Comparing common food duos for a healthier diet

Choosing what to eat when aiming for a nutritious diet can be daunting. After all, there are so many options and differing opinions that it can be difficult to choose the best option. It’s important to realize that the foods you eat don’t always have to be the most nutritious.

There are many reasons why you might choose a food, including superior taste, craving for gratification, celebratory food, cultural food, and more. As part of a nutritious and balanced diet, there is room for every food in moderation.

When choosing nutritious foods to add to your diet, there are often multiple types to choose from. How you make your choice may depend on your goals and preferences. If the nutrient density is important to you, there may be a clear winner, but in other cases, texture or flavor may have a bigger impact. You can have the best of both worlds most of the time, and of course, it all comes down to personal preference.

Below are some common comparable foods and a breakdown of how they compare.

Brown Rice vs. White Rice

Rice is a popular carbohydrate grain staple around the world. Of course, rice is high in starch and calories while being filling, fat-free and affordable, making it an excellent choice for filling meals with protein and healthy fats. Plus, it’s naturally gluten-free.

Brown rice is often considered more nutritious because it is less processed than white rice. Brown rice retains more fiber, vitamins, and nutrients and contains more protein and fatty acids.

A 100-gram serving of cooked white rice has 129 calories, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 2.7 grams of protein, and 0.4 grams of fiber.1

Brown rice contains about 122 calories per 100 grams cooked, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 2.7 grams of protein, and 1.6 grams of fiber.2 Brown rice is much higher in magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, along with other nutrients.

White Potato vs. Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes and white potatoes are both high-carb sources of fiber and micronutrients. You can’t go wrong with either option, but they offer unique advantages.

Both of these potatoes contain a fair amount of fiber. They also contain several vitamins (like vitamin C) and minerals (like potassium). 3 Sweet potatoes are tastier and sweeter and contain more nutrients, but white potatoes are still an excellent choice.

Sweet potatoes have slightly more vitamins and minerals than white potatoes. A large baked sweet potato (182 grams) contains 162 calories, 37 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fiber. They have a nutrient profile of vitamin C (35.3 mg), iron (1.2 mg), potassium (855 mg), magnesium (48.6 mg) and are an extremely rich source of vitamin A (1729.8 mcg ) at 192% of your daily value based on a 2,000 calorie diet.3

A medium-baked white potato (173 grams) contains 159 calories, 37 grams of carbohydrate, and 3.6 grams of fiber.4 They provide vitamin C (16.6 mg), iron (1.9 mg), potassium (925.6 mg) , magnesium (48.4 mg). ) and vitamin K (3.5 mcg). Unlike sweet potatoes, they do not contain vitamin A, which is generally found in bright orange foods.

Almond milk vs. skim milk

There is a wide variety of dairy options on the market today. Unsweetened almond milk is a dairy-free option that’s low in calories but still nutritious.5 Skim milk is a fat-free version of cow’s milk and is a good choice for those who aren’t plant-based.6Almond milk contains 15 calories per 100g, while the same serving of skim milk contains 34 calories.

Which milk you choose depends on what is most important to you. If you’re watching your sugar, unsweetened almond milk has less than 1 gram in a 100-gram serving, while skim milk has 5 grams of the naturally occurring sugar lactose. You get 3.4 grams of protein from one cup of skim milk and only 0.5 grams from almond milk.

If you have gastrointestinal issues from lactose, go with almond milk over skim milk. But if calcium is an issue, skim milk is best. Skim milk is likely to be more filling as it contains more protein and calories. Almond milk is a good choice when you want something lighter, e.g. B. when preparing a smoothie. Almond milk contains additives like carrageenan, so check the labels if this is an issue for you.

Turkey burgers vs. beef burgers

Ordering a burger at a restaurant can feel daunting when you’re trying to choose a nutritious option. Although ground turkey is generally lower in fat and calories than beef, a turkey burger is not necessarily lower in calories than a beef burger. Restaurants tend to use high-fat turkey since the leaner kind can dry out quickly.

It’s best to make your own burgers at home. At the grocery store, reach for lean ground turkey (7% fat), which has about 170 calories and 9.4 grams of fat per 4-ounce serving of B12. Extra-lean ground beef contains about twice as much iron per serving as turkey with 2.5mg in beef and 1.2mg in turkey. The same is true for zinc at 5.9 mg beef and turkey at 2.2 mg and vitamin B12 with beef at 2.55 µg and turkey at 1 µg.

If you prefer beef, reach for extra-lean ground beef (3% fat), which contains about 137 calories and 3.4 grams of fat per 4-ounce serving -Lean beef tends to be juicy and taste better depending on your preference.

Butter vs Margarine

You might think margarine is a smart alternative, but it’s important to make sure the margarine you choose is trans-fat-free. Butter contains fewer harmful trans fats than most margarine. Both contain a similar number of calories: about 100 calories per tablespoon.910

If calories are an issue with this high-fat food, opt for lightly whipped butter, which packs 69 calories per tablespoon.11 When it comes to nutrition, neither butter nor margarine provides an appreciable amount of micronutrients. However, butter contains a small amount of vitamin A at 97 micrograms per tablespoon, which is 14% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for women and 11% for men.10

Butter is high in saturated fat, which is something to keep in mind if you’re concerned about your heart’s health. However, saturated fats are still considered superior to trans fats, which are not recommended to be consumed in any amount. If you are on a plant-based diet, consider using non-trans fat margarine.

Old-fashioned oats vs. steel-cut oats

You’re in good hands with either of these nutrient-dense oats. The main difference between the two is how they are made: Steel-cut oats are chopped, while old-fashioned oats are rolled. Conversely, instant oatmeal is processed, typically high in sugar, and has a higher glycemic index.

Each has approximately 150 calories per 40-gram serving, with every 4 grams of fiber.1213 Oatmeal is packed with complex carbohydrates; Each choice is 27 grams. Steel-cut oats tend to be tougher, while old-fashioned oats are a bit smoother when cooked. Steel Oats also take longer to cook. They are filling, voluminous, and satisfying.

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