White Foods Vs. Brown Foods: Myths and Facts

Most people these days have become health conscious and are taking their diet seriously, which is an excellent thing. But are we following the right diet? Are the foods which we think are healthy are “actually healthy” as claimed by the manufacturers?

We must have heard people saying about the adverse effects of consuming white foods regularly such as white sugar, white rice, white bread, etc. This has become too much with the entry of “brown foods” into the picture. But, is there any difference between these two?

1. SUGAR

MYTH– Brown foods are healthy, have more nutritional value than white sugar.

FACT– Basically, brown sugar is white sugar with molasses and is considered as raw sugar as it undergoes lesser chemical processing compared to white sugar.

While both may have gone through slightly different processes, it doesn’t mean they are different; or that one is superior to others from a health perspective.

According to a renowned clinical nutritionist, both white sugar and brown sugar are similar, nutritionally, and also calorie-wise. The only difference lies in the flavour, colour, and the process these both go through.

Bottom Line – So, even if you are adding brown sugar to your food, you are adding the same amount of calories you might have added through white sugar. Moderation is the key and hence, consuming white sugar, and brown sugar in less quantity will not harm.

2. BREAD

MYTH– Brown bread is 100% whole wheat bread and has more fibre than traditional white bread.

FACT– White bread is made up of only the endosperm part of the wheat grain; the fibre-rich, nutritious part of the wheat grain like bran and germ are removed from it. White bread is bleached with chemicals and fortified with vitamins and minerals. Also, they have added sugars like fructose.

On the other hand, brown bread or whole wheat bread includes all parts of the grain, the bran, endosperm, and the germ, making it more nutritious and healthy than white bread.

Hold on before jumping to a conclusion.

While brown bread is said to contain more fibre than traditional white bread, thanks to the marketing strategy because most of the ‘brown’ bread that we now see in the market is white bread with colouring. Also, multigrain bread is an extremely processed bread with some variations done to make it healthy.

Bottom Line – To ensure maximum nutrition, read the ingredients thoroughly, and look for the bread product that has lesser ingredients. Opt for the bread that has ‘whole wheat flour’ mentioned in the ingredients list as it has high fibre content.

3. EGGS

White and brown eggs certainly look different, but brown eggs are often costly compared to white eggs. Do you know why?

MYTH– Brown eggs are natural/healthier, have a harder shell and hence are costly.

FACT- In general, white-feathered chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs, and reddish-brown-feathered chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs. There are also breeds that lay less commonly found blue eggs and speckled eggs.

The harder shells are because of the age of the chicken and not the colour of the egg; younger chickens tend to lay eggs with thinner shells.

All eggs are nutritionally similar regardless of the size, grade, and color. Although they’re often more expensive, brown eggs aren’t any better for you than white eggs, and vice versa.

Bottom Line- Brown eggs tend to have a higher price tag simply because the reddish-feathered chickens that lay brown eggs are larger than the breed that lays white eggs, and as such, they require more feed.

4. RICE

MYTH-Brown rice is high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals and helps lose weight. It also keeps diabetes at bay.

FACT- In this case, myth and the facts are true. All rice consists of carbohydrates, with small amounts of protein and no fat.

Brown rice is a whole grain which means it contains all parts of the grain – fibrous bran, nutritious germ, and carbohydrate-rich endosperm whereas white rice has the bran and germ removed.

Thus, brown rice has a better advantage over white rice when it comes to nutrient content. A cup of brown rice is believed to contain twice the amount of phosphorus and manganese the same as white rice. It also has two and a half times more amounts of iron and three, four, and ten times the vitamin B3, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6, respectively.

Bottom Line- Brown rice is known to be a healthier option, especially for people who wish to lose weight.  This whole grain is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, as well as proteins, which makes it heart-friendly. It also has a good fibre content that helps facilitate proper bowel movement, aiding in weight loss.

So, don’t just blindly follow others’ opinions and buy anything and everything that is available in the market. Be conscious and read the ingredients thoroughly before purchasing any food item. Ensure that the ingredients list has the least number of fats, sugar content, and calories.

Source

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