We all have our preconceived notions about the healthful value of foods. Deep-fried Oreos are bad for you. Spinach is good for you. But what happens when these preconceived notions are wrong? Sometimes there are surprising high calorie foods and foods that we think are bad for us but actually are pretty healthy.
Here is a rundown of nine foods that commonly have a false-reputation for being a bad food to avoid:
Cottage Cheese – There’s “cheese” in its name so it can’t be good for you, right? Wrong! Cottage cheese is a healthier dietary choice than you might realize. What makes cottage cheese so great is that its calories are derived mostly from protein. One cup of lowfat cottage cheese has 160 calories from 28 grams of protein and just 6 grams of carbohydrates and 2 fat grams. Where cottage cheese earns a red flag is by joining the list of foods high in sodium.
Red Meat – Red meat gets a bad rap. While some cuts of red meat are loaded in fat, lean varieties of red meat are high in protein, iron and other essential nutrients while low on carbs and fat. Just go for the healthy part of the cow, like top sirloin, and avoid the fatty cuts of meat.
Potatoes – Commonly associated with french fries and mashed potatoes, potatoes often get lumped into the unhealthy food column. That’s a shame because they are a great source of nutrients. Just be careful about portion size and avoid the temptation to fry them or douse them in cream. Potatoes are quite good roasted in the oven with a little olive oil and garlic!
Eggs – We associate a morning egg habit with the reason our grandfather had a heart attack. But according to the Harvard University Gazette, one egg per day does not increase the risk of heart disease or stroke. Eggs are loaded in nutritional value providing a rich source of unsaturated fat and protein. Try one full egg supplemented with some egg whites for your next healthy breakfast!
Pizza – When prepared appropriately, pizza can be an incredibly nutritious and healthful food. Recreate what a pizza means to you with a whole wheat crust, lots of vegetables, olive oil, and a responsible portion of cheese. Herbs and grilled chicken can liven up the flavor and nutritional value of your new healthy pizza.
Peanut Butter – Loaded in fat and calories, yes, but peanut butter offers the good kind of fat (monounsaturated) with plenty of protein and fiber as well. Just steer clear of the peanut butter products with added sugar. The best peanut butter has one ingredient: crushed peanuts.
Coffee – Medical science has changed its opinion of the impact a single daily cup of coffee has on your health. The notion of increased risk of heart disease or stunted growth from coffee has been put to rest. Now, coffee is understood for its tremendous anti-oxidant powers and may even protect against Parkinson’s disease. Just drink in moderation; in large quantities, coffee can present a number of neurological problems from caffeine overdose.
Chocolate – What? Chocolate can be healthy? Yes, actually, it can! A single small serving of dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and decrease risk of heart disease from it’s powerful anti-oxidants called flavonoids which are the reason behind why a daily glass of red wine is considered a healthy choice.
Bread – The low carb diet craze has given bread a bad name. While refined grains should be avoided, bread made from whole grains, like whole wheat bread, may actually help people live longer.