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8 “Bad” Foods That Are Actually Good For You

It is often said that the best tasting foods are the worst foods for you, and as a result we are told not to eat many of these delicious foods.  While it is sometimes true that great tasting foods are unhealthy, there are often “bad” foods that get a poor reputation and can actually provide you with a multitude of benefits.  Here at PürMedica, we have provided a list of 8 foods that you may have previously thought to be unhealthy, but in reality can have positives:

1. Eggs (including the yolks)

Many people avoid eggs, especially those with heart troubles because they are high in dietary cholesterol and individuals with heart problems want to stay away from foods high in dietary cholesterol.  Yolks are especially high in dietary cholesterol. However, it turns out that eggs can be a great choice for breakfast due in large part to its high protein content.  The large amount of protein you get from eating eggs has been shown to help manage appetite.  Eggs have often been frowned upon due to the side dishes they were served with such as bacon, sausage, and white toast, which are foods that are high in carbs and fat.  The yolks can also provide copious amounts of vitamin D, which provides you with a multitude of health benefits including promoting bone growth and regulating the immune system.

2. Potatoes

Potatoes are often frowned upon for a couple reasons.  First is that they have a high glycemic index, which measures how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels.  Another reason is because they can contribute to gaining weight, however there are also hidden benefits in potatoes as well.  Potatoes contain potassium, vitamin C, and are also a good source of fiber.  The healthiest part of the potato is the skin.  All of the healthy nutrients that can aid in heart health are found in the skin.  Potatoes are a great option as long as they are baked or roasted as opposed to deep fried or boiled.  They are a great option for those who are active.  The carbohydrates in potatoes are perfect for replenishing glycogen stores after a workout.  Glycogen is a form of glucose that is stored as energy in the body.

3. Coffee

You have probably heard that too much caffeine is not good for you, that coffee is a “drug”, and can interfere with your sleep.  B coffee can also have a wide range of positives for you.  Coffee is one of the greatest sources of flavonoids, which are known to improve heart health and protect against aging.  In addition, coffee may help to reduce the risks of type-2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s Disease.  Health specialists suggest about 2-4 cups of coffee each day in order to reap the benefits.

4. Beef

Lean beef has an abundance of proteins, zinc, B vitamins, and iron.  Iron is essential for allowing oxygen to get from the lungs to the rest of the body. If possible, try and eat the grass-fed and/or organic options as these contain no hormones and no antibiotics that can diminish the health value these meats can have.  Grass-fed animal products contain more Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which despite the name are actually very good for you.  These fats can help reduce risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and a number of other immune diseases.  Grass fed beef has a more balanced ratio of Omega 6-Omega 3 fatty acids.  Grass fed beef has the recommended ratio of Omega 6-Omega 3 fatty acids at 3-1, whereas conventional beef is 7.65:1.  

5. Avocados

Many people shy away from avocados because virtually all of its calories come from fat.  However, avocados also have an enormous amount of essential vitamins and minerals that can be extremely helpful for you. Avocados are loaded vitamins A, C, D, K, E, and B, not to mention fiber and potassium, among others.  Avocados also include certain fats that can help keep your heart healthy and antioxidants that can protect you from macular degeneration as you age.  There are plenty of ways to add avocado into your diet such as, incorporating them into a salad or smoothie, use it as a spread in place of cream cheese or mayo, chocolate avocado pudding, and many more.

6. Peanut butter

Yes, peanut butter is high in fats, but most of that fat, about 80%, comes from healthy polyunsaturated and monosaturated oils.  In moderation, peanut butter can help you control your hunger and manage your weight.  Snacks with peanut butter helps keeps you fuller longer due to the high concentration of protein and fiber.  Peanut butter provides protein and folate, a critical B vitamin that helps you reproduce new cells.  Peanut butter may want to be avoided if weightloss is the goal.  Over eating peanut butter will derail any weight loss attempt.  

7. Chocolate

Chocolate has loads of sugar, fats, and is delicious so it probably is bad for you, or so you thought.  Turns out that dark chocolate can be beneficial when taken in reasonable doses (1-2 oz. each day).  In fact, dark chocolate can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and improve cognitive function in the elderly.  Much like coffee, dark chocolate contains flavonoids which work in thinning the blood vessels, which can improve cardiac health in the process.

8. Alcohol

Alcohol is one item to be cautious with.  Too much alcohol can have a negative effect on your health, but there are certainly some positives to indulging in small quantities of alcohol every now and then.  “Moderate” drinking, as it is referred is defined as 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.  Moderate consumption of alcohol, specifically beer and wine can provide you with many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease or stroke, and can also help sharpen brain function as well.

It should be stressed that you have to be careful with how much of these items you consume.  Many of these foods contain calories, fats, sugars, etc., and if you have too much of these, it can do more harm than good and erase all the potential health benefits you would be receiving.