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Have you noticed that we usually miss white when we talk about a colorful plate? White foods are often labeled as nutrient-less foods because they lack healthy grains. That’s why a no white diet is prevalent in the health-conscious circle.
However, several white foods come with plenty of benefits. They’re usually rich in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. The pigment flavin gives food a white color.
Here is an extensive list of white foods ranging from not so healthy to incredibly nutritious.
1. White Pasta
The first on the list of white food is white pasta. It is made from refined wheat flour, which has been stripped off of germ and bran. However, the refinement gives it a fine texture.
Apart from flour, water and eggs are added, and it’s further shaped into different pasta such as shell, spaghetti, elbow, penne, etc.
White pasta has essential fibers and is enriched with B vitamins to compensate for the lack of an entire wheat kernel. Despite lesser health benefits, it’s more commonly eaten than whole wheat pasta.
Its mellow taste means you can use it in various flavor combinations. Make sure to control the portion size when enjoying white pasta.
2. White Bread
Similar to most white wheat products, white bread is made from refined flour. It has a very high carb content and spikes blood sugar upon consumption.
FUN FACT: A slice of rolled white bread was used as an eraser before the invention of rubber ones.
Brown bread and white bread are often pitted against each other, with brown bread winning due to additional health benefits. However, white bread is softer and easily digested.
If you’re buying white bread, ensure it’s fortified to reap some benefits.
3. White Sugar
The star of sweet dishes, white sugar is made from refined beet or cane sugar. The level of processing gives us granulated sugar, powdered or confectioners’ sugar, super fine or caster sugar, and sugar cubes.
Did you know it was introduced in the West as a spice? Like its fellow white powder, salt, white sugar makes an excellent preservative.
White sugar lacks molasses, the key difference between white and brown sugar. Many argue that brown sugar is superior, but both have similar nutrition profiles.
4. White Rice
White rice is a staple dish of many cultures. All rice is brown, but you can get white rice by taking off the grain’s bran layer. However, once removed, rice can be stored for up to 30 years.
White rice is often fortified with B vitamins and iron to compensate for the removed layer.
It is more processed, making cooking easier and improving its taste. Brown rice may be a better alternative, but there’s no harm in eating white rice moderately.
5. White Potatoes
The beloved vegetable of many, white potatoes are almost identical to red potatoes. The difference is the marginally higher carb content.
They have brown skin while ranging from white to a subtle tan on the inside. White potatoes have a dense texture and taste slightly sweet.
White potatoes can be prepared by frying, baking, mashing, and roasting. They do well in salads, casseroles, stews, and soups. It is advised to keep the potato skin on if you want to collect the benefit from its fibers.
6. White Salt
Salt is the only rock that we commonly enjoy in our foods. Ancient Egyptians widely used salt in mummification.
It was such a valuable commodity that Roman soldiers were paid in salt—hence, the term salary.
This versatile seasoning is a part of every human cell and Earth’s crust. Salt has even been discovered on Mars! It’s a key ingredient in almost every dish.
Salt is often bashed because of its high sodium content, but you just need to eat it in a balanced amount.
Did you know cauliflower is an underdeveloped flower instead of a vegetable? This white food belongs to the same family as kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
There are contradicting theories about its origins. French people say it came from Cyprus. Others say Arabs introduced this vegetable to the world.
Apart from white, this multicultural food also comes in green, orange, yellow, and purple colors.
It used to be called boring food, but it’s a popular addition to modern meals. Its edible leaves and stems make a great vegetable broth. You can steam, cook or roast it to use in many dishes.
8. White Asparagus
Due to the lack of sunlight, white asparagus is lighter than its purple and green siblings. It requires extensive labor from farmers to get its white color which makes it expensive.
White asparagus tastes slightly bitter, so better pair it with lemon, butter, or hollandaise sauce.
Its thicker stalk increases its cooking time. It’s recommended that you should blanch or boil it to enjoy in casseroles, soups, salads, and other side dishes.
Nutritionists call milk a complete food due to its impressive nutritional profile. It has all the essential amino acids that humans need to survive.
Milk is 87% water; the remaining proteins and fats reflect light giving milk its white color.
Ever wonder why our galaxy is called the Milky Way? Ancient Greek believed the galaxy was made from the goddess Hera’s milk.
This white liquid makes butter, cheese, yogurt, ghee, ice cream, and many other products.
10. White Cheeses
Not all cheeses are yellow. We have a great variety of white cheeses like feta, ricotta, gruyere, parmesan, mozzarella, cottage, and white cheddar cheese.
All cheeses are naturally white. Non-whites are mainly dyed, but certain additives and grazing conditions also change the color.
Most white cheeses are considered healthier cheeses. However, keep an eye on their sodium and fat content.
11. White Beans
White beans have starchy flesh and a white casing. Legumes in this group include cannellini beans, navy beans, lima beans, and great northern beans.
Since they have a similar flavor, white beans can be used interchangeably. Use them in soups, chilis, stews, and hummus.
If appropriately dried and stored, white beans are non-perishable and can be bought in bulk.
12. Egg Whites
Egg whites make up 60% of an egg’s weight. They have 86.3g of water per 100g, while the rest is primarily proteins.
Removing the cholesterol-rich yolk makes egg whites a popular addition to bodybuilders’ and athletes’ diets. However, raw egg whites can reduce biotin absorption and cause salmonella poisoning.
Apart from making omelets, you can bake egg whites into granola or whip them for baked goods.
13. White Flour
Next on the list of white foods, white flour, like all purpose flour, is processed only from the endosperm. It misses out on the brownish grain contents like whole wheat flour hence, the white color. White flour is often bleached with a whitening agent as well.
This exclusion significantly reduces the nutritional value but gives it longer shelf life. You might know white flour as all-purpose or plain flour.
White flour is multipurpose, so that you can use it in baking and cooking. Just remember to eat in moderation to avoid health concerns.
14. White Mushrooms
Most commonly cultivated mushroom type, white mushrooms are also called button, champignon, common, and table mushrooms.
They are the less mature version of Agaricus bisporus fungi and are liked for their mild taste. That’s why white mushrooms go with every food balancing sharper flavors.
Not to forget the nutrient profile, white mushrooms are packed with potassium, vitamin D, selenium, and folate.
15. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is highly strained, which makes it thicker than regular yogurt. It also has a tangier taste and higher protein content.
Previously a spoonful of yogurt market share, now Greek yogurt has more than 50%
FUN FACT: Greek yogurt actually has Turkish origins.
This delicacy can be relished alone, with nuts, fruits, granola, or in smoothies and dips. Greek yogurt can also replace mayonnaise, buttermilk, and sour cream in recipes.
16. Garbanzo Beans
These white legumes are called garbanzo beans by Americans and chickpeas by the British. Other names include Kabuli chana, Ceci beans, Egyptian peas, and Bengal grams.
Apart from white color, garbanzo beans also come in red, brown, black, and green. They’re a rich plant-based protein source and help in gut health promotion.
You can roast garbanzo beans for a snack or mash them to make hummus. Sandwiches, salads, soup, tacos, and burgers can incorporate them as well.
17. White Fish
Don’t be confused by the name. White fish is generically used for seven cold-water fish species with white flesh and a mild flavor.
Due to the cold habitat, white fish has a higher fat content, making up for a great smoked fish.
Although they’re related to trout and salmon, their meat is pure white. Whitefish roe is highly demanded and is known as golden caviar.
Jicama is a root vegetable from a vine that grows up to 20ft long. Known as the Mexican potato, this vegetable has white insides but looks similar to a potato from the outside.
Jicama is crisp and slightly sweet. This South American vegetable can grow as heavy as 50lbs!
Since it’s 85% water, use jicama to hydrate yourself on a hot day. You can eat it raw with lemon and salt or cook it like a potato.
A lesser-known dairy product, kefir, is a drink made from fermented milk. Little cauliflowers-like kefir grains are added to milk to make this creamy beverage.
Originating from Eastern Europe, the name kefir is derived from the Turkish word ‘keyif,’ meaning good feeling. Kefir has more probiotics than yogurt.
You can get kefir grains to make it at home. Instead of milk, water can also be used to make a fizzy probiotics punch.
20. White Onion
Even though all onions behave the same in a pan, white onions are softer. They have thin and flaky skin: which is why they’re quickly cooked or served raw.
Chefs favor white onion because of its slightly sweet and moderately sharp flavor.
They’re available all year round and are long-storage vegetables.
Oats are white cereals that are milled in many ways. In its most underprocessed form, oat groats can be further rolled, crushed, or steel-cut. The most processed, instant oats are very popular and easiest to make.
Oatmeal makes for a delicious breakfast, but oats can also be used in baked goods such as granola bars, muffins, and cookies.
Just like a carrot, parsnip is another root vegetable. Parsnips come from a strongly scented plant that blooms yellow flowers.
Its white color can vary from cream to yellow. With a slightly spicy, sweet, and nutty flavor, parsnips were used as a natural sweetener before cane sugar.
Saute, fry, bake, steam, mash, or roast parsnip to use in stews and soups, same as you would use carrots.
Garlic may give you a bad breath, but it is one of the healthiest food on Earth. The health benefits promulgated the myth that garlic can ward off vampires.
It was used in WWII to make Russian penicillin. Surprisingly, the sticky garlic liquid can be used as an adhesive.
Garlic cloves have a sharp taste that turns nutty and mellow upon cooking. Garlic is the first herb ever cultivated, with 300+ white, violet, and pink varieties.
Coconut is a popular tropical fruit with a hard brown shell and sweet white flesh. You’d be surprised to know falling coconuts kill more people than sharks.
The Japanese even used it as a grenade in WWII. Coconut water was also used in the war to treat dehydration.
Its high manganese content helps in bone health maintenance and protein metabolism.
Coconuts can be used to extract oil, milk, and cream. You might’ve used coconut shavings in many dishes as well.
25. Dragon Fruit (Inside)
This exotic pink and yellow fruit has slightly sweet white insides. People compare the taste of dragon fruit to a mix of pears and kiwis.
Due to its edible black seeds, dragon fruit is also referred to as strawberry pear and pitaya.