You may be familiar with the phrase that implies if you don’t like the weather, just stick around long enough and it will change. Sometimes this can also be said of medical, health, and nutrition advice. As scientists strive to determine the ingredients necessary for good health, they sometimes make discoveries that contradict previous evidence. Such is the case for these 11 foods. You should exercise control and moderation in any diet plan. However, these are foods that at one time were thought to be harmful to your health, and yet now can be consumed as part of a healthy diet.
Bread, and the carbohydrates it contains, has been shunned as a food that provides excess calories with few nutrients. In this case, the health benefits of bread depend on the ingredients it contains. Breads made from highly processed, nutrient-deficient white flour provide empty calories and excess carbs. However, breads composed of whole grains deliver fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, sourdough bread is a white bread with a lower glycemic index than typical white breads. University Health News reports that sourdough bread is less likely than white bread to cause spikes in blood glucose levels.
Chocolate has often been lumped in with sugary candies, pastries, and desserts as being bad for your health. However, indulging in an occasional treat of dark chocolate may actually be good for your body. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which help protect your body against cellular damage. Although the effects are mild, the flavanols in dark chocolate may help lower blood pressure. The best benefit of all may just be the sheer pleasure of allowing chocolate to melt on your tongue.
This beloved morning beverage has been maligned for the caffeine it contains. However, in moderation, coffee can provide several health benefits. Some studies suggest that moderate coffee consumption may aid in warding off Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease. Furthermore, if you do not enjoy drinking water, you can benefit from the hydrating effects of coffee. Perhaps a slice of whole-wheat toast and a cup of morning joe can help get your day off to a good start. On a fall day, you may enjoy Food Network Kitchen’s recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Latte that includes two tablespoons of pumpkin puree.
The incredible, edible egg has come under fire for its cholesterol content. Even today, scientific opinion seems to swing back and forth between the dangers and benefits of egg consumption. However, if your doctor has not advised you against consuming excess cholesterol, eggs can be a nutritious, delicious, protein-packed part of your weekly menu. A hard-boiled egg contains vitamin A, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and 61% of your daily protein requirements. Make your eggs even healthier by scrambling them with veggies like spinach, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes.
To protect your heart as well as your waistline, it is critical to steer away from certain types of dietary fats. The American Heart Association recommends eliminating or limiting saturated fats in your diet. Foods that are high in saturated fats include butter, fatty cuts of meat, chicken or turkey with the skin on, pastries, and other bakery items. While saturated fats are bad for you, unsaturated fats actually help lower your cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Healthy sources of unsaturated fats include avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.Related: 14 Benefits of Eating Healthy Fats
A heaping platter of white pasta will add pounds to your middle without providing essential nutrients. However, if you crave a serving of pasta, there are many healthy options available—and that doesn’t only include shredding your zucchini into noodle shapes. Check out the pasta section of your grocery store, and you will find pasta made from brown rice, lentils, quinoa, whole wheat, and beans. Of course, on special occasions, you may want to treat yourself to a serving of comforting, old-fashioned pasta like Grandma used to make. Pair your pasta with generous helpings of vegetables and enjoy!
5. Peanut Butter
If you are not careful, you could be consuming large helpings of sugar and sodium along with the peanut butter on your morning toast. However, you needn’t avoid the creamy, protein-packed flavor this nutty spread provides. When shopping for peanut butter, check the labels and choose items that are low in added sugar and sodium. A dab of peanut butter on apple slices or served on whole wheat toast with sliced bananas can be a nutritious, delicious snack. Furthermore, you can expand your horizons by savoring almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter.
Potatoes get a bad rap for their high starch and carbohydrate content. However, potatoes provide vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, and manganese in addition to fiber and protein. Allrecipes has a recipe for Healthier Oven Roasted Potatoes that calls for garlic, red pepper flakes, and fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, and parsley. You can gain even more nutritional value by consuming sweet potatoes. These colorful spuds are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Slice up a sweet potato into sticks and roast in the oven with a dash of olive oil for a delicious alternative to French fries.Related: 11 Foods That May Make You Dumber
3. Sugary Fruits
In most cases, there’s no need to avoid eating fruit in the quest to decrease your dietary sugar. Fruit juices are high in sugar and devoid of fiber. However, consuming whole fruits provides your body with the fiber you need to feel full and to maintain a healthy digestive system. Furthermore, fruits such as blueberries are packed with the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals your body needs. Enjoy fruits such as apples with the skin on, orange segments, or a handful of grapes for a sweet, refreshing treat with health benefits.
2. Whole Milk
When choosing milk at the dairy cooler, it can be challenging to know if you should select whole milk or skim. In the past, whole milk was shunned for its cholesterol content. Harvard Medical School recommends consuming the saturated fats found in whole milk only in moderation. However, this doesn’t mean you need to shun the delights of an occasional glass of creamy, whole milk. Enjoy a splash of milk on top of a bowl of heart-healthy oatmeal. You can also add milk to a refreshing smoothie along with frozen bananas, blueberries, and a dab of Greek yogurt.
Excessive alcohol consumption can wreak havoc on your health. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends drinking only in moderation. Moderate drinking is defined as no more than one alcoholic drink per day for women, and no more than two drinks per day for men. That said, an occasional glass of red wine can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. Red wine contains plant polyphenols and antioxidants that may be beneficial for heart health. Of course, these substances are also found in red grapes and grape juice.Related: 11 Liver Damage Signs You Can’t Ignore