Today I am going to start a battle of food! Hopefully I can answer many debates people have had for some time now about which fruits to pick, which meats to pick, which starches to pick, and why to pick them
A lot of these I had to ask myself for a long time before I finally understood the reasons people were telling me, “Eat sweet potatoes over russet” or why I should eat berries instead of watermelon.
Because to me it’s all always been the same, fruit is fruit and starches are starches. Eating a slice of bread was always equivalent to eating a sweet potato; I mean it’s all carbs right? Wrong.
So first I am going to break down what I feel like is the most asked and probably the most confusing.
White Potatoes VS. Sweet Potatoes (or Yams)
First off, these aren’t the only two potatoes out there. I could make a hefty list of all the different types of potatoes and most of them are beneficial for your health. But for the articles sake I’m going to compare the two most common potatoes out there.
Now even though sweet potatoes and yams are more beneficial than white potatoes, white potatoes are better than breads… by a long shot! Just had to state that first.
The first most important you should understand is that sweet potatoes are lower on the Glycemic Index, which in simple terms mean they have a smaller effect on your insulin levels. The more often and more heavily you spike your insulin the more likely you are going to be gaining fat or not burning fat. So we want foods that will keep our insulin low and not spike it as harshly.
Sweet potatoes do this in a very beneficial way. They spike the insulin enough to help build muscle, which will burn calories, but not too much where it will be affecting us in the long-term. This is another reason why it’s important to spike your insulin post workout rather than pre workout.
Sweet potatoes have an amazing source of Vitamin-A, more than 100% of daily value in a 100g serving. They are also a great source of Vitamin-C, Vitamin- B6, Manganese and Calcium. Although white potatoes contain these similar vitamins and minerals, the sweet potatoes are much higher in them. Sweet potatoes also have components that help prevent cancer-causing viruses, again something both offer but the sweet potato trumps.
Another big benefit of potatoes is the fiber content, which is high and extremely healthy. But in this case the sweet potato once again defeats the white potato by a good shot.
So in the end of the battle of the potatoes, the sweet potato comes out on top for many important reasons!
Berries VS. Melons
The battle of the fruit is another great one because most people don’t seem to understand the differences. Usually people always think, fruit is fruit and it is natural so its gotta be healthy… well unfortunately fruit is sugar, and even though fruit is natural sugar isn’t always great for you.
Now it is true that fruit is a healthier source of sugar, but again it comes down to what types of sugar, the sugar content, and the timing that you consume this sugar.
Now, here’s a quick rundown on the sugar content in fruit. From lowest sugar content to highest sugar content, these are the choices of fruit (common fruit that is… not going to list weird exotic fruits like jackfruit or rambuton… yes those are real).
- Blue Berries
- Black Berries and Raspberries
- Brown Spotted Bananas (Spots are key)
- Oranges and other Citrus Fruits
- Watermelons and all other Melons
Now from reading the list you can already answer who is winning the battle on fruit, definitely berries. Because the sugar content is lower it is going to spike your insulin less, its lower on the Glycemic Index, and you are less likely to store the sugar as fat.
Not only do berries have more fiber than the majority of other fruits, but the antioxidant value is higher in them also. The battle of fruit comes down to nutritional density and berries are by far the most nutritionally dense fruit out there.
White Rice VS. Brown Rice
The differences between white rice and brown rice vary and are definitely many. But most people do not actually know the difference, they just think brown is healthier just as whole wheat is better than white bread. But it comes down to a few big factors that separate the two.
In my opinion the most important difference between these two grains is the effect it has on blood sugar. Studies show that white rice has a much higher potential in rising blood sugar, in fact the studies have shown a rapid rise in blood sugar after consuming white rice. The studies have also shown the exact opposite, a drop in blood sugar, after consuming brown rice.
This can be important for general health but also for diabetics or anyone who wants to avoid becoming diabetic (everyone…). There have been studies that have shown an increased risk of diabetes when consuming white rice on a regular basis. When consuming brown rice on a regular basis, the studies actually showed it lowering the risk.
The other big difference in these types of rice is the fiber content. Brown rice is much higher in fiber simply because of the processing stages they go through. White rice is more processed and refined, therefore the bran along with other parts of the rice are removed or tampered with. Brown rice is almost its complete form, the husk is the only part removed. This also gives it more nutrients and vitamins left inside, another reason why it can benefit you more.
At the end of the day, or I guess I should say “Meal”, the rice’s taste so similar you might as well make the switch. Most people I know eating rice usually eat something with it, whether its spices and sauces or veggies and meats. Either way the rice color doesn’t make a huge taste difference, so its important to switch so you can get the most benefit out of what your consuming.
Red Meat VS. White Meat
This is one of my favorite debates, because it is a difficult one. Most people right away think it’s an easy choice, white meat is leaner so I should eat that. Which to an extent is true, because white meat does have lower fat and calories making it a lighter choice when dieting. It also still has very high protein, which is great for building muscle. So I will definitely agree with the facts that if one meat type has a majority over your diet, choose white.
But I also believe you should not avoid red meat all together. It has a bad rep because of the higher fat/calorie content in it and also because it has been linked to heart disease, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and even cancer. Now don’t get me wrong, those are all horrible things.
But you got to look at the studies very closely, because most studies are done on the typical American. The typical American’s diet is horrible and a large percentage of it is linked to fast food joints. If you’re eating red meat from a fast food restaurant on a regular basis, damn right your going to be in bad health!
Red meat has many great quality proteins and vitamins that are essential to our health, so I do believe it should be in your diet moderately. But overall, white lean meats are a better choice when it comes to dieting and staying in great shape. And when you do decide to eat a bit of red meat, get organic grass-fed beef as often as possible because it truly does make a huge difference.
Hopefully you can see how important it is to pick the right types of food for your diet, especially if you’re looking to lose fat or gain muscle.
The easiest way for me to keep my food choice on point is to think of my body as a vehicle. Without a doubt, I look at my body as a Ferrari, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to fill my tank with unleaded gas from AM PM… Don’t treat your body like a Geo Metro, it’s better than that.