5 Foods That are Surprisingly Good For You
It seems like ideas about what is good or bad for you change constantly, and it usually means that some food you love is now on the "bad" list. But a lot of recent studies actually point toward some "guilty pleasures" no longer having to be quite so guilty.
Wine and beer: Moderate drinking, meaning one glass of wine or pint of beer, is actually associated with a lower risk of heart disease. That's not an excuse to get wasted, however; heavy drinking puts your heart at risk. Darker beverages, like red wine or dark beer, have more healthy compounds.
Coffee: Periodically, it seems like everyone in my Facebook feed goes off coffee for some reason. However, coffee is actually associated with lower risk of diseases like liver cancer, Parkinson's and type 2 diabetes. Like anything else, moderation is key, and that sugar-laden, high-calorie double mocha frap whip whatever? Not so great.
Chocolate: This was happy, happy news for many of us; dark chocolate actually has many health benefits from the flavanoids in cacao. About an ounce a day is good, and the higher cacao levels, the better.
Fat: The fat-free craze of the 1990s is about over, thank goodness, since a lot of those foods just replaced fat with huge amounts of sugar. There's lots to love about fat...it makes you feel satisfied so you eat less, helps your body access fat-soluble vitamins, and healthy fats actually lower your disease risk. Olive oil, nuts, seeds and fish are rich in good fats, and taste delicious as well.
Popcorn: This movie-night staple is a whole grain, filling and high in fiber. It's also a very concentrated source of polyphenols, or healthy plant compounds. If you can manage not to drown it in butter or overdo the salt, it's pretty low-cal as well, only about 100 calories a serving for air popped popcorn. And it's also a good snack in terms of volume: you can get about two cups of popcorn for the same calories as a handful of chips, which makes you feel like you've eaten a lot when you haven't.
What's your favorite "not-so-guilty pleasure" food?