Like most people, you may be on a quest to slim down while providing your body with the nutrients it needs. It is wonderful to discover a food that will satisfy both your desire for a healthy body and your cravings for edibles that delight your palate. When you find such a treat, you may be tempted to overindulge. However, just because a certain food provides healthy nutrients doesn’t mean you can eat it with abandon. Check out these 15 foods that are highly nutritious yet should be enjoyed in moderation.
The avocado is a fruit that is high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin K, folate, and magnesium. While the avocado is high in fat, the California Avocado Commission reports that more than 75% of the fats in the avocado are heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are beneficial for lowering bad cholesterol and decreasing the risk of heart disease. However, this doesn’t mean that the more avocadoes you eat, the healthier you are. One medium avocado contains around 240 calories. This means you should enjoy this fruit in moderation to prevent weight gain.
These colorful root vegetables are rich in fiber and packed with antioxidants that fight cell damage and inflammation. Beets also contain nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6, and magnesium. They make tasty additions to salads or can be enjoyed in a savory side dish. Unfortunately, these nutritious veggies are also higher in sugar than many other vegetables. One cup of beets contains 9 grams of sugar. Furthermore, beets are high in oxalates, which can be a problem if you are susceptible to kidney stones.
The carrot is another root vegetable that is packed with vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and antioxidants. One cup of chopped carrots contains a whopping 428% of the RDA for vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for vision, immunity, reproduction, and organ function. While carrots are a healthy addition to a well-rounded diet, they do contain more sugar than some other types of produce. For example, one cup of carrots contains 6 grams of sugar, while one cup of broccoli contains only 1.5 grams.
Corn contains vitamins such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. The fiber in corn helps keep you feeling full. Furthermore, it promotes good digestive health by keeping food moving through your digestive tract. Corn’s vibrant yellow color signals the presence of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. However, there is a reason corn-on-the-cob is called sweet corn. In comparison to other vegetables, corn can be relatively high in sugar. You can include this veggie as part of a wholesome diet, but remember to enjoy it in moderation.
Cheese makes almost anything taste better. Furthermore, the calcium content of this dairy product contributes to the formation of strong teeth and bones. Cheese also contains minerals like zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium. Furthermore, cheese contains protein, essential for building strong muscles and healthy tissues. Enjoy this delightful food in moderation to avoid consuming excess amounts of fat and sodium. Limit high-sodium cheeses like Parmesan and high-fat cheeses like cream cheese. Cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, and ricotta are protein-packed types of cheese that can be enjoyed in moderation.Related: 10 Foods You Can Eat a Lot of Without Gaining Weight
10. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is revered for its deep, decadent flavor and powerful antioxidants. It has been suggested that dark chocolate may have many health benefits, including decreasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, even dark chocolate is high in calories and may contain saturated fats. Therefore, you should avoid consuming too much of this delight. When shopping for your chocolate fix, it is best to look for products that are low in sugar and fat. Then, when consuming your chocolatey treat, make sure you take time to savor the delicious flavor.
Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and other nuts are packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These little gems contain the omega-3 fatty acids that help to keep cholesterol levels down and prevent heart disease and diabetes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you can consume these tasty nuggets without limit. Nuts are high in calories and should be enjoyed in small portions. Rather than mindlessly snacking on a bowl of nuts, enjoy a small handful of nuts or add them to salads, yogurt, or a bowl of oatmeal.
8. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter, as well as other types of nut butters, contains the omega-3 fatty acids that promote good heart health. However, nut butters may also contain salt, sugar, and other additives. Peanut butter can be a healthy addition to your diet when spread on apple slices, added to a smoothie, or stirred into oatmeal. When purchasing peanut and other nut butters, check the product labels and avoid items that contain added sugar and excessive amounts of salt. Then, limit yourself to one or two tablespoons of this nutty butter per day.Related: 14 Benefits of Eating Healthy Fats
You can consume soy as edamame, tofu, tempeh, a dairy-free milk product, and as a sauce on your veggie stir fry. This source of plant-based protein is cholesterol-free, low in fat, and high in fiber. It also contains vitamins and minerals. However, you may want to avoid overindulging in soy if you have a thyroid disorder. Some studies suggest a possible link between soy foods and hypothyroidism. Furthermore, it may be healthier to eat whole foods like edamame or soybeans rather than processed items such as soy bars or soy yogurts.
6. Red Meat
In moderation, a lean cut of red meat can be good for you. It provides protein, iron, and vitamin B12. However, many forms of red meat are high in saturated fats that can lead to obesity, heart disease, and stroke. Furthermore, consuming red meat and processed meats can increase your risk of cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends avoiding bacon and processed meats and limiting red meats to 12-18 ounces per week.
5. Red Wine
It should be obvious that despite the possible heart benefits of drinking red wine, you should limit your consumption of this beverage. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines drinking in moderation as one alcoholic beverage per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Excessive alcohol consumption increases your risk of obesity, liver damage, violence, and impaired mental function.Related: How Long Does an Open Wine Bottle Really Last?
This colorful fall vegetable is packed with fiber and nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin C, and potassium. The antioxidants that give pumpkin its vibrant orange color also protect your body from damage by free radicals. Unfortunately, you may combine this delicious gourd with fattening ingredients like sugar, butter, cream, or flour before consuming. Unless you are enjoying a simple side of roasted pumpkin, you may want to avoid baking too many recipes that include this veggie.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes another vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and those wonderfully protective antioxidants. These colorful spuds are filling and nourishing. However, they do have more carbohydrates and sugar than, say, an equal portion of broccoli. To fully benefit from the nutrition benefits of sweet potatoes, avoid pairing them with those Thanksgiving Day accompaniments of brown sugar and marshmallows.
2. Canned Tuna
Tuna contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease. High in protein, tuna fish makes a great alternative to fatty cuts of red meat. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults eat eight ounces of seafood each week. However, there is still discussion over possible high levels of mercury in tuna fish. To decrease your risk of mercury poisoning, eat canned tuna in moderation.
These little legumes contain vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and magnesium. They contain iron, and the fiber they contain keeps your digestive system running smoothly. However, one cup of peas contains 27 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of sugar. You can enjoy the occasional side of green peas or bowl of hearty pea soup. However, be sure to include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts in your diet as well.Related: 11 Delicious Foods You Should Eat Every Single Day