There are lots of healthy foods with a band reputation. It seems like every week, we get another confusing update on which foods are the healthiest, and which we should avoid. We forget… are avocados okay, or do we stay away? And what about eggs? But I can help. I’ve researched the healthy with a bad reputation, and figured out which are secretly healthy, and why. Here are 7 healthy foods with an undeserved bad reputation.
Yes, avocados are high in fat… but in their defense, avocados are still one of the healthy foods with a bad reputation because the fat is monounsaturated. Avocados are also loaded with antioxidants, like lutein and vitamin E. Another plus? Mashing up an avocado for guacamole helps your body absorb the nutrients in other ingredients. How cool is that? Way to go, good guy avocado!
Long avoided because they’re high in cholesterol, eggs have had a bad rep for most of my adult life. But looking at the egg overall proves there’s more to them than dietitians first thought, and that they are indeed a healthy food. They contain compounds shown to improve eye health and may even promote a good memory. They’re also a great source of complete proteins, even for non-meat eaters. Enjoyed in moderation, eggs definitely have a place in a healthy diet.
While it’s true that coffee late in the day can cause insomnia, and coffee anytime can make some people jittery, recent studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee may not be all bad… and it may actually help ward off Type 2 diabetes. It may even help fight cancer… amazing! Avoid adding the calories from sugar and creamer, though, and enjoy your cancer-fighting coffee black.
4. Peanut Butter
The warning that peanut butter contains too many trans fats to be a healthy food is pretty bogus. According to research, organic peanut butter contains no detectable trans fats in a two tablespoon serving. Peanut butter happens to be a marvelous source of “good” LDL cholesterol and protein, and when eaten in moderation, it won’t make you fat or unhealthy.
Chocoholics, take heart! A tiny bit (a few ounces, to be exact) of dark chocolate daily is actually a healthy food indulgence, one that will give you a mighty dose of anti-aging antioxidants and mood-boosting compounds. Look for dark chocolate that’s at least 75% cocao, and avoid sugar-laden milk chocolate varieties.
They may have been given a wimpy reputation as “hippies food,” but mushrooms are actually a very healthy food! They’re low in calories, but high in nutrients, like potassium. But even more importantly, they’ve recently been shown to contain antioxidant compounds our bodies can use to fight breast and prostate cancer.
7. Fruit Juices
No, fruit juices aren’t just for kids, and though they might be high in sugar, it’s natural sugar, which our bodies need… and fruit juice is loaded with nutrients! Especially healthy is tart cherry juice (to fight inflammation and to encourage healthy sleep) and grape (so many antioxidants!)… best of all, try mixed fruit juices without added sugars. So much better for you than soda!
I hope my list of healthy foods has helped dispel some nasty rumors about them… they’re all good for you, like everything else, in moderation, but feel free to enjoy and reap their health benefits! Which of these healthy foods do you like best, and have you felt guilty about eating it before? Or is there another health food (with a bad reputation) I should add to my list? Do tell!