Nutrition

Foods You Did Not Realize Were Healthy

Some foods have a bad reputation for causing obesity, heart problems, diabetes, and even cancer. Sometimes, this reputation has its…

Some foods have a bad reputation for causing obesity, heart problems, diabetes, and even cancer. Sometimes, this reputation has its merit. Sugar, for example, is definitely something that you want to avoid. However, other foods with a bad reputation might be surprisingly healthy.

Dairy

Dairy products like cheese are often an ingredient of your favorite unhealthy snacks like pizza. If you eat too much cheese, you will probably start to gain some weight because it has roughly 100 calories in a single ounce. However, cheese can actually be good for you if you limit your serving sizes. It is a good source of protein and it also has minerals that are good for your bones including calcium and phosphorous. One ounce of cheese might have 100 calories, but it also has seven grams of protein, so some of those calories might be worth it. The protein also takes a long time to digest, which will help to prevent you from getting hungry again after eating the cheese. Furthermore, many dairy products have probiotics, which good for your gut.

Some research also suggests that people who drink chocolate milk after exercise are less likely to experience muscle damage due to exercise than people who chose to drink sports drinks or water. You may be worried about certain dairy products because some dairy farms treat cow’s hormones. However, these hormones probably will not hurt your health. The hormones are never activated in humans, so they probably cannot impact your health at all.

Bread

While bread is packed with carbohydrates, but whole grain bread will have complex carbohydrates that do not have harm your health the same way that simple sugars would. Whole grains also have fibers, proteins, and vitamins, so bread is a perfectly good source of energy. Therefore, bread is not going to cause you to gain weight the way you might think it will, especially if you are choosing whole grain bread. If anything, whole grain is actually good for your metabolism.

Potatoes

Potatoes definitely have a bad reputation and with good reason. They are full of starch and are partially responsible for why poorer neighborhoods have higher obesity rates. After all, starchy vegetables tend to be cheaper than other healthier vegetables. Additionally, you digest potatoes really quickly, so the effects that potatoes can have on your body are very similar to the effects that pure sugar would have on your body. Your blood sugar goes up and you have unstable bursts of energy followed by a quick crash. However, potatoes are definitely not as bad as sugar because they do have some nutrients that you need. They have a ton of electrolytes like potassium, which you need for staying hydrated and for muscle health.

Additionally, while sugar is not going to fill you up, potatoes will because the type of starch in potatoes can reduce your appetite. Sweet potatoes are definitely slightly healthier than other types of potatoes, but even russet potatoes have many of the same benefits as sweet potatoes as long as you are not eating it in the form of french fries. As a general rule, anything that is fried is not going to be healthy, so you should stick to baked and roasted potatoes.

Fruit Juice

Many types of juice contain tons of processed sugars. You should avoid these fruit juices. However, 100% fruit juice does not have any added sugar and can often be just as healthy as eating plain fruit. 100% cranberry juice, grape juice, apple juice, and orange juice can also be very healthy. Grape juice, for example, has many of the benefits of red wine and the lack of alcohol arguably makes it somewhat healthier than red wine. Studies show that runners who drink grape juice experienced a boost in their performance.

Alcohol

Alcohol, of course, comes with many serious health concerns. It can be addictive, it can screw up your liver, and it can destroy your mental health. Additionally, alcoholic beverages like beer tend to be packed with calories, which is part of the reason you might develop a beer belly. However, the US Dietary Guidelines still state that men who only have two drinks per day are probably not going to develop any of the serious health concerns associated with alcohol, including heart disease, liver disease, cancer, addiction, depression and other mental health problems. Additionally, beer and other types of alcohol often contain silicon, which is a mineral that can promote bone health if consumed in moderation.

Beer also has antioxidants, vitamin B, magnesium, selenium potassium, and phosphorus. These nutrients can all work to protect your heart and immune system. Other types of alcohol will have similar health benefits. You may have even heard about everything that red wine can do for you from all the incredibly important antioxidants that it contains. Again, alcoholic beverages can still hurt you if you drink too much of it. However, when consumed in moderation, alcohol definitely has many redeeming qualities.

Coffee

The research on coffee is looking more and more confusing. You may have seen the study that claims coffee causes cancer, but you may have also seen the study that claims that coffee prevents cancer. You may have heard that coffee will give your metabolism a boost, but other studies say that coffee can make you gain weight. Still, there is no denying that caffeine might cause a few problems, including caffeine dependency and heart palpitations. However, you can still have four cups of coffee every single day without any serious side effects.

Additionally, you cannot ignore the fact that coffee does contain the nutrients that are responsible for all the literature on why coffee has health benefits. For example, it contains vitamins and antioxidants. If you take it black, then there is actually very little debate about how healthy it can be for you. With black coffee, the only thing you have to worry about is caffeine poisoning.

The health benefits of all these foods do come with their limits. Therefore, you should only consume these foods in moderation. However, if you want to maintain a healthy diet, these foods definitely do come with some health benefits.

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