I’d like to start a little discussion today about carbohydrates… and in particular, “white foods” as well as potatoes. One reason I wanted to mention this is because so many health and fitness professionals trash talk potatoes about being a bad carbohydrate choice because of the high glycemic index. Some even say such ridiculous things as “avoid any and all white carbohydrates”.
Ok, now while I certainly agree that white bread and refined white sugar are two of the worst things we can be feeding our bodies, I definately don’t agree with avoiding any and all “white carbohydrates”. Now I know all of the buzz lately has been about colorful foods and the protective antioxidants that they contain. They tell you to focus on colors and stay away from white.
“White Foods” aren’t necessarily always the enemy
It’s true that colorful foods are great, but it is a big mistake to specifically avoid white foods! There are plenty of white foods that have specific nutrients that are hard to find elsewhere. Let’s look at a few examples…
Onions & Garlic
What about onions and garlic? They are both white and they are chock full of protective phytonutrients, vitamins, and trace minerals that aren’t easy to find elsewhere in a normal diet… such nutrients as allicin, quercetin (an important flavonoid), chromium, and other unique anti-inflammatory nutrients.
In fact, onions are so powerful for our health, that one study of centenarians (people that live to over 100 years old) identified that a common thread of these amazingly healthy individuals was that they ate a lot of onions throughout their lives. And we also know that garlic is one of the most powerful substances for a strong immune system, among other qualities.
Another example of something white that is great for you is cauliflower. Cauliflower is loaded with vitamin C, fiber, minerals, and special compounds such as glucosinolates and thiocyanates, which are specifically abundant in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. And a little-known fact is that some of the compounds in cruciferous vegetables help to combat other estrogenic compounds in our food supply and environment and can help prevent excess belly fat. So eat up on that cauliflower!
Not many people realize this, but surprisingly, even white mushrooms have high levels of unique nutrients and antioxidants. White mushrooms are high in a couple types of antioxidants called polyphenols and ergothioneine. And some types of mushrooms, such as portobella mushrooms, are surprisingly good sources of Vitamin D.
Continue to the next page to learn the truth abouthe nutritional benefits of potatoes.