Friday, July 30, 2010

Are All White Foods bad for you?

Over the last decade, white foods have gotten a bad rap. We're talking about any foods that contain white sugar or refined white flour. Also known as simple carbohydrates, these foods raise blood sugar levels faster than complex carbohydrates like whole wheat products. Most white foods are processed, excluding vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes and others. Ironically, most foods don't start out white.

Manufacturers bleach flour and sugar and heavily process these products making them a former shell of the whole foods they once were. Most white foods have been stripped of their nutritional value. They also have less fiber and vitamins than their whole wheat counterparts, which also have greater nutritional density. White foods have become so taboo there is even a "no white foods diet" that eliminates all white foods that are boxed, packaged, canned, refined, baked and processed. That means anything with flour, salt, sugar, white rice and potatoes.

According to the "no white foods diet, " these foods not only stimulate but escalate cravings for all things evil - cookies, chips, pies, donuts, etc. White foods tend to be higher in starches which break down into sugar. It's important to keep in mind that all white foods are not created equal. There are plenty of these foods that should have a permanent place on your food repertoire. Among the white foods you'll want to keep around: endives, garlic, ginger, artichokes, jicama, turnips, shallots, onions, mushrooms, white peaches, pears, potatoes and white nectarines.

Some nutritionists aren't so quick to jump on the anti-white bandwagon. Christine Avanti, author of Skinny Chicks Don't Eat Salads, maintains that white foods in moderation are okay if eaten with proteins. The balance of protein and carbs stabilizes the blood sugar and prevents the carb crash that usually occurs post white food consumption. She also points to cauliflower, potatoes, skim milk and yogurt for white foods that do a body good.

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