Some foods that get a bad rap are actually good for you foods that should not be eliminated from a healthy diet.
The problem is some people like to judge foods based on a single ingredient or nutritional feature without regard to the total contribution the food makes to the diet. That's just not right.
If you remember Woody Allen's proclamation in the movie Sleeper, you'll know what I'm talking about. It's just a matter of time before once forbidden foods become forgiven. Think coffee, wine, and chocolate. Who knows what's next?
Why you shouldn't judge foods and ingredients too harshly:
- New information about what's in our food and what we need to be healthy is continually being discovered.
- Eliminating a food or food group can lead to unintended deficiencies in the diet
- How much and how often we eat something is more important in determining risk-benefit than any single attribute of a food.
Eggs, potatoes, nuts, olive oil, and avocados have already been redeemed. Then there is the whole new world of phytonutrients - those naturally occurring compounds in plants with powerful health benefits - that are being found in foods we never expected to be superstars, like mushrooms, onions, and garlic.
The key is to keep moderation in mind for everything you eat since too much of anything can be harmful. And here are some foods you definitely should not abandon.
9 Good For You Foods That Get a Bad Rap
Cheese - Fill nutrient gaps for calcium and phosphorus with cheese and get a versatile source of protein that can take center-stage in a meal or make side dishes taste better. Research shows people whose diets include cheese have lower risk factors for metabolic syndrome.
Bananas - Available year round for about 35 cents each, bananas are an affordable and satisfying snack. Don't worry about that fact a banana has more calories than a grape; you're far more likely to eat too many grapes, but not too many bananas.
Coconut Oil- Not all tropical oils are the same, meaning high in artery-clogging saturated fat. The main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, a medium-chained fatty acid than can actually increase good HDL cholesterol levels. It is also known for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties.
Lean Pork - Pigs are being fed and bred to provide cuts that are as lean as skinless chicken. Look for pork tenderloin, top loin roast, center loin chops, and rib chops to add some variety to your meat menus.
Dark Meat Chicken - It may be a bit higher in calories and fat than breast meat, but skinless chicken legs and thighs have other advantages. Dark meat is less expensive than light meat and much more flavorful, so you're less likely to prepare it with lots of coatings and gravy that add fat and calories.
Vegetable Juice - Low sodium versions can be used to get needed vegetable servings into your daily diet when no raw or cooked vegetables are available. It's also a great base for soups and sauces that you can season as you like.
Dried Fruit - Naturally sweet and delicious, dried fruits can be nibbled on instead of candy while helping you get the recommended 2-4 servings of fruit each day. Use dried blueberries or Plum Amazins (dried plum pieces) anywhere raisins are called for when cooking and baking.
Peanut Butter - Like hummus, peanut butter is made from a legume and is a versatile source of protein. It can be incorporated into any snack to help you feel satisfied longer so you won't keep snacking. Unlike hummus, it can be paired with sweet or savory foods, like apple slices, celery sticks, whole grain crackers or caramel rice cakes.
Granola Bars - Whether looking to get a boost in whole grains, protein, energy, or all three, there's a bar to meet your needs. Some are enriched to provide additional vitamins and minerals, but their best feature of all is that they're portion controlled and ready for on-the-go eating. While not great as a meal replacement, they can be the perfect cookie replacement!