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“Bad” Foods That ARE Good For You

Like many pre-conceived notions, you are told to avoid something, such as a particular food, because it is bad for you.  However, we are slowly learning, and I emphasize “slowly,” that many things aren’t bad for you in small doses.

Here is a list of foods we have been told were/are fattening; bad for our cholesterol or bad for a vital organ, however; they are now actually beneficial (to a point).

Coffee
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Though coffee can interfere with sleep or make you jittery because it has a lot of caffeine in it, drinking coffee can reduce your risk of dementia, diabetes and liver cancer if you drink 8-ounces a day.  If it does make you jittery, though, you should cut back.

Eggs
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Eggs – can be a big contributor to high cholesterol, especially if your cholesterol is already high.  Eggs are very appetite satifsying and therefore, help you can snack later in the day and eat a smaller lunch and dinner because you don’t get as hungry after such a solid breakfast.  The components of egg yolks also reduce the risk for age-related macular degeneration — the leading cause of blindness in those over the age of 50.

Bread
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Bread –  well everyone nowadays is trying to cut back on their carbs to reduce their waistline, refined grains or whole grains are very good for you.  Switching to whole-wheat bread, for example, is one way to still get those grains without going no-carb with your diet.  The Archives of Internal Medicine found those who ate whole grains live longer.

Peanut Butter
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Peanut Butter – super-fattening, but is very satisfying.  A great source of protein and folate, a B vitamin that helps with the healthy development of new cells.  I have found when I’m craving a dessert or sweet snack, a spoonful of peanut butter goes a long way and can help get rid of that feeling you get when you want dessert (ie: a hot fudge sundae!).

Almonds.
Miquel Palacios, Cover.

Nuts – while nuts have a lot of fat and calories in them, they are full of good, heart-healthy unsaturated fats.  They also are great at curbing hunger if you eat a handful to help hold you over until a full-meal time.  Different nuts provide different sources of vitamins and heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

Beef
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Beef – contains staturated fat and dietary cholesterol, both not good for people with heart problems.  However, lean cuts of beef are a great, low-fat source of protein and iron.  Women tend to be deficient in iron, which helps get oxygen from the lungs to cells throughout the body.

Potatoes
Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

Potatoes — while they are high in glycemic index (how quickly foods raise your blood sugar) and not good for those with diabetes, potatoes are a great source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.  They aren’t too bad if you eat them plain, but when loaded with butter and sour cream they can become bad for you.  Instead cook them in olive oil.

Corn
Scott Olson, Getty Images

Corn — corn is a vegetable, but it is one that contains many nutrients.  It does, however, contain fiber and is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin.  It also makes you feel full even though it doesn’t really benefit you and therefore, can help prevent you from eating something that’s  more fattening.

Chocolate
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Chocolate — contains a lot of fat, sugar and taste!  Chocolate can instantly make you feel better when having a bad day, but dark chocolate, especially, is good for your cardiovascular health.  It also contains flavanols, antioxidants that contribute to blood-thinning.  Swiss researchers also found that eating dark chocolate reduces stress hormones.



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