Which one is healthier?
We spoke with registered dietician and licensed nutritionist Pamela Kelle, who helped us determine the healthier choice between two similar foods.
Almond Milk vs. Soy Milk
According to Kelle, the almond vs. soy milk debate is hot right now. “We’re using more almond milk than cow’s milk today,” she says. To determine which one is the healthiest choice for you, take your medical health and food preferences into consideration. Are you a vegetarian? Do you have problems with your thyroid gland? These questions will help you decide which is right for you.
Lack of protein in almond milk makes it the clear loser for those who don’t eat meat. “If you’re a vegetarian looking for something to provide protein, soy milk is going to win. It includes protein and is fortified with calcium and vitamin D,” says Kelle. However, if you’re sensitive to soy estrogens and have thyroid gland issues, almond milk is the best option for you, as soy has been thought to interfere with the body’s ability to absorb medications for hypothyroidism.
Table Salt vs. Sea Salt
You might feel healthier reaching for sea salt instead of your typical table salt, but is it actually better? Sure, regular table salt has been processed and it sometimes has additives to keep it from sticking together. But is that enough to tip the scale in favor of sea salt?
“Many people believe sea salt is better for you because it’s not bleached and ‘manufactured,’” Kelle says. “But when it comes to nutrients, there’s not much difference.” There’s a minute amount of minerals like magnesium and potassium in sea salt, but that’s negligible, she says. “It’s really not enough to make a difference,” says Kelle. “If you want to choose sea salt, do it for flavor and texture. It’s a taste thing, not a nutrient thing.”
Quinoa vs. Couscous
Quinoa and couscous are popular staples in any foodie’s kitchen, and while they may look similar, the differences are pretty significant. “Quinoa is actually a seed and couscous is a grain,” Kelle says. Calorie, carbohydrate, and protein-wise, both stack up fairly evenly. So which one has the edge?
“When you think about which one has the most nutrients and more flexibility in how it could be served, it’s going to be quinoa,” says Kelle. Quinoa is gluten-free and can be served on its own, so many people serve it for breakfast and do cold quinoa salads. And, because it’s a seed, quinoa is considered a superfood. Conversely, couscous needs extra oomph to make it exciting. “Couscous is pretty bland. With nothing added, it’s be like eating just plain macaroni,” she adds.