The Truth Behind These Everyday Foods. Are They Really Bad?
“Never eat this one food if…,” “Eat this now!”
You’ve probably heard statements like these before.
Probably even read the book, “Eat This Not That!”, which offers thousands of easy food swaps, shopping tips, recipes, and other health hacks for weight loss.
If you’ve been following food trends for a while, you’ll notice a lot of myths going around about different foods, especially eggs, meat, wine, and chocolate – even some fruits.
Such foods have received a bad rap over the years, but, conflicting reports about each of them abound.
First, you hear they’re bad for you. Then it’s okay, and moments later, it isn’t.
So, should you eat these foods or not?
While it’s not easy to know exactly which foods are not good for you, the reality is that several foods that have earned a bad reputation have amazing health benefits, when enjoyed moderately.
We’ve compiled a list of foods that have been the subject of the to-eat-or-not-to-eat debates, and tell you why you need not feel guilty about eating them.
Eggs have always had a bad rap especially as a food that increases your bad cholesterol. However, research has proven that eggs have some great health benefits and no effect on cholesterol.
They’re actually a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids needed from foods.
Eggs help you maintain a healthy weight, and they’re not connected to heart disease. So go on and enjoy this breakfast food; it’s actually good for you!
Italian recipes like Gnocchi are also one of the most popular and loved dishes by the inhabitants of the Italian peninsula, in fact, the 29th of every month is considered “lucky gnocchi day”.
The health benefits of chocolate depend on the type you’re eating.
Some people think they need to entirely swear off chocolate, but you can get excellent health benefits from dark chocolate.
It offers more antioxidants and plenty of fiber than you’d get from some fruits.
Dark chocolate may also lower blood pressure while improving cholesterol levels; so it may also prevent heart disease.
A meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that consuming it lowers LDL or low-density lipoprotein together with total cholesterol levels.
Researchers analyzed data from 10 clinical trials whose participants added dark chocolate to their diet for a period of 2-12 weeks.
The intervention reduced serum LDL and total cholesterol significantly, but not triglycerides or high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Ideally, the properties of the cocoa in the chocolate are responsible for delivering the health benefits you’ll derive from the type of chocolate you consume.
Dark chocolate has more cocoa than other chocolate products, plus higher amounts of flavonoids, which makes it more likely to have a protective effect from heart disease.
Additionally, a third of chocolate’s fat content is in form of stearic acid, which exerts a neutral effect on cholesterol levels. So it doesn’t raise or lower them.
So now you know why chocolate is used in so many recipes. There is a healthy side to it besides amazing flavor.
With over 30 million hectolitres of consumption each year, the United States tops the list of nations that consume the wine most. This clearly suggests something good about wine. Isn’t it?
Experts keep stressing the need to have only one glass per day of red wine if you want to reap its optimal benefits.
Red wine contains a compound known as resveratrol, found in the skins of red grapes, and this has been shown to contain heart-healthy antioxidants and lower cholesterol.
However, if you have an alcohol abuse history, this shouldn’t be an excuse to relapse or start drinking again.
Red wine may also contain ethanol (especially alcoholic wine), and this raises levels of protective and good cholesterol (HDL), which in turn helps reduce the clotting factors that contribute to stroke and heart attack.
In moderation, you can enjoy red wine for a happier heart, but it’s always good to know what happens when you drink that one glass of wine every day.
Cheese gets a bad reputation because of its fattening nature, and some are high in sodium.
In addition, cheese also attributes to weight gain and obesity. Not saying Obesity is good. Roughly 40% of the adult population in America is suffering from the problem today.
Cheese, however, is not as bad. This tasty snack is rich in calcium, zinc, protein, vitamins A, and B12. Snacking on one ounce of cheese every day is beneficial to your health.
All its nutrients work to keep your bones strong, heart-healthy, and brain sharp.
So instead of eating a bowl of mac-and-cheese, go for an ounce of sharp cheddar instead. It’ll deliver all these health benefits to your body.
This starchy vegetable is actually good for you, unlike what most people think.
They’re full of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and calcium among other nutrients, which act as antioxidants.
This gives potatoes anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-diabetic properties.
While they’re great to add to any meal, steer clear of French fries as these are more processed, deep-fried versions of potatoes and so not healthy for your body.
People who consumed up to four cups a day of coffee had a 64 percent lower risk of dying early, compared to those who don’t.
This is according to a release by Science Daily from an observational study involving close to 20,000 individuals.
They suggest that coffee can reduce the risk of early death, more significantly once people reached the age of 45, making it more beneficial to consume as you age.
The findings of the study echo results from a similar large observational study that found that coffee drinkers appear to live longer. This is regardless of whether they consume decaf or regular coffee.
When loaded with cream and sugar, coffee becomes unhealthy. But, the opposite, black coffee, could actually be good for your body.
It has also been shown to reduce the risk of dementia, certain cancers, diabetes, and liver disease. So it isn’t a very bad idea to add to your diet even as you age.
There are lots of different foods, all with different colors, textures, tastes, smells, and nutritional compositions.
To say that food is good or bad isn’t really justifiable without scientific understanding, and contributes to an underlying lack of peace in our relationship with eating them.
There are really no bad foods as such, but everything should be eaten in moderation. When in doubt, consult a reputable nutritionist or physician.
And remember, food is just one thing that is responsible for our good health. There are other healthy activities that are equally important, without following which even a complete restraint to these foods won’t help.