RULE: Brown is Better

Brown is better. I tell my African-American patients this and they nod approvingly. But it’s true.  The more processed a food is (white bread, chips, macaroni, mashed potatoes) the more stripped it is of its original nutrients, and thus, the worse it is for our body. I grew up on grilled cheeses made with Kraft singles (not real cheese BTW) and white bread, and got strangely excited when scalloped potatoes were on the menu. I loved these tasty, white, processed foods, devoid of nutrients, not knowing delicious did not equal nutritious.  Processed foods are full of empty calories and no nutritional value.  You might as well eat a piece of pie–which, to me, tastes better, but is essentially the same thing when broken down by the body: SUGAR.

Knowing whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread are better for me, makes me choose these.  At first they tasted a bit strange (slightly card-boardy), but now white bread tastes like a cotton sponge (your colon thinks so too!)

Most restaurants offer whole wheat bread or whole wheat pizza crust instead of white.  And you can easily substitute a side of veggies instead of a side of mashies or a side salad instead of fries.  Don’t make excuses, just do it!  It takes a while for your tastes to change, but eventually these healthier selections won’t feel like deprivation.

Really, WHOLE GRAINS are the only starches we should be ingesting. Oats, Quinoa, Buckwheat, and Bulgur are a few examples.  If these sound foreign or unfamiliar, recall that at one time the Outback Steak House’s Blooming Onion seemed exotic.  Choose pumpernickel, rye or whole wheat sandwich bread.  Opt for brown or wild rice and whole wheat pasta instead of the synthetic white starchy grub.

Whole grains aid in weight loss, are loaded with nutrients and have:

  • Natural, soluble fiber
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Zinc
  • Potassium
  • Folate
  • Protein
  • Iron
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

6 thoughts on “RULE: Brown is Better

  1. I love beige food, sadly. I’m reading this book now and hoping to turn my baby on to only the best and most colorful foods!

  2. What about the idea I used to hear that pumpernickel bread in the grocery store was just white bread with dark corn syrup aded to it. Instead of going to the store to read the label, I’ll just ask you.

    1. Good Point. Sadly our grocery store shelves are filled with items touting health (“whole wheat” bread that is still mainly refined flour stripped of nutrients and with tons additives and preservatives and HFCS) that’s why its best to shop local bakery’s, buy fresh and READ labels!

  3. I totally agree, I like the phrase the whiter the bread the sooner you’re dead! Another down side to processed grains is that they don’t fill you up. I could eat a whole box of white pasta and be hungry an hour later.

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