The latest update for this article is written by Lindsay Podolak.
Anyone who’s ever tried out a new diet knows the struggle. It can be tough tracking down healthy recipes and cutting out your go-to snacks. But, there’s nothing worse than making an effort (and avoiding your favorite dish) for nothing. Due to widespread misinformation and certain marketing techniques, some foods have a bad reputation that they haven’t earned. These are the foods that have been labeled as bad, but are really good for us.
It turns out that the fat in butter is actually good for us. It helps the bloodstream absorb vitamins (like A, D, E and K) and is rich in fatty acids which can help with metabolism maintenance. There’s also research proving that grass-fed butter is even better than regular butter. It contains five times more CLA than regular butter, is higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and is a healthier choice as it avoids all the hormones that might be in the corn fed to cows.
Full Fat Yogurt
Studies have shown that eating yogurt has been linked to having healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Full fat yogurt is very heart healthy and contains protein — and probiotics, which aid in digestion. Greek yogurt, in particular, is lower in sugar than traditional yogurt, yet possesses all of the same benefits, such as improving bone health, lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
In the past, eggs were dismissed as fatty, unhealthy indulgences. However, current research has shown that eggs are, in fact, good for us. They can raise HDL cholesterol and are full of healthy nutrients like folate, riboflavin and vitamins D and B12, which actually help to lower the risk of heart disease.
Let’s clarify. The good popcorn is not microwavable and it can’t be found in any movie theater. We’re talking no-nonsense air-popped popcorn made from whole grains. It’s low calorie and full of fiber which is filling, satisfying and heart healthy. If you must eat the microwaveable variety, however, choose those available in single serving bags that contain less than 230 milligrams of sodium and 1 gram of saturated fat per serving.
The experts have spoken! The Mediterranean Diet is the top diet to follow in 2019. One thing on the Mediterranean menu? Cheese, in moderation. A diet containing a mix of low and full-fat dairy from cheese will not only help metabolic health, it can help to steady blood sugar and lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of metabolic disease and type 2 diabetes.
Have you heard of Meatless Monday? It’s an entire movement based around the thinking that meat is bad for you. But maybe that isn’t always the case, depending on the type of red meat that you choose. A 2018 Purdue University study found that eating lean, unprocessed cuts of red meat can actually help with weight loss and heart disease prevention when it’s part of a diet that is also rich in fruits, veggies and whole grains.
Dark chocolate is the ultimate indulgence and it’s good for you, too. It’s rich in flavonoids — the same heart-healthy compounds found in dark veggies, red wine and green tea. It helps to lower bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of blood clots. Opt for bars that are at least 70-percent cacao to ensure you are getting more antioxidants and less of the additives.
Ketchup is made from cooked tomatoes. Tomatoes are full of lycopene, an antioxidant that can help reduce your risk of heart disease. So, eat ketchup. Just keep it to a tablespoon or so per serving so you aren’t tacking on extra salt or sugar. Better yet, opt for organic varieties that use better tomatoes and look for brands with low or no sodium or added salt, as well as no added sugar.
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