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Food vs food: Daily foods compared to their supposedly healthy counterparts

It’s a food showdown like you’ve never seen it before. We took five daily food items and weigh them up against their supposedly healthier counterparts. So before you ban white potatoes from your pantry, read on.


White potatoes have gotten a bad rap over the years. This is probably because of their association with greasy fries; or maybe it’s because when they’re compared to the superfood-touted sweet spud, they just don’t stack up.

While white potatoes do clock in higher on the glycaemic index with a score of 84 GI, as opposed to sweet potatoes at 54 GI, they contain plenty of fibre and vitamins that are essential to your health.

So as long as they aren’t prepared in buckets of fat and oil, it’s not a bad thing to include them in your diet. If you are going low-GI, reach for baby potatoes and eat them with some protein and a salad for a slow-release of energy.


From a health perspective, there is very little nutritional difference between these two, but goat’s milk tends to be easier on the digestive system. Since they are both good sources of protein and calcium, it only comes down to taste and the digestibility of the milk for each person. The one downside of goat’s milk is that it’s more difficult to find low-fat or fat-free options, for those opting for a lower fat diet.


Raw nuts are a great snack to nibble on because they are heart-healthy, contain monounsaturated fat and have a high protein content that will keep you satiated between meals. And roasted nuts? The fats in the nuts can sometimes turn rancid when heated and have the same harmful effects as trans- and saturated fats on your health. Added salt to pre-packaged roasted nuts will spike your sodium intake for the day, so if you’re following a healthy eating plan, it’s best to stick to the raw version.


As a plant-based, complete protein that is low in fat and high in fibre, quinoa is worth every bit of the hype it has enjoyed over the past few years. But does that mean you should have to swap your brown rice for this gluten-free grain? When going head-to-head, quinoa comes out on top with more iron, protein, fibre, folic acid and potassium. Unfortunately, another thing it’s high in, is price. It is recommended that you eat a wide variety of wholegrain starches, so alternate between the two to enjoy all the health benefits without breaking the bank.


Ostrich meat is, hands-down, the winner between these two. It contains only a fraction of the saturated fats and cholesterol that beef does and (if you can believe it) is even lower in fat than chicken! What’s more, the vitamin, mineral, protein and iron count exceeds that of beef, meaning you get all the goodness without the fat.

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