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Whitewash the Five Dreaded Whites from your Diet!

Whitewash the Five Dreaded Whites from your Diet!
January 3, 2017 Tanuja Sodhi
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Whitewash the Five Dreaded Whites from your Diet!

Guest Article by Tanuja Sodhi – Nutritionist & Fitness Expert

While the colour white stands for purity and virtue, these five whites assume an image that is far from virtuosity when losing inches is unequivocally on your mind. They are the mischief-makers in your diet that can badly upset your applecart of attempting to stay fit and healthy. They’re also known as simple carbs, refined carbs and or bad carbs in the nutrition world.


These whites (except potato and bread) are processed and refined by using various chemicals that strip them of most of their nutrients, leaving them worthless.

The five offenders that you need to eliminate from your diet to lose that annoying fat are:

Refined Flour (Maida):It has the wheat kernel and bran removed while being processed. Most breads, pastas, noodles, cakes, pastries, donuts, muffins, cookies are made of maida. Even some breakfast cereals, white poha, Indian breads prepared in restaurants such as tandoori roti, roomali roti, naan, kulcha, and snacks like samosa and kachori are made of refined flour.

White Rice:It has the germ and bran removed while being processed. Foods like pad Thai white noodles, white rice vermicelli, puffed rice snacks, rice chips, rice flour rotis, etc. are made of white rice.


White Bread:Although white bread is a product of refined flour that I have covered as point 1, it needs to be featured as a separate entity because of the substantial bread consumption by urbane population. It includes bagels, pizza base, pita bread, burger and hotdog buns, baguettes, ciabatta, focaccia, waffles, crackers, breadsticks, lavash, etc. Even multigrain bread available commercially is made of refined flour unless specified as a whole-wheat product.

White Potato:Although potatoes have some important nutrients, they’re a high glycemic food that can mess up your calorie-count, especially when you’re trying to lose fat and follow a sedentary lifestyle. The reason why it has assumed an adverse face is because of the unhealthy ways in which it is being used in our daily diet – As an add-on to every subzi cooked in oil, French fries, Potato Smileys, potato chips, fried cutlets, aloo bonda, aloo pakoda, mashed potatoes with butter, etc.


White Sugar:Most of the commercially available sweets, candies, cookies, desserts, cakes, donuts and sweetened beverages are prepared with this type of sugar.

A dressing-down for the white devils

These simple carbohydrates:

  1. Are very high in calories.
  2. Are deficient in fibre and therefore, are less satisfying.
  3. Trigger cravings for unhealthy simple carbs and sugary food.
  4. Are easy to overeat as are palatable.
  5. Lead to obesity, Type II diabetes, heart ailments and many other lifestyle diseases.

Some sane food swaps

Refined Flour (Maida):Switch to healthier whole-grains, such as whole wheat, rolled oats, buckwheat (singhada atta), barley (jau), finger millet (ragi), whole rye, quinoa, pearl millet (bajra) and sorghum (jowar).

Some other healthy switches are:

Instead of Try
Refined flour noodles whole-wheat noodles
White pasta whole-wheat/brown rice pasta
Refined flour cake whole-wheat atta cake
Cereals with refined flour and corn oatmeal, unsweetened ragi flakes, unsweetened muesli
Refined flour Indian breads multi-grain atta rotis
Samosa, kachori, etc. roasted ragi khakras, roasted jowar/bajra/soybean snack


White Rice:Try brown rice or wild rice instead for your regular cooking. Some other healthy swaps are:

Instead of Try
White poha red rice poha
Pad Thai white noodles pad Thai brown noodles
White rice vermicelli brown rice vermicelli
Puffed white rice snack puffed brown rice crackers

White Bread:Most breads produced commercially have a big proportion of refined flour in them including brown bread and multi-grain bread of popular brands sold in the market. So, instead of opting for any of the fancy loaves which are nothing but a chockful of refined flour, choose an authentic whole-wheat option which has a much shorter shelf-life. And if you could lay your hands on multi-grain bread with whole-wheat option, that’s the one for you!

White Potato:This is a simple carbohydrate source that provides energy but comes with its set of detriments. So, we can swap potato with other healthier carbs that do a better job of boosting energy, such as: sweet potato, fruits, whole-grain cereals, whole-grain breads, dried beans, and dried fruits in moderation.


White Sugar:It is ideal to give up sugar completely, but if giving up completely is a herculean task, reduce the amount of sugar to 1 teaspoon (max) a day. Even better, swap it with jaggery, honey or unrefined brown sugar.

If you’re beset with an acute sweet tooth and crave sugary treats every so often, indulge in them occasionally as special treats. Swap unhealthy sweet savories with sensible ones, such as:

  • A piece of fruit
  • Dried fruit: 2-3 dates/figs/plums/raisins
  • A square of dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa)
  • Frozen grapes/watermelon cubes
  • Dark chocolate dipped strawberries
  • Fruit yogurt (prepared from skimmed milk) without sugar
  • Greek yogurt parfait
  • Baked apple cinnamon dessert

Therefore, colour ‘white’ may just be lackluster and ‘blank’ as far as food is concerned, devoid of vital nutrients. You need to add some bright hues to your diet-palate in the form of different fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, dried beans, nuts and seeds to make your life more spirited!

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