Is the No White Food Diet Healthy?

We write about different diets quite frequently. We always have pretty much the same preamble. We start with a disclaimer that admits we don’t like diets by and large. Following diets with restrictive rules can limit your options and lead to unhealthy feelings about food. We believe that the best approach to weight management is to eat a varied diet while paying attention to portion size.

Some diets like the Blue Zone diet or Mediterranean diet are more lifestyles that aren’t restrictive but teach you to live in a new way. There are also diets designed for health that your doctor might recommend you follow. But, many are crash diets that can help you lose weight but are impossible to stick with, and you’ll gain the weight back once you stop.

We know that people like diets, and some have success with them or use them to kick start their weight loss journey. Because of that, we often evaluate popular diets to determine if they are safe and potentially effective. Today, we’re looking at the “no white food” diet. Right off the bat, we don’t like it for the name alone. As we have written many times before, restrictive diet rules can lead you to quit them and feel like you have “failed.”

The name implies that many healthy foods are off the table. Cauliflower is our favorite alternative to rice and potatoes. It can be a staple in your diet. But, when you dig into it, the diet’s not as bad as it sounds. The no white food diet calls for removing processed white foods from your life. You aren’t supposed to eat white bread, white rice, cereal, white sugar, white pasta, white fat made from animal products or excess salt. You also can’t eat white potatoes. The belief is that by removing these foods, you’ll cut out white flour and extra sugar.

Unless you’re eating the white rice we wrote about last week, we also recommend cutting white rice out of your diet. It’s the only food we have ever suggested altogether shunning. And the rest of this diet doesn’t sound unreasonable. There are alternatives to all the foods on the list. And, what’s more, they are comparable swaps, not simply fillers.

We would consider this almost more of a dietary guideline or tip than a diet. Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and added sugar are hazardous for your blood sugar and waistline. Avoiding these white foods and replacing them with colorful options is healthier. Making healthy swaps is always a good choice.

The name is a misnomer. Cauliflower, onions, turnips, white beans, egg whites, white fish and white meat chicken are all fine on the diet. People argue as to whether yogurt and milk are acceptable as they contain animal fat.

Overall, while the name gives us a kneejerk reaction, this isn’t a terribly unhealthy or restrictive diet. Everything you are cutting out has a one-to-one replacement food with more nutrients. One thing that none of the articles we read brought up is that the colorful alternatives tend to have more fiber. That’s a significant benefit. It aids blood sugar, weight management and gut health. So, if you want to try the no white food diet, it will not harm you and may help you achieve your health goals.

Banner image: Toa Heftiba via Unsplash

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