Friday, October 19, 2012

Q & A: What's Wrong with White?

Q.  I was told by my doctor to “avoid everything white”, but I’m not sure what that means. Can  you help? M.S. Grandville, MI

A.  I have never been a fan of simplistic advice, which seems to have multiplied with all the access to health and food/cooking shows on the TV.  Advice like this usually confuses more people than it helps. 

At least once a week, but usually more often, someone asks how to eat now that they aren’t allowed to eat white food. The person who gave the “no white food” advice hasn’t really thought through how people take that message. Believe me, very literal people will look at every white food as suspect. And others will assume that a whole grain “brown” food is so good for you that it doesn’t matter how much you eat of it. 

But wait a minute! What about other white foods? There are a number of white foods that are very good for you. Don’t believe me? Look at the partial list below, from the September/October 2012 issue of Diabetes Self-Management magazine:
  • White beans
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • Water chestnuts
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Flesh of bananas, apples and pears 

Please people, quit giving black-and-white advice about white food. There are usually exceptions and grey areas in most recommendations. 

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