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Nutritional Comparison of Your Favorite Foods

Food Fight: Fiber, Iron, and Protein

While shopping for yogurt the other day, I saw a woman stocking up on regular yogurt. I couldn't help but casually ask, "Have you ever tried Greek yogurt?" I know it contains so much more protein than the cups she was choosing, and it got me thinking about other foods that may seem alike, but nutritionally, they can be incredibly different. Here are a few seemingly similar foods that have surprisingly different nutritional values. Hopefully this list will help you make healthier decisions the next time you hit the grocery store.

  • Fruit with the most fiber: While cruising down the produce aisle, pick up some cherries instead of grapes. Twenty grapes contain about .8 grams of fiber, but the same amount of cherries offers 3.4 grams!
  • Whole grain with the most protein: Long grain brown rice is known for being healthy. A one-cup serving contains 5 grams of protein. Not bad, but pick up some quinoa instead, since one cup has 8.9 grams. It's a protein superstar.
  • Fresh greens with the most iron: When choosing greens for your salad, I've always loved red leaf lettuce. One cup contains .3 mg of iron, but if you choose spinach instead, you'll get more iron — .8 mg per cup. Every little bit counts.

Continue reading to see how other similar foods compare.

  • Peppers with the most fiber: Red peppers vs. yellow — who would think there would be much difference? Take it from me and put some red peppers in your cart instead. When it comes to fiber, half a large red pepper contains 1.7 grams of fiber, while half a yellow pepper contains half the amount at .8 grams.
  • Shredded cheese with the least cholesterol: For added protein and flavor, I love to sprinkle shredded cheese on my salad. I have high cholesterol in my family though, so I choose mozzarella over monterey jack. One ounce contains 15 mg of cholesterol, while the same amount of monterey jack has 25 mg.
  • Pasta with the most fiber: There's a huge difference between regular pasta and those made with whole grains. Two ounces of uncooked Barilla rotini contain 2 grams of fiber, while two ounces of uncooked Barilla whole grain rotini offers 6 grams — three times the amount!
  • Dried fruit with the most iron: If you're looking to add more iron to your cereal or salad, raisins are a better choice than dried cranberries. There's .8 mg of iron per quarter cup serving, while dried cranberries contain only .2 mg.
  • Yogurt with most protein: When choosing yogurt, a six ounce cup of Stonyfield Farm 0% Fat Plain Yogurt offers a decent amount of protein, 8 grams. But the same amount of Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt contains much more at 18 grams. That's a no-brainer.
  • Nuts with the most calcium: Nuts are one of my favorite postworkout snacks. If you're running low on your daily calcium, choose almonds over cashews. One ounce contains a whopping 70.3 mg. Cashews contain much less, with 10.5 mg.
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