By: Gloria Tsang, RD
Last Updated on:
Everyone has heard confusing studies: First coffee is bad for you, and the next day it’s good for you. How is it possible to keep track and figure out what’s really best for your body?
Put simply, no matter what foods you eat moderation is the key. That’s why these four foods, which have developed bad reputations over the years, can actually be good for you. Eaten in moderation, they can provide you with a flavorful, decadent dining experience that may actually be healthier than the foods you’re already eating.
Here are 4 Decadent Foods That Are Good For You
Coffee developed a bad reputation because it can raise blood pressure and increase your heart rate. But on the plus side, it’s packed with antioxidants. The experts are still undecided about whether coffee actually provides health benefits, but the consensus is that one or two cups a day certainly won’t cause any harm.
Drink a cup of coffee (black) instead of a can of soda and save 160 calories and a ton of artificial chemicals.
Avocado is notorious for being high in fat. But the fat contained in avocado is monounsaturated fat, which helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Plus, it’s full of heart-healthy potassium.
Use 1 Tbsp of avocado as a spread in place of 1 Tbsp butter and save 80 calories and 9 grams of fat.
Many people consider chocolate to be a diet no-no because it’s high in fat and sugar. And it’s true that chocolate candy bars can pack a nasty diet punch. Some candy bars have up to 36 grams – 9 teaspoons! – of sugar in one serving. But good dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa) is just as flavorful as candy bars, and it”s much lower in sugar. Plus it’s high in flavonoid – a type of antioxidant.
Enjoy a Lindt Excellence 70% Cacao Dark chocolate bar instead of a Nestle Aero candy bar to save 20 grams of sugar and add a dose of healthy flavonoid.
Eggs are known for being high in cholesterol. But studies have shown that healthy adults can enjoy an egg every day without increasing their risk for heart disease. And the egg is a nutrition powerhouse, containing folate, Vitamin B12, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and lutein – a type of antioxidant.
Use a boiled egg in your sandwich instead of luncheon ham. You won’t save a lot of calories, but you’ll shave off almost 700 mg of pressure-pumping sodium.
The Bottom Line
Keeping up with all the nutritional studies to try to decide what to eat is more than any one person can be expected to do! Take a simple approach to deciding what to put in your body: eat natural foods you enjoy, and remember that moderation is the key.
And look for ways to work these “bad foods gone good” into your diet for an indulgent but healthy treat.
Gloria Tsang is the author of 5 books and the founder of HealthCastle.com, the largest online nutrition network run by registered dietitians. Her work has appeared in major national publications, and she is a regularly featured nutrition expert for media outlets across the country. The Huffington Post named her one of its Top 20 Nutrition Experts on Twitter. Gloria’s articles have appeared on various media such as Reuters, NBC & ABC affiliates, The Chicago Sun-Times, Reader’s Digest Canada, iVillage and USA Today.