In life, if there is a good, there is a bad. If there is beautiful, there is ugly. This two-sides-of-the-same-coin philosophy leaves us stuck. Accept it or hate it?
Same thing is with foods. But here comes a catch. There are bad foods which are actually good. Yes, sounds strange na? The ‘Foods to Never Eat” actually turn to ‘Foods to Eat”.
Why certain food items are tagged as Bad? It could be due to outdated or incorrect information. Reality is few of the foods you may think as “bad” may be your biggest saviour from chronic diseases. What’s more they may even help you shed off pounds.
So drop your negative mindset and opinion as I take you through 18 bad foods that are actually good for you.
After reading this, not only will you but your health will be equally surprised and for good, I bet.
Want me to drop the cues? The list of unhealthy foods that are actually healthy includes whole eggs (including the yolks), white rice to pasta and bacon. Do I see a big smile on your face now?
Ok, let’s start identifying foods that are surprisingly good for you.
1. White Rice
Japan, one of the healthiest nations has white rice as a must in meals. According to research, rice-eaters are less likely to be overweight. Although white rice is more processed than brown rice, in the US it has more nutrients which are lost during processing. Plus brown rice has higher levels of arsenic than white rice. So you can say YAY to white rice. It is one of those 18 bad foods that are actually good for you.
2. Eggs (Including The Yolks)
Have you been avoiding eggs because you heard they contain too much of cholesterol? You will be surprised to know that recent research reveals that saturated fat and not dietary cholesterol is the key enemy that gets you poor heart health.
Poor eggs have been wrongly accused of being unhealthy due to the wrong foods they are often served with, such as high-fat sausage or crispy bacon (now you know the difference between healthy and unhealthy food). So don’t skip the egg yolks.
Do you know, egg yolks not only have 3 gm of protein, they also have vitamin D, phosphorus, riboflavin, choline, and selenium?
The caffeine in brewing coffee gets you alert on a lazy and hectic day. It is also one of the top sources of flavonoids in the U.S. diet – which help improve heart health and protect cells from the negative effects of aging.
Coffee reduces the risk for type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. About 2-3 cups of coffee a day brings modest health benefits and has no evidence of health risk. Whenever possible, go in for organic coffee.
Good news for you if you have given up eating white pasta thinking it has high glycemic index. Pasta, such as spaghetti or macaroni made from white durum wheat, has a low glycemic index of 45-50. It means eating pasta won’t lead to rise in blood sugar level, but keep you feeling fuller longer.
To be on the safe side, keep your pasta portions not beyond 1 cup cooked. In fact, the recommended serving size of pasta is just half a cup of cooked pasta. It is another story that when you are served that amount at a restaurant, you would in all likelihood feel cheated!
For a filling meal, go ahead and make pasta with vegetables, seafood or lean protein (such as chicken or tempeh), and top it with a tomato-based sauce, not a cream-based sauce.
5. Frozen Vegetables
Frozen veggies have just as much nutrition as their fresh counterparts, according to plenty of studies. There is loss of nutrition in fresh produce every day when uneaten, which is not there in frozen veggies. Moreover, frozen veggies are an excellent solution during the winter months when fresh produce is unavailable or costly.
One more thing – the frozen vegetables are low in calories and rich in fiber and beneficial phytonutrients.
It might seem tough to accept but frozen veggies can be safely counted as 18 bad foods that are actually good for you.
6. Canadian Bacon
Who will mind a piece of bacon? Not I, provided it is Canadian bacon – which is high in sodium but low in both calories and fat and still high in protein. Canadian bacon provides iron, zinc and B vitamins.
While a one-ounce serving of Canadian bacon has approx 50 calories and 2 grams of fat, the same serving of regular bacon has about 165 calories and 14 grams of fat per ounce. So you know which is healthy and unhealthy food between the two of them?
A word of advice –
Whenever you are buying Canadian bacon, go for the natural ‘uncured’ variety, as they won’t contain the harmful nitrates.
Yeah, I can see the frown on your face? How can Alcohol be in the list of foods that are surprisingly good for you?
I will clear your doubts.
Moderate consumption (one drink for women and 2 drinks for men on a single day basis) of alcohol can reduce the risk of heart attack, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. It can also keep your brain sharp with growing age.
However, pregnant ladies, those recovering from alcohol addiction or with a family history of alcoholism, and those down with liver disease should stay away from alcohol.
Though avocados are a fruit, most of the calories come from fat, which makes it nutritionally fat. Does it mean eating bad food? Hey, don’t you get disappointed. An avocado has more than 20 essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, including vitamins A, C, D, E and K; fiber; potassium; and B vitamins.
Eating lean beef moderately can help you lose weight. Beef gives you 10 essential vitamins and minerals – this includes B-vitamins, iron, zinc, and protein. It is better to go in for grass-fed, organic beef options.
10. Cranberry Juice
Did you stop drinking fruit juice thinking about the amount of natural or added sugars in it? Cranberry juice is unique in some of its health benefits. It reduces symptoms of a UTI (urinary tract infection) which is very troublesome for ladies.
11. Dark Chocolate
It is every chocolate lover’s dream come true. But the primary benefit of eating dark chocolates is that it decreases LDL (bad) cholesterol, reduces blood clots among other benefits. According to a published study, overweight individuals who ate a dark chocolate bar had decreased BP and improved blood vessel health.
Look for dark chocolate which has a higher cacao level (minimum 60 percent or higher). That will indicate more of antioxidants and less added sugar.
My dear, that doesn’t mean you keep eating dark chocolate the whole day. Since it is calorie-rich, have only 1 to 2 ounces of it a day or else you could be down with weight gain.
12. Dried Fruit
See and enjoy dried fruit as a replacement for calorie-rich, nutrient-poor desserts such as baked goods or candy. But don’t overeat dried fruits as they have more calories than fresh fruit. Switch over to dried fruits which have no added sugar – examples, dried apricots, apples, cranberries, raisins or prunes. Put dried fruits on top of your oatmeal or mix it with non-fat plain Greek yogurt.
So what if mushrooms lack in color. They make up in terms of health benefits. A serving of 5 medium mushrooms has what? Just 20 calories! But it also has niacin, selenium, riboflavin, vitamin D, iron and calcium as well. Mushrooms have been shown to contributing to a healthy immune system. They also have anti-cancerous properties.
They might be high in calories and fat, but that doesn’t mean they need to be kept out of your meals. Research shows the opposite – eating nuts makes you thinner. Nuts are also heart-healthy because they are made up of unsaturated fats. Kudos to nuts – foods that are surprisingly good for you.
Though shrimps are high in dietary cholesterol, they have no saturated fat. Shrimps are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which reduces the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and much more.
16. Peanut Butter
Yes, this type of butter is high in calories, but it can control your hunger pangs and your weight too. Women who eat 1 serving of nuts or peanut butter 2-3 times a week are 25 percent less likely to be obese than women who rarely eat these foods. But be sure to watch the serving size of peanut butter and take no more than 2 tbsp.
This humble food gets a bad reputation of making people go fat. But the difference lies in the way potatoes are being cooked and served. You can make out healthy and unhealthy food when on one side you have baked, roasted or grilled potatoes and on the other side french fries or potato chips. So you see potatoes are unhealthy foods that are actually healthy provided you eat them the right way.
Ah! This is the true love of cinema lovers. But is it unhealthy? Well, popcorns are packed with phytonutrients and it is 100 percent whole grain (unlike “whole grain” bread, crackers and other whole grain food items that are not fully made with whole grain). Choose an air-popped, organic variety of popcorn.
Now, will you go ahead and share this piece on FB and other social networks of yours. Because it is about time your besties knew about the goodness of eating bad food and the difference between healthy and unhealthy food.