5 Foods You Thought Were Unhealthy But Aren't
If there’s one thing I love, it's being able to eat a food without guilt because it’s actually good for you. Unfortunately, there are many foods that have gotten a bad reputation over the years for a variety of reasons. From outdated “research”, old wives tales, to flat-out rumors that caught on like wildfire, here are 5 foods you may think are unhealthy but actually aren’t. You’re welcome :)
POTATO - I was caught on a Sirus/XM show when we were talking about vilifying foods that are healthy exclaiming, “What do you have against the poor potato?”, which resulted in lots of laughs…but I was serious! Potatoes are actually an excellent source of vitamin C, with a medium-sized spud (skin on) providing almost half of your recommended daily intake. Potatoes are also rich in other nutrients, including vitamin B, folate and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and iron. If you’re worried about their carb content, understand that sources of carbohydrate are in more foods than you think. From beets to beans, one-half cup of all these options will still provide you with a serving of carbohydrates that you're body breaks down exactly the same way.
EGGS - Thinking a WHOLE egg is bad for you is so 1990’s. Current research proves that eggs contribute a boatload of nutrition including riboflavin, folate and vitamins D and B12 that can actually lower the risk of heart disease. Further, studies show we need to be cognizant of total saturated fat in the diet, regardless of whether it is from an egg yolk or not.
NUTS- Another 90’s craze that has officially expired is thinking all fats are bad for you. Now, if I can only reconstruct that thought process in the minds of those of you who opt for high carbohydrate, low/no fat diets. Nuts actually provide a protective benefit for heart health and contain the “good kind of fat” that helps you burn calories more efficiently. Plus, nuts are proven to add a satiety factor into your daily diet that helps you to not overload on calories from other foods.
AVOCADOS - I want to swipe the questions, “But isn’t that a FAT?!” from peoples’ mouths every time I recommend a portion of avocado on a meal plan. Studies have found that avocados (in addition to being crammed with vitamins and minerals) can lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol, as well as boasting anti-inflammatory properties and improving vascular health. Simply think, “portion control” when integrating it into a weight loss plan.
ALCOHOL - There, I said it! The public may not want to admit this for a very real fear that we will all go overboard, but studies support moderate alcohol consumption actually has health benefits (2 drinks or less for men and 1 drink or less for women per day). Research from the Harvard School of Public Health stated that 100 prospective studies show an inverse association between moderate drinking and risk of heart attack, ischemic (clot-caused) stroke, peripheral vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, and death from all cardiovascular causes (a consistent 25-40% reduction). Another study found that people who had at least one drink per week were less likely to have impaired cognitive function later in life. Meanwhile, red wine is loaded with resveratrol, an antioxidant linked to increasing levels of good HDL cholesterol. The way I account for alcohol in the BWN Method is simply substituting a portion for the optional after dinner snack and of course, should be drunk responsibly without added caloric sweeteners (CLICK HERE for our post on alcoholic beverages).
If you decide to keep eliminating these whole foods that are not only delicious and nutritious but can actually help with weight loss and keep it off over time, at least now you know it's not for lack of research proving these benefits. In other words, I strongly urge you to reconsider vilifying real foods without the science to support it.