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July 18, 2013 at 10:17 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Before you ditch all foods white, read this.

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

Have you joined in the food trend to ditch all things white?

Surely some white foods such as white refined flours or sugars and everything they comprise – pastries, white bread, donuts, cookies, etc., etc. – are best to be limited, if not avoided. But what about kohlrabi, cauliflower, cabbage, rutabagas, jicima, onions, parsnips, mushrooms, turnips, or potatoes? Should they be avoided as well?

If you heed the conclusion of a scientific supplement recently published in the peer-reviewed journal, Advances in Nutrition, absolutely not. 

White veggies, including potatoes, provide potassium, magnesium, and fiber – all nutrients often lacking in the American diet.

Potatoes have received a bad rap as of late, although under false pretenses. The primary means of potato consumption in the US is French fries, hash browns, buttery mashed potatoes, and other high-fat, high-sodium forms. A simple baked potato or roasted red potatoes with a splash of olive oil and a dash of fresh herbs, makes a great addition to a well-balanced diet. When it comes to potatoes, and truly any vegetable, it all comes down to the cooking techniques. I mean, come on, did you really think that fried zucchini at the fair was good for you?

The article also states that by simply including white veggies, particularly potatoes, in our diet, it may actually help to serve as a ‘gateway food’ to other vegetables. I can already attest to this working for Baby C. He was not a fan of a kale/spinach concoction I attempted to serve him, yet once I added mashed potatoes to the mix – he was banging his spoon for more!

So, where do you start? Roast parsnips with some EVOO, add sliced jicima to your salad, mash steamed cauliflower into your mashed potatoes, serve grilled cauliflower steaks, try a kohlrabi and cabbage coleslaw, dine on a mushroom burger… I could go on, and on!

The bottom line.

While I am certainly not saying you should eat more white bread or processed foods, I am saying we need to separate the idea that all edible things white are bad for us.

The color wheel may not include white, but when you are encouraged to eat the rainbow of produce, we must count white.

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  • Love the article Jessica mostly because I am a potato fan! I agree steamed red skins are great. At any rate I'm glad to hear they are not taboo!

  • Thanks, Nancy! Glad you feel better about those potatoes :) I am going to miss your comments - you are always so supportive!

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