White carbohydrates include legumes like soybeans and lentils, grains products like bread, pasta, noodles and rice, as well as the potato tuber (the swollen storage area of the plant’s root). These vilified white carbohydrate have been the staple of every European, Asian, American and North African civilization.
White foods have been made scapegoats by the low-carbohydrate fanatics who talk about high glycemic carbohydrates when they want to demonize carbohydrates.
Too much of any one nutrient is probably unhealthy. And so is too little.
Moderation and balance are the keys to good health.
Any sound diet must emphasize complex carbohydrates and include essential fats. Any diet that bans those nutrients should come with a Black Box warning.
White fuel includes grains, beans and lentils. Soybeans and lentils are especially valuable because they, in addition to their energy and antioxidant content, are a good source of protein.
Grains include corn, wheat, barley, rye and buckwheat.
White crops provide essential fuel to sustain life. Avoid heavily processed grains in favor of whole grain.
Included in the white food groups are dairy and egg products. The American staples of milk, eggs and cheese are important foods that contribute to good health. They are rich in calcium and protein.
Whole grains have been a major part of all three meals since three meals a day became the norm. Whole grains and grasses are high in complex carbohydrates, high in fiber and provide a unique library of phytonutrients needed by the body. Wheat, barley, corn, buckwheat and all the other grains are made up of a bran, endosperm and germ.
The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain. It is also rich in B vitamins and minerals. The endosperm is the middle layer and is rich in protein and carbohydrate. The germ is the most nutrient dense region.
Wheat germ, which is the embryo of the wheat berry, is an unpolished and unheated treasure trove of nutrients. High in B-vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fats and phytosterols, wheat germ is one of Nature’s most healthy food.
Whole grains in general lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.
It is the refining of these grains that causes the problems for the consumers of these foods. Removed of its natural library, refined carbohydrates and high glycemic sugars are a danger to health.
The refining process strips the grain of its nutrients leaving calorie-dense flour and white rice in its place. Gone are the fibers, vitamins and phytonutrients bound up in the grain.