7 Foods that Are Healthier Than You Expect

You'd be surprised by how healthy some foods can be! And no, we're not talking about superfoods, veggies, or fruits—we're talking about the foods most people see as "unhealthy". Foods that may have once gotten a bad reputation might actually be a lot better for you than you realize. Here are some foods that are healthier than you expect:

Red Meat

Thanks to the fact that saturated fat is no longer demonized, you can understand just how beneficial red meat can be. It's not only one of the best sources of highly bioavailable protein, but it's protein your body can easily absorb and put to use. Beef is also rich in zinc and iron, two very important minerals. Meat is also much more satisfying than lean proteins, courtesy of its higher fat content. You don't want to overdo it, but a meat meal or two per week is GREAT for your diet.

Potatoes

Sure, most of us see potatoes as a starchy, high-carb food that's best avoided—unless they're fried and served with a hamburger. But potatoes are actually among the best sources of carbs. They're high in fiber, lower in calories than wheat-based foods, and offer A LOT of nutritional value in terms of potassium. Serve with lean proteins and veggies for a very healthy meal.

Pasta

This is a controversial one! Most dieters will tell you pasta is a no-no, but that's because it's high in both empty carbs and calories. But a little bit of pasta can actually be great, especially before an intense workout. Whole wheat pasta solves the "low fiber" problem, as does pairing your pasta with veggies. Just make sure to eat very little (50-80 grams per meal) and you won't have to worry about ruining your diet.

Bacon

YES!!! Bacon's back on the menu! Bacon is loaded with B vitamins, particularly the vitamin thiamine, which is responsible for producing energy. But it's also a good source of nitrates, which help to increase immune function and nitric oxide production (leading to better vasodilation). In moderation, bacon can actually be GOOD for your health.

Beans

Beans may not be as low-carb as you'd like, but they're still one of the best plant-based proteins on the planet. You get a lot of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants from beans, especially the darker-colored ones. The fiber helps to reduce the glycemic load on your body. Carbs and all, beans are amazing for your health!

Butter

Yes, butter is back among the "healthy in moderation" foods. It may be high in fat, but that fat can actually increase your chances of weight loss and improve your body composition. You don't want to overdo it on the butter, but a small amount per day is actually better for you than margarine or vegetable oil. The butter can make absorbing fat-soluble vitamins MUCH easier on your body.

Eggs

The benefits of eggs have never been called into question, but it's the egg yolks that have always been perceived as less than healthy. That was due to the high saturated fat and cholesterol content of the yolks. Thankfully, neither of those are as worrisome as they once were. Dietary cholesterol is only likely to affect your serum cholesterol levels if you eat MASSIVE quantities, and saturated fat isn't linked to heart attacks. With eggs, you get all the benefits of the protein, choline, vitamins, and minerals without having to worry about excess fat. Plus, eggs are surprisingly low in calories, making them one of the best choices for your diet.

 

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