When it comes to nutrition, white foods tend to get a bad rap. White foods like pasta, potatoes, and rice are often viewed as unhealthy, aren’t they? People assume they can’t be good for you unless they’re green, purple, or another non-white hue.
Given their reputation, you might be surprised to learn that lots of white foods are actually healthy – they are low in calories, high in fiber and other nutrients, and free of fats and sugars.
In this article, we will give you an in-depth guide to all white foods, including fruits, veggies, meat, fish, dairy, drinks, desserts, and snacks, so whether you are looking for creative ideas for white foods for a party or trying to add more nutrients to your diet with white fruits or fish, we have got you covered.
Foods that are white include:
- White Bread
- White Pasta
- White Rice
- White Sugar
- White Potatoes
- White Corn
- White Asparagus
- White Beans
- Egg Whites
- Sesame Seeds
- Pine Nuts
- Cow’s Milk
- Ice Cream
- Cottage Cheese
- Feta Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Asiago Cheese
- Goat Cheese
- Brie Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Ranch Dressing
- White Tea
- Coconut Milk
- Almond Milk
- Soy Milk
- Hemp Milk
- Camel Milk
- Cashew Milk
- Condensed milk
- White Currants
- White Chocolate
Now that you know the names of all white foods out there, let’s dive into each one to see what it is and how you can incorporate them into your diet.
White bread is one of the world’s most popular foods, and it’s easy to see why: it’s delicious, versatile, and satisfying. And while all types of bread have their pros and cons, white bread is usually the least healthy option. This type of bread has a high carbohydrate content (which raises blood sugar levels), is often made with refined flour, and is easy to overeat. Plus, white bread is high in calories and sodium — two things that shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts. Instead, opt for whole-grain bread or another healthier option instead.
When you think about foods that are white, pasta is probably one of the first things that come in your mind. I mean, who doesn’t like a bowl of creamy hot pasta? By itself, it has a rather bland taste, but luckily, it combines with virtually anything, from veggies, meatballs, and seafood to oysters, cheese, ham, and spinach! There are also dozens of pasta varieties – spaghetti, fusilli, rigatoni, lasagne or ravioli – you name it! Of course, paste is not the healthiest white food, but if eaten in moderation, it can be a good addition to a balanced diet.
White rice is made from finely ground white milled grain that has been polished to remove impurities. White rice is usually eaten as a main dish with dishes such as soups, stews, or curries. It can be served as is or flavored with butter, oil, salt, and other spices. Just like pasta, rice goes well with almost anything – veggies, seafood, meat, poultry, cheese, ham, and even truffles!
White rice is a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, niacin, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), riboflavin (vitamin B2), magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, manganese, and selenium. It is high in calories but filling – however, if you are watching your diet, it is better to substitute white rice for brown.
Sugar is everywhere, from fruits, vegetables, pastries, to juice and bread. It is widely know that eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain and health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. In addition to raising blood sugar levels, excess sugar can lead to tooth decay and increased risk of obesity. It can also contribute to inflammation in the body by raising levels of the hormone cortisol. But don’t be too scared of this white food – when eaten in moderation, sugar will do no harm!
Salt is a mineral made of sodium chloride and is found in most processed foods, including bread, pasta, meats, and cheese. Salt can be found in both fine and coarse granulations. While salt is indispensable for us, it is important to stick to the norm to avoid high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. According to The American Heart Association and The National Academy of Medicine, an adult should take no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt (roughly 5.8 g) per day, however, according to FDA, on average, Americans consume around 3,400 milligrams of salt every day.
Who doesn’t like potatoes? They are mildly sweet and buttery and have a delicate, soft texture when cooked right. Potatoes can be fried, boiled, baked, grilled, or added to soups, salads, or turned into pancakes. White potatoes are rich in vitamin C and potassium that keep our immunity, muscles, heart, and nervous system healthy.
Pungent and spicy, garlic is a must in cooking – it adds unique notes of heat that you cannot mistake for anything else! Garlic strengthens immunity, prevents Alzheimer’s and dementia, stabilizes blood pressure levels, and reduces cholesterol levels. Garlic is used in many dishes, from salads, marinades and sauces to vinaigrettes, meats, vegetables, soups, and stews.
Onion is another super healthy white food on our list – it contains useful antioxidants and compounds that fight inflammation, boost immunity, and reduce bad cholesterol levels. Just like garlic, onion is used in many dishes, from soups to meat stews and can be fried, baked, boiled, marinated or even eaten raw!
Cauliflower is a great example of healthy and tasty white vegetables. Cauliflower contains A, B, and C vitamins as well as calcium, phosphorous, and iron. Cauliflower does not have a strong taste – in fact, it is rather bland and mild with slight nutty notes. However, when cooked properly, it becomes soft, creamy, and slightly sweet.
Turnip is a root vegetable with a slightly bitter and spicy flavor and crispy and crunchy texture. Some say turnip tastes like a mix of radish and cabbage. Turnip contains vitamins А, В1, В2, В5, B9, and С as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper and also has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic properties. Turnip can be eaten raw or marinated, stewed, pickled, dried, or added to soups.
If you have never tried parsnip, you are missing on its sweet, licorice-like flavor with some spicy hints! This white vegetable is rich in potassium (one serving provides 10% of your daily potassium needs!) which stabilizes blood pressure, prevents heart diseases and kidney stones. Parsnip can be eaten raw just like carrots or added to veggie salads. You can also fry, sautee, boil, steam, or roast turnips.
Who doesn’t like mushrooms? From Crimini and Porcini to Shiitake and Truffles, there are mushrooms for every taste preference and budget! If you are looking for white mushrooms, opt for the most popular mushroom variety – white button mushrooms. They have a mild earthy flavor with nutty notes and incredibly delicate texture. Like all mushrooms, white button mushrooms can be fried, pickled, roasted, baked, or added to soups, pizza, and salads. Also, white button mushrooms are cheap – around $1.41 per pound!
White corn is a hybrid of the yellow corn but without lutein, which is responsible for the color of the pigment. White corn contains highly digestible vegetable protein but has a higher sugar content than yellow corn. White corn is rich in calcium, chromium, magnesium, selenium, and protein. White corn has a mildly sweet flavor and nutty notes and can be used just like yellow corn – boiled, grilled, baked, or turned into flour and oil.
White asparagus is much more tender and less bitter than the green one, but that also makes it more expensive. White asparagus is a rare spring delicacy and costs as much as $9 per pound (growing white asparagus is super labor-intensive)! This white vegetable is rich in Vitamin A, C, and E as well as niacin, riboflavin, thiamin indispensable for proper metabolic functions.
White beans, a.k.a. White Kidney Beans because of their shape, are a variety of common beans. White beans are packed with vitamin B1 as well as potassium, iron, and magnesium. White beans are packed with protein (100 g serving contains a whopping 6 grams of protein, which is roughly 12% of the daily value!), so they will keep you full for hours! White beans have a mild nutty and slightly earthy flavor and go especially well with creamy sauces.
Did you know that 100 grams of chickpeas contain 68% of your daily requirement of dietary fiber? Chickpeas taste similar to beans and have a nutty and earthy flavor, and a buttery smooth texture. Chickpeas can be green, orange, and white in color and can be added to salads, soups, pasta, sandwiches, curries and veggies.
It is no surprise that egg whites are white! Egg whites are an excellent source of protein and are low in calories, carbs, and fat, which makes them perfect for weight loss.
If you are looking for a source of healthy fats, protein, and B vitamins, then look further than sesame seeds! Sesame seeds have a nice whitish color and can be baked, toasted, or eaten raw. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium, and zinc, and potassium, so if you want to improve the state of your skin, hair, nails, and even lose some weight, add this delicious white snack to your diet.
Cashews are one of the most delicious and healthy nuts out there – cashews are sweet, creamy, and rich in protein, fiber, potassium, and healthy fats. However, cashews are also high in oxalate, which can lead to kidney damage if eaten in excessive quantities.
Pine nuts are tiny edible seeds of pines which have a sweet flavor and a soft, buttery texture, are white or pale-ivory in color and are jam-packed with healthy fats, potassium, and protein. Pine nuts are a bit pricey because of the labor-intensive harvesting process, but they are easy to find in big supermarkets and can be a great addition to your diet.
Are you following a vegan diet? Don’t worry, there are tons of foods that are white for you! Take, for example, protein-packed tofu made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the curds into firm white blocks! Tofu can have different texture, from super firm to silky, so there is something for everyone.
Do you like fermented drinks but are sick of yogurts? Then try kefir! This white drink is super-healthy and is made of kefir grains (mesophilic symbiotic culture). It has a slightly tart, sour and creamy taste and a texture similar to drinking yogurts. I like adding fruits to kefir to make it sweeter (bananas work best for me). Kefir is rich in protein and B vitamins, so it will keep you full for longer.
Ayran is a popular drink in the Middle East (especially in Turkey, where it is considered a national drink) thanks to its sour, creamy, and slightly salty flavor and a delicate, velvety texture. Ayran is white in color, and is made of yoghurt, water, and salt. So if you like refreshing, savory drinks, check out ayran.
Kumis is very similar to kefir – the only difference is that this white drink is made of a liquid starter culture, while kefir is made of solid grains. Kumis has a foamy sour and tart taste and is popular in Central Asia, namely Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Yakutia. Kumis is not very popular in the US, but it can be found in big supermarket like Walmart and Target. Kumis is very good for the gastrointestinal tract, metabolism, and overall immunity.
Cow’s milk has a rich sweet and nutty taste and a delicate velvety texture. This white super drink is rich in calcium, fat, and protein and is one of the most popular drinks around the world. Cow’s milk is especially good for your heart and bones as it contains a lot of calcium, potassium, and phosphorus – it also lowers cholesterol blood levels. All in all, cow’s milk is one of the best white drinks you can incorporate in your diet.
Cream is white in color, has a thick, velvety texture, and is widely used in cooking – from soups and sauces to salads and baking. Cream comes in different varieties, from light and half-and-half to heavy cream (this variety is the thickest and has at least 36% of fat, and is higher in calories). Cream has a sweet flavor and is a healthy addition to your diet.
Ice cream comes in all sorts of colors, from purple and green to yellow and red, but in this article, we will be talking about vanilla ice cream that is white in color. While ice cream is not the healthiest white food you can eat, it is definitely taste and loved by everyone. If you opt for high-quality brands with little or no preservatives and additives, ice cream can definitely be a nice addition to your nutrition.
Yogurt is made by fermenting milk with a yogurt culture – the result is a snow white color and thick, velvety texture with a creamy, sweet and sour taste. While you can find yogurts with all sorts of flavors, it is best to opt for natural yogurts with no artificial flavors – they might not be as tasty but are much healthier. If natural yogurt is not sweet enough, add some fruits and berries.
Well, who doesn’t use butter? Creamy, delicate, and moderately sweet, it is added to baked goods, sauces, mashed potatoes, pasta, rice, as well as grain dishes. Butter is a high-calorie white food – one teaspoon contains a whopping 100 calories, but don’t be scared of it! When eaten in moderation, butter is a great component of one’s diet. If you are lactose intolerant, you can get lactose-free butter as well as salted butter.
Made by acidifying milk, cottage cheese is an excellent source of calcium and protein. It is great for building muscles and strengthening bones, teeth, and hair. Cottage cheese tastes amazing with fruits and berries as well as honey or condensed milk (which is actually another white food you can to your diet).
Made of sheep’s milk (or sometimes sheep’s and goat’s milk), this white Greek brined cheese is a match made in heaven. Moderately salty, tangy, creamy, and rich, feta tastes amazing in salads, with pasta, rice, potatoes, eggs, pizza, and even watermelon or grapes!
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t live without cream cheese! Made with cream or with a mixture of milk and cream, cream cheese has a mild cheesy flavor with a smooth texture. Cream cheese is often used in sushi or on sandwiches, and tastes oh-so-good with fresh or smoked salmon, doesn’t it?
First produced in Italy, Asiago cheese is made from cow’s milk, is white in color, and has a nutty and creamy taste, similar to that of Parmesan. Asiago cheese has a D.O.P status, which means that authentic cheese can only be made in some regions of Northern Italy. Like any cheese, Asiago tastes great on pizza, in salads, with rice and pasta.
Mild, buttery, earthy, and slightly tart, goat cheese is one of the best white cheeses out there! High in calcium, protein, and healthy fats, goat cheese is a perfect addition to a balanced diet.
Mozzarella is creamy, juicy, smooth-textured and oh-so-yummy! Mozzarella was first produced in Southern Italy from Italian buffalo’s milk and can now purchased in any shop around the world. Mozzarella has awesome melting properties, so it is often added on pizza and pasta. Mozzarella goes best with tomatoes, basil, and olive oil – how would we live without caprese?
Coming from Camembert, Normandy, in northwest France, camembert cheese is creamy, moist, mild-tasting and is white in color. Just like brie cheese, camembert has a unique mushroomy, tangy, and nutty flavor with eggy and milky notes. Camembert is also fairly sweet as it is made from cow’s milk. Camembert tastes delicious with crackers and honey. I also like eating it with grapes.
Named after the place of origin, brie cheese is white and grey in color under a rind of white mold. Brie cheese has a similar taste to camembert but is less intense and rich. Brie is rich in vitamins A, K, and B 12, which help your body break down carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Brie cheese goes best with crackers and jam (fig and raspberry are the best in my opinion).
Made by mixing cream with a lactic acid culture, sour cream has a tart, tangy, and creamy flavor, a thick, velvety texture, and is white in color. Sour cream has a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity that makes it a great base for sauces and marinades. Sour cream is often added to salads, baked goods, pasta, risotto, mashed potatoes, sandwich spreads, scrambled eggs, pancakes, crepes, etc.
High in calories and white in color, mayonnaise is one of the most popular condiments all over the world. If you buy high-quality brands or make your own mayo, it won’t harm your diet if used in moderation. Creamy, tangy, salty, and rich, mayonnaise is used everywhere, from sauces and dressings to burgers, mashed potatoes, pizza, hot dogs, sandwiches, and more!
Ranch dressing is simply delicious – creamy, tangy, and slightly sour, it goes well with meat, poultry, fish, veggies, pasta, and rice. It is made with buttermilk and pickles, so it has a nice creamy texture and is quite high in calories – 100 grams of ranch dressing contain 484 calories. Ranch dressing also contains garlic, so it is quite spicy. If you want to add this white goodness to your diet, I recommend making it at home to control the ingredients.
Made from leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, white tea is one of the healthiest and beverages ever. Since it is made from young or minimally processed leaves, white tea has a delicate fruity and floral flavor with hints of cucumber and melon. Sometimes white tea has grassy notes, too.
This opaque, milky-white drink is made from coconut grated pulp. It has a nice creamy and coconutty flavor with nutty notes and watery texture. Just one cup of coconut milk contains 20% of the daily requirement of dietary fiber and 18% of potassium!
Nutritious and tasty, almond milk is one of the most popular plant-based milks out there. Almond milk comes sweetened and unsweetened, but if you are watching your sugar and calorie intake, opt for unsweetened almond milk (but it does have some bitter notes). Almond milk can also be made at home.
Made by grinding and soaking soybeans, soy milk is an excellent white drink which is packed with vitamins and nutrients, for example, Omega-3 fatty acids which lower the chance of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Hemp milk is white in color like any other type of milk, therefore, it is on the list. It has the most protein and healthy fats out of all plant-based types of milk and is rich in magnesium. Hemp milk tastes nutty and creamy and is slightly sweet.
Camel milk is not the most popular milk variety, but it can be found in big supermarkets or ordered online. One-half cup of camel milk contains a whopping 29% of daily value of thiamine and 16% of calcium! Camel milk is white in color, has a sweet taste with a somewhat salty aftertaste.
Cashew milk’s flavor is similar to cow’s as it it sweet and creamy. It has a rich white color and a silky texture. Cashew milk can be purchased in the supermarket, but it is better to make cashew milk at home to ensure that there are no nasties in it.
If you like flaky fish with a mild sweet flavor, look no further than cod! This fish is most often sold in fillets, which means you do not even need to waste time preparing it. Simply wash cod fillet, add salt, black pepper, and fry it in olive oil. Cod can also be baked, broiled, grilled, added to pies, soups, or turned into fish cakes.
Tilapia is an affordable and delicious white fish – it is rich in protein and phosphorus, indispensable for healthy nails, teeth, and bones. Tilapia can be easily found in any supermarket as it is the 4th most popular fish in the US. By the way, did you know that tilapia is native to Africa?
Bass is a delicious white fish that is low in calories and high in nutrients. Bass has a beneficial effect on the spinal cord and brain, bone tissue, nervous system, stabilizing blood sugar, improving metabolism and taking care of the thyroid gland. Bass has a mildly sweet flavor with slight nutty notes and can be baked, grilled, roasted, fried – bass is not the cheapest white fish out there but it is definitely worth your attention.
Halibut is a popular white fish from the flounder family, common in the North Pacific and Atlantic. Halibut has a mild taste with delicate sweet notes and a juicy texture. Halibut, like all fish, can be baked, fried, grilled, added to pies, soups, or turned into fish cakes. Halibut is low in calories and rich in Omega 3, protein, zinc, selenium, and vitamin E.
Chicken meat is probably one of the most popular meat in the world thanks to its affordability, availability, low calorie content, and mild taste. Chicken meat is white in color, rich in protein and low in fat and hence calories. Chicken meat is a healthy white food that can be used in salads, soups, pies, or served with pasta, rice, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, and other veggies.
Turkey is another great example of healthy white food that can be found in any supermarket. Like chicken, turkey meat contains protein, niacin, vitamin B6, and amino acids like tryptophan. Turkey meat is lean and tasty, so it is a good choice if you are looking for healthy white meat.
Looking for some calorie-dense white food? Then grab a few cans of condensed milk! Rich, sweet, and creamy, it can be a great dessert. Try condensed milk with raspberries and strawberries – you can’t beat that combination!
If you like exotic creamy, sweet, and fruity flavors, look no further than coconuts! Coconuts are used for their water, tasty meat, and, of course, oil. Coconuts are pricey and can be found only in big fruit shops or sometimes supermarkets. Coconuts are best eaten fresh but they can also be added to smoothies, granola bars, cereal, and baked goods.
Bananas are amazing source of potassium (one banana provides 422 mg of potassium, which is 12% of the daily value!). This amazing white fruit has a rich sweet taste and a pleasant soft and delicate texture and is perfect for smoothies, yogurts, cottage cheese or cookies. Bananas are great on their own, too.
Do you like sour and tart berries with floral aroma? Then look no further than white currants! White currants have a complex flavor reminiscent of kiwi, sour cherries, and grapes and are an excellent source of vitamin C!
Pears are a powerhouse fruit! Just like apples, there are hundreds of varieties of this fruit, from sweet and juicy to sour and firm. Pears have a white flesh and are packed with nutrients – vitamins A, B, C, and K as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Have you heard about this Mexican root vegetable with a thick brown skin and white flesh? It tastes just like potato but is not as sweet. Jicama can be eaten raw or boiled. It can also be added to salads and soups. Like most vegetables, jicama is high in water and low in calories, which makes it a perfect choice for those trying to lose weight.
An apple a day keeps a doctor away! If you don’t eat at least one apple every day, it is time to start! Apples are rich in pectin, which is a fiber that keeps you feeling full. There are hundreds of apple varieties from sour green apples to red and sweet ones, so there is a choice for every preference. Apples are amazing example of white foods (inside, of course) that are full of vitamins and nutrients – and they are also tasty!
Popcorn comes in different flavors and hence colors, but if you are trying to have a balanced diet, opt for unflavored popcorn – it is white in color (otherwise, why would I include popcorn in the article about white foods!), low in calories, and high in fiber. It is time to ditch unhealthy chips and switch to tasty popcorn!
White food is not just about health but also pleasure! What can be more delicious than white chocolate?
If you aren’t a fan of white chocolate, try out marshmallows. While they come in many colors, the most popular are white and pink. Marshmallows can be a great addition to a healthy diet when eaten in moderation.
If you are looking for nutrient-dense white foods, oats are your best go-to. Oats contain linoleic acid, lecithin, fiber, A, B and E vitamins, as well as potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. Oats are great for those following a healthy diet – you can eat oats with fruits, berries, nuts, honey, or add them to smoothies or even bake oat cookies!
There are dozens varieties of flour, from the most common and cheap all-purpose white flour to more exotic and expensive varieties like almond and coconut. Most flour varieties are white or whitish, but some varieties can be brownish grey or even creamy yellow.
Starch is a white powder with no taste or odor that is used in cooking for thickening sauces, puddings, gravy, etc. The two most popular star varieties are potato and corn – they are both white and have no taste or smell and cannot be dissolved in cold water.
Not all white foods are bad. In fact, some of them are actually quite good for you. For example, cauliflower, mushrooms, cheese, yogurt, bananas, onion and turnip are all foods that are white but healthy and nutritious. Even though eating these foods may seem like a challenge because they’re so light in color, there are many other white foods that are also great for you.
Of course, not all white foods are healthy and nutrient-packed – take, for example, white sugar, white chocolate, or white bread. However, when eaten in moderation, all of these white foods will only bring good to you. I hope that after reading my article, you won’t have any questions about foods and drinks that are white.