Many people have a limited food budget. So it’s important to learn which similarly healthy foods can give you the most nutritional bang for your buck. This health food face-off will uncover the edibles that soar above the rest.
Contenders: Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk.
Each great white is a good source of protein and vitamin D, but goat milk may have a leg up on its cow counterpart in other areas. A study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis found that under similar rearing conditions, goat milk provides higher levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fats than cow’s milk, as well as the bone-building minerals calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Why? Well, goat milk contains a higher solid-to-liquid ratio, so it has a better chance of being more nutrient-dense. Some people also find goat milk easier to digest because differences in its protein structure make it lower in a casein protein that can cause stomach woes. However, both milks have similar lactose content.
Winner: Goat Milk.
Contenders: Almond Butter vs. Peanut Butter.
Compared with the peanut spread, almond butter has a bit less saturated fat but twice as much monounsaturated fat. A large review of studies published in the journal Food & Nutrition Research found that replacing some of the saturated fat in our diets with monounsaturated fat can improve blood cholesterol numbers, making almond butter a heart-healthy spread for your toast. Almond butter also beats its peanut counterpart for the bone-strengthening minerals calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, and has three times more of the antioxidant vitamin E. However, peanut butter does deliver higher levels of protein.
Winner: Almond Butter.
Contenders: Raspberries vs. Strawberries.
You really can’t go wrong with any berries from a nutritional standpoint, but if you were to pick only one rosy berry you may want to grab several pints of raspberries. Food scientists found that raspberries have a higher antioxidant activity than strawberries. This means they may do a better job at mopping up those cell-damaging free radicals that can instigate diseases like cancer. While strawberries have about twice as much vitamin C, raspberries deliver three times more dietary fiber, which more Americans struggle to get enough of. You’ll also benefit from a larger dose of vitamin K, which a 2014 Journal of Nutrition study found to slash the risk of mortality from cardiovascular and other diseases when consumed in higher amounts.
Contenders: Broccoli vs. Cauliflower.
Few vegetables can top broccoli nutritionally. Compared with its pale cruciferous counterpart, broccoli has twice as much vitamin C and six times more vitamin K. Broccoli also supplies much more beta-carotene, which the body can convert to vitamin A to bolster immune and eye health. The green florets are also richer in sulforaphane, a powerful phytochemical with cancer-fighting efficacy.
Contenders: Hemp Seeds vs. Flax Seeds.
Also called hemp hearts, the seeds of the hemp plant make most other seeds look like nutritional featherweights. For starters, hemp seeds contain about 70 percent more protein than flax does, making them a great choice for active bodies. They also supply higher amounts of a range of nutrients including energy-boosting iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and manganese. Best of all, you don’t have to grind hemp seeds into a powder like you do with flax to absorb its nutritional bounty.
Winner: Hemp Seeds.
Contenders: Beef Tenderloin vs. Pork Tenderloin.
Not only does pork tenderloin often come with a sticker price that is much easier to swallow, it contains just as much protein but less than half the saturated fat, making it a leaner choice. An added bonus is an extra bit of selenium, an antioxidant found to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care.
Winner: Pork Tenderloin.
Contenders: Honey vs. Maple Syrup.
All sweeteners are best consumed in moderation, but when you need to add sweetness to plain yogurt or a batch of muffins, it’s a better idea to go with more natural options like maple syrup or honey. Consider reaching for maple syrup which has about 20% fewer calories than the bee sugar, plus recent studies show maple syrup, particularly darker grades, contains unique antioxidants. However, remember that maple-flavored corn syrup is no way to garnish your pancakes.
Winner: Maple Syrup.
Contenders: Eggs vs. Egg Whites.
Egg whites may have fewer calories and a negligible amount of fat, but whole eggs have more protein. Just one small egg packs nearly half of your daily allotment of cholesterol, but the yolk is home to much more. It has oxygen-transporting iron, bone-forming phosphorus, immune-boosting zinc and blood-cell-making folate, vitamin A which is great for vision and vitamin D which helps absorb calcium. Whole eggs fried the competition. Nearly all the best qualities of the egg are contained in the yolk. Sure, you get less fat and cholesterol with egg whites, but that cannot compare to the nutrients packed inside whole, fresh eggs.