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If you’re trying to eat healthy and looking at your choices between, say, natural sweeteners or types of whole grains, you may not know which one is really more beneficial; and if you’re going to the trouble of really eating healthy, isn’t it worth it to know what’s best?  We think so, too!  So, we thought of a few of the biggies; you know, foods that people eat often, and we did a little research to find out which one’s better.  Enjoy!

Brown Rice or Quinoa:  The clear winner here is quinoa.  While brown rice is a much better choice than white rice, if you’re really looking to get the most out of your whole grain, grab some quinoa.  While both brown rice and quinoa are loaded with fiber (and that’s a great thing!), quinoa is also packing a protein punch.  In fact, you can get 8 grams of protein in one cup of quinoa—and that’s nothing to sneeze at!  And it’s a complete protein, which means it contains 9 essential amino acids to help your body repair cells, etc.  Normally, you’d have to grill up a piece of chicken, cook an egg or otherwise consume some sort of meat product to get that kind of protein, making quinoa especially attractive for our vegetarian friends out there!

Agave or Honey:  There’s a push away from the processed sugar we all grew up with and a turn toward natural sweeteners these days, and we couldn’t be happier.  Not only do processed sugars (and processed foods) burn up more quickly, leaving you with the highs and lows of unstable blood glucose levels, but there’s evidence mounting that the way your body responds to them mimics the body’s response to street drugs.  So, what to do?  Give some natural sweeteners a try!  Honey and agave nectar are two popular alternatives, and they are actually fairly equivalent in terms of which is better.  The difference: Agave nectar contains a higher percentage of fructose to glucose so your body burns it up more slowly, making you feel full longer and avoiding the highs and lows of simple sugars.  The key to any sweetener lies in you, though; practice moderation.

Turkey Burgers or Veggie Burgers:  If you’re firing up the grill for a night of turkey burgers instead of your usual ground beef—kudos!  But know that there is an even better alternative.  While ground turkey has less fat than ground beef and is a great source of lean protein, veggie burgers go a step further.  Turkey burgers can have up to 5 times the amount of fat and 20 times the amount of cholesterol as their veggie counterparts (because they are usually a combo of both light and dark turkey meat).  Veggie burgers also have half the calories and 4 grams of fiber—score!

Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes:  Potatoes are not the devil.  Even though they’ve been getting a bad rep for a few years, there is a lot of nutritional value in potatoes.  Potatoes are a low-calorie (sans, sour cream and butter!), high-fiber food rich in potassium, B6, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus and phytonutrients.  That being said, sweet potatoes are still the better choice.  They have fewer calories and a cartload of vitamin A (potatoes have zilch).  In fact, they have 439 percent of your daily recommended value of vitamin A.  They also have more vitamin C and a host of other vitamins and minerals, AND antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients and blood-sugar lowering nutrients.  Long story short, sweet potatoes are tops!

We’re all about serving up healthy food choices here at Brown Bag—and we make them taste great!  Healthy cuisine of the fly is what we do!  Bring your need for speed (and speedy, healthy food!) to us during your busy work week, and we promise to fill your belly with all the nutrients you need to get you through your day—no option weighing required.  We can also bring our brand of healthy right to you! Call us to set up any corporate catering event–we offer full-service catering and enough menu options to please the whole office!