15 Not-so-healthy Foods That Aren't As Bad As You Thought

Many experts claim that all unhealthy foods are not necessarily bad for health. They surely will not mess with your healthy eating efforts and aren't as bad as you thought. In reality, when they are consumed in moderation, they definitely are not that bad. All one has to do is just keep portion control in mind and should not go hog wild.

So stop beating yourself up if you're guilty of snacking on one of these foods and just snack them away. Scroll down to check the list of some not-so-healthy foods that aren't actually the devil incarnate.

foods you think are unhealthy but arent
  • Chocolate
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Red Meat
  • Nuts
  • Full-fat Yogurt
  • Sushi
  • Egg Yolk
  • Popcorn
  • Peanut Butter
  • Oysters
  • Cheese
  • Butter
  • Bacon
  • Ketchup

Chocolate

Chocolate has a bad reputation but a number of health benefits are associated with this delicious treat. Eating chocolates could work wonders and might impact ageing and conditions such as oxidative stress, blood pressure regulation and atherosclerosis. It helps in lowering cholesterol levels, preventing cognitive decline and reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems.

According to nutritionist Ciara Foy, chocolate is high in magnesium and is therefore precisely one of the main reasons people crave for it. She further adds that "the darker the chocolate the better it is." So the next time you eat a piece of chocolate, you may not have to feel so guilty about it.

Wine

Consuming alcohol in moderation can be good for physical health and is also good for relaxing our mind. Wine is loaded with antioxidants that attack free radicals. Wine also helps to boost the immune system, increase bone density and reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer as well.

It can lower cholesterol levels and improve cognitive function. So do yourself a favour, and pour a glass of wine and toast to your health.

Beer

Beer is loaded with nutrients and is also good for your heart health. It can act as an alternative to painkillers. Beer is low in calories and carbohydrates and has no fat or cholesterol.

Beer can help in improving longevity and does not contain any preservatives or additives. Beer, however, does contribute to giving you a beer belly. Beer is full of fibre. So what are you waiting for? Just make up your mind.

Red Meat

Red meat has a place in a healthy diet list as long as you choose the right cuts of beef. Fresh or organic lean red meat in your weekly diet will supply your body with many vital nutrients.

It supplies protein and provides iron and B vitamins. Many B vitamins are naturally procured from lean red meat. It also contains zinc which helps build muscle mass, strengthens your immune system and helps promote a healthy brain.

Nuts

Nuts are delicious, versatile and widely available. Despite being high in fat, they also have a number of impressive benefits for your health (and weight). They are a great source of many nutrients and are loaded with antioxidants and can help you lose weight.

Nuts have impressive effects on cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Nuts are beneficial for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Nuts have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Nuts are high in fibre. They are extremely good for your heart and can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Full-fat Yogurt

People are consuming yogurt for ages. It's very nutritious and eating it regularly may boost several aspects of your health. It has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, as well as aid in weight management.

Nutrients like calcium, B vitamins, phosphorous and vitamin D are found in yogurt. It contains probiotics. These help in boosting digestive health by reducing the symptoms of bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Try to choose your yogurt wisely and opt for plain, unsweetened varieties that contain probiotics for maximal benefits.

Sushi

Sushi takes it a notch higher and brings a clean protein that adds a rich flavour to your palate with added benefits. The health benefits of sushi range from prevention of hypothyroidism to managing weight loss.

Sushi is a rich source of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. It is rich in omega 3 and fatty acids which increase immunity, it is a good source of protein that helps slow down the ageing process and it is also a good source of calcium which helps to build strong bones and teeth. It is rich in iron which helps in producing blood. Sushi prevents atherosclerosis and keeps supplying the body with essential nutrients.

Egg Yolk

There are several myths surrounding egg yolks and not all of them are true. Egg yolks have their share of nutrients too. The egg white and the yolk, both are helpful in building muscles. Egg yolks contain vitamins A, D, E and K along with omega-3 fats.

Compared to the whites, egg yolks are also rich in folate and vitamin B12. According to macrobiotic nutritionist Shilpa Arora ND, "Egg yolk comprises of choline. It is believed to be one of the brain's key neurotransmitters."

The book, Healing Foods by DK Publishing mentions that "egg yolks contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which help protect eyes from age-related loss of vision and they are also packed with tryptophan and tyrosine, and amino acids that help prevent heart diseases". Therefore don't shy away from having whole eggs along with the yolk!

Popcorn

There are multiple health benefits of this delicious snack. This simple snack has whole grains, fibre and antioxidants. It is only when popcorn is smothered in salt, fat, sugar and flavourings that it turns into a junk food. Plain and natural popcorn is full of health benefits.

According to Anar Allidina, a registered dietician - "Popcorn gives you fibre and protein and satisfies that crunchy, salty craving we often have, plus it has a lot of volume - you can have three cups of popcorn and it's only 100 calories." So throw away those chips and cookies and bring on the popcorn!

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is fairly nutritious. All the three macronutrients - carbohydrates, protein and fat are supplied in 1 serving. It's a great source of vitamin E, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, copper and manganese. It also contains vitamin B5, iron, potassium, zinc and selenium in small amounts.

Studies have shown that peanut butter actually slows down cellular ageing and promotes heart health. It's the one food that can be a best friend of a dieter and a foodie. It helps in weight loss and in having a healthy heart and lowers the risk of cancer and diabetes. It helps in protecting one from Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases and gallstones. It strengthens the bones.

Oysters

Canned oysters are high in sodium content and preservatives. Having said that, these are the benefits of consuming oysters. Better vision, absorption of antioxidants, weight loss, healthy heart, wound healing, stronger bones, increased energy level, improvement in overall immune function, curing acne, boosting sexual drive in men and healthy sleep are some health benefits of oysters.

Cheese

Relief from hypertension and prevention of osteoporosis are major health benefits of cheese. Cheese contains many nutrients, including vitamins. Vital minerals like calcium, sodium, zinc, phosphorous, potassium and iron can be provided to the human body with the intake of cheese.

Cheese also helps in preventing cancer. It contains a lot of vitamin B. Cheese does strengthen the liver, enhances formation of blood and facilitates the absorption of nutrients in the body. According to Abby Langer, a registered dietician - "Cheese is a good source of calcium and that there is solid research to indicate that dairy has anti-inflammatory properties".

Butter

It's always a no when it comes to butter. But here's why we should reserve a place at the table for good old-fashioned butter. It is rich in anti-oxidants like vitamins A and E. Butter also has selenium that works against heart disease and cancer. Butter also helps to strengthen the immune system.

Butter contains CLA which protects you from cancer and iodine that helps in the proper functioning of the thyroid. It decreases the occurrence rate of diarrhoea in children. Butter also has vitamin K2 which prevents tooth decay and builds strong teeth and bones.

Bacon

Bacon contains a few things that are good for you, including high-quality protein and high levels of essential vitamins and minerals like thiamin, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, niacin and selenium. Bacon has a high protein to fat ratio, making it a good source of animal protein.

Though nearly half of the fat content in bacon is saturated fat, unsaturated fat content is also about half and contains omega-3 fatty acids, which do have health benefits.

There are plenty of people who vouch that eating bacon improves your mood, gives you energy and protects your brain. What matters most is the kind of bacon you eat, so go ahead and indulge.

Ketchup

You would be eating tomato ketchup on a regular basis, but do you know that this popular condiment can help your health in a number of ways? Ketchup can definitely be a wonderful addition to your healthy diet, in moderation, of course. Ketchup is made from tomatoes, vinegar, salt, pepper and spices and is deemed to be a low-calorie condiment.

It contains 15 calories per tablespoon and vitamins A and C. Ketchup has no fat and far fewer calories per tablespoon when compared with mayonnaise. Ketchup is a healthier choice for those trying to cut out added calories.

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