I am guilty of eating breakfast at my desk sometimes. Once, my supervisor walked by, stopped and stood over me and shook his head. “Look at all that cholesterol on your plate,” he said. I was eating two hard boiled eggs, and he seemed to think I was doing my body bad. Well, he was wrong. It’s not his fault, though. Good marketing has led to consumers making bad choices for years. And it doesn’t stop with eggs. Here are some other foods that were labeled as bad that are really good for us.
Back in the day, we were convinced to reach for spreads that tasted like butter but didn’t have all the fat that came with it. Thank goodness for modern research. Since then, we have learned that the fat in butter is actually good for us. It helps our blood stream absorb vitamins, like vitamins A, D, E, and K and is rich in fatty acids like CLA which has health benefits including metabolism maintenance. There is even more research to prove that grass-fed butter like Kerrygold Irish Butter is even better than regular butter. It contains 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. So ditch the spreads and start patting.
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.
In the past, eggs were dismissed as fatty, unhealthy indulgences. In recent years, though, things have changed. Current research has shown that eggs are, in fact, good for us. They can raise HDL (the good) 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 the stuff that’s microwavable and not the stuff from the movie theater that’s covered in butter-flavored oil. 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.
We love when new studies encourage us to put out a nice cheese plate. New studies show that not only does 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. But remember, this is all in moderation, so loading your plate with mac and cheese isn’t exactly a smart diet plan.
There are a few reasons those old men in Italy live so long, and red wine is one of them. An antioxidant in red wine called resveratrol can actually help prevent coronary artery disease which can lead to heart attacks. It can help prevent damage to blood vessels and lower LDL, aka bad cholesterol. We say cheers to that!
Fear not beer drinkers. Your brew is better for you, too. Just like wine, beer contains antioxidants as well. Plus, it has selenium. B vitamins, folate and niacin. The silicon in beer is key for increasing bone mineral density. When it comes to red wine and beer though, less is more. So don’t go on a bender and think you’re being healthy!
Full-Fat Salad Dressing
Lowfat dressings are basically artificial sugar, salt, flavorings and some nonfat dairy mixed together. It’s terrible for you, regardless of how many calories you think you’re saving. Some real, healthy fat in dressing won’t negate the benefits of all those veggies. A bit of fat actually helps your body absorb the nutrients and antioxidants including carotenoids in veggies that help reduce the risk of cancer and safeguard against heart disease. Reach for one with heart healthy olive oil or canola oil full of MUFA – monounsaturated fatty acids. Keep it to a serving per salad and your heart will thank you for it.
We love it when a food myth is debunked. 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 cocoa, like Green & Black’s organic, made from fair-trade cacao sourced from Belize and made with organic vanilla from Madagascar.
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/sat added and no sugar added.
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