It is a common belief that some foods are unhealthy and should be avoided at all costs. Soda and chips, for example, offer little nutritional value and are rightly avoided. However, there are some foods that are unfairly stigmatized and are actually good for you.
You may be shunning healthy food options without even realizing it.
Here are some nutritious foods that are often overlooked:
Bread has gotten a bad rap due to its high carbohydrate content. However, the quality of the bread you eat is important. Many types of bread, such as white bread and those made with added sugar, are not very nutritious. Sprouted whole grain, sourdough, oat bread, flax bread and 100 percent whole wheat are all healthier options. Choosing whole grains over refined grains can lower your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. High-quality breads are also enriched with essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin.
Like bread, pasta is often considered a bad carb, but it is an essential part of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates provide energy to help your brain, heart, nervous system, and kidneys function properly. Whole-grain pasta is rich in fiber, making you feel fuller for longer, regulating digestion, and helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
While you can’t go overboard with cheese, it does contain protein that helps you feel full and calcium for stronger bones. Depending on the type, cheese also has varying amounts of fat and sodium. Moderate cheese consumption is beneficial.
Red meat should be limited due to its high saturated fat content. However, it is also an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, zinc, and protein. Lean cuts of red meat and healthier cooking methods such as stir-fry or grilling can minimize health risks and maximize benefits.
Potatoes often get a bad rap due to their high carbohydrate content. However, potatoes with dark flesh (especially purple) are extra healthy and boost antioxidant levels while reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Other types of potatoes such as russet and red are also healthy and rich in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, manganese, and potassium.
Moderate consumption of coffee (two to five cups per day) can reduce the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and certain cancers. However, calorie-laden creamers should be avoided.
Eggs contain cholesterol but are also an excellent source of other nutrients. Egg cholesterol is not associated with high cholesterol levels in most healthy people. Eating up to seven whole eggs per week is unlikely to increase the risk of heart disease. Eggs can prevent stroke and macular degeneration.
Dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher) is a good source of antioxidants and flavonoids. Enjoying a few squares of dark chocolate can provide health benefits while satisfying your sweet tooth.
Don’t avoid nutritious foods based on popular misconceptions. Adding some of these foods to your diet can offer significant health benefits.
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