If you’re a healthy eater, choosing oatmeal over that glazed doughnut is obvious. But what about when that oatmeal is pitted against an egg-white, whole-grain sandwich?

Nutrition experts Nicolette M. Pace and Elizabeth Brown share their logic when it comes to comparing these healthy foods.

1. 100 percent orange juice vs. skim latte

Winner: draw

Why?

Pace’s pick: Orange juice. “While the latte contains some protein and beneficial calcium from skim milk, in just one cup, orange juice provides a nutrient-dense hit of 100 percent of your daily needs for vitamin C and a good source of heart healthy folic acid and potassium.”

Brown’s pick: Skim latte. “Comparing 8 ounces to 8 ounces, then the latte wins. The latte will provide 10 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein, 25 percent of your Daily Value for calcium and even some vitamins A and D for only about 75 calories.”

2. Egg-white whole-grain sandwich vs. Old-fashioned oatmeal

Winner: egg-white whole-grain sandwich

Why?

Both experts agree that the egg-white, whole-grain sandwich will give you more from your bang due its protein and fiber content that will keep you full longer than the oatmeal.

3. Greek yogurt vs. a skim milk, fruit and whey protein smoothie

Winner: the smoothie

Why?

Browns explains that “comparing both combinations on completely equal volume, the skim milk, fruit and whey protein give a slightly more favorable nutrition profile with 31 grams of protein, which is 8 grams more than the Greek yogurt and fruit combination. However, the smoothie, for about a 2-cup volume, provides 234 calories while the same 2-cup volume of Greek yogurt and fruit contains 182 calories.”

Calorie-wise, the Greek yogurt may sounds really compelling. However, Pace points out  “boosting the protein with whey will add lean calories for a quick meal or a post workout recovery.”

4. Almonds vs. Pistachios

Winner: draw

Why?

Pace’s pick: Pistachios provide vitamin E, B complex vitamins and fiber. New evidence shows its rich nutrient profile due to carotenoids for eye health, polyphenols and cooper antioxidant support and plant sterols to help improve cholesterol.

A recent study shows that when eating pistachios with the shell when compared to shelled nuts, the subject’s intake was significantly reduced; another plus of these powerful nuts.

Brown’s pick: Vitamin E is not as easy to get in the diet as the B vitamins, which makes her choice the almonds due to its very rich vitamin E content, 32 percent of your Daily Value in a one ounce serving. “Vitamin E makes cells stronger, assists brain health and helps athletes to recovery,” says Brown.

5. Low-fat mozzarella cheese vs. Low-fat feta cheese

Winner: low-fat feta cheese

Why?

Both agree that the low-fat feta cheese will provide a stronger flavor, which will make you use less and thus take in fewer calories overall.

6. Hummus vs. Peanut butter

Winner: Hummus

Why?

The nutritionists agree that hummus provides way fewer calories in addition to having a greater nutritional profile. It has only ¼ of the calories of peanut butter in a standard 2 tablespoons, says Pace.

While Brown says hummus has three times as much fiber and significant amounts of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc.

7. Brown rice vs. Quinoa

Winner: quinoa

Why?

“Quinoa contains twice as much protein as brown rice, 4 grams versus vs. 2 grams, and quinoa’s protein is complete, meaning you get all of the essential amino acids that you need for your body to function properly. It’s richer in copper, iron and zinc, essential minerals that aren’t easy to get in the diet,” says Brown.

Pace warns that not all brown rice is created equal. Many brands do not have the fiber content that you may expect.

8. Chicken vs. Turkey

Winner: turkey

Why?

Turkey is a leaner protein choice with less cholesterol, saturated fat in addition to supply higher essential minerals such as iron, selenium and zinc when compared to chicken. Experts agree that turkey supplies the right nutritional content for healthy muscle and tissues with added antioxidants benefits.

9. 100-percent whole-grain bread vs. sprouted-grain bread

Winner: 100-percent whole-grain bread

Why?

The nutritionists agree that the sprouted-grain bread may be slightly higher in the protein compartment but not enough to beat 100 percent whole grain bread. Pace points out that texture and taste can be a problem for some, while Browns considers that the higher price is not worth it.

10. 100-percent whole-grain crackers vs. baked potato chips

Winner: 100-percent whole-grain crackers

Why?

Pace favors the crackers for its B vitamin content as well as its niacin, riboflavin, iron, and fiber content. “Light chips can be tasty but unfortunately, they are mostly empty calories,” she says.

Marta Montenegro is an exercise physiologist, certified strength and conditioning coach and master trainer, who teaches as an adjunct professor at Florida International University. Marta has developed her own system of exercises used by professional athletes. Her personal website, martamontenegro.com, combines fitness, nutrition and health tips, exercise routines, recipes and the latest news to help you change your life but not your lifestyle. She was the founder of nationally awarded SOBeFiT magazine and the fitness DVD series Montenegro Method.

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Marta Montenegro is an exercise physiologist, certified strength and conditioning coach and master trainer, who teaches as an adjunct professor at Florida International University. Marta has developed her own system of exercises used by professional athletes. Her personal website, martamontenegro.com, combines fitness, nutrition and health tips, exercise routines, recipes and the latest news to help you change your life but not your lifestyle. She was the founder of nationally awarded SOBeFiT magazine and the fitness DVD series Montenegro Method.

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