beans, and white whole wheat flour are all over-the-top nutritious. But unlike other foods that have nutrient properties based on color, foods that are white have nothing in common. Here are four classes of white food to include in your diet.
Healthier when skimmed of fat, dairy foods are naturally white and rich in difficult-to-get nutrients, like calcium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and vitamins A and D. when added. Milk, buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, sour cream, and cheeses are all loaded with high quality protein. Milk, if not its variants, is plentiful, cheap, and versatile. Drink milk with meals and use dairy foods in recipes.
Try: Vanilla-Date Breakfast Smoothie Recipe
The Alliums - Garlic, Onion, Shallot and Leeks
The allium family is white and so very nutritious that they may be virtual medicines. They are all rich in sulfur, a nutrient that is said to clean the blood and is lacking in the average US diet. Garlic is a blood thinner that helps blood pressure and can modestly reduce triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood. The entire family has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and diuretic properties, and they are rich in manganese, a trace mineral that helps the body use other nutrients, and in vitamin C and B vitamins and chromium in onions and selenium in garlic. Eat at least one high-allium food every day.
Try: Spring Onion Soup with Garlic Croutons Recipe
This category includes whitefish, cod, haddock, flounder, tilapia, halibut, and others. They are ultra low in fat and calories and particularly high in complete protein. White fish are valuable sources of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, iodine and fluorine, which are all needed for a myriad of bodily functions. The new Dietary Guidelines say adults should eat at least 8 ounces of fish per week.
Try: Mediterranean Cod Recipe
Spuds are so common and plentiful that they are taken for granted, but they are a wonderful source of vitamin C as well as energetic carbohydrates, fiber, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, and copper. Potatoes contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Entire nations own their existence to the mighty potato. Potatoes belong in every balanced diet.
Try: Herbed Potato Salad Recipe
What is your favorite healthy white food?