To an extent, we’re all trying to eat healthy. We know the downside of eating most sweet or fatty fried foods. So if we get a warning about unhealthy foods, we’ll try to pay attention. But sometimes the list of “Don’t eats” is just endless, or even ridiculous.
Let’s say that you have decided to snack on carrots instead of chips. That’s great, right? They’re a rich source of beta-carotene, anti-oxidants, fibers. But if you then read an article that warns against the hidden sugars in carrots, you might just give up and grab the Doritos. So let me reassure you; carrots are good for you. Just bare in mind that they contain a few sugars and calories. So if they replace your before-mentioned chips; great choice. If on the other hand, you only add them to your normal diet, that would be much less beneficial.
The good news now
People who write warnings like this should be more careful; it can discourage others from eating healthy foods. So if you like carrots; great, because they’re healthy. According to WebMD carrots were actually first grown as medicine.
Besides carrots, there are luckily many foods that are good for you, think of green tea, almonds with it’s fibers and more than 90% of unsaturated fats, or the awesome beet juice. There are even treats that we were once warned against, but are actually benefiial. So here are three tasty, healthy foods that haven’t always had a very good reputation:
For too long people have thought that fat was bad. By now we know that this is oversimplified and sometimes just totally wrong. And this relates to PB too, because even though it contains some saturated fats, it’s higher in unsaturated fats. And that makes it a heart-healthy food. Furthermore it packs fibers, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, etc. So a wholegrain peanut butter sandwich isn’t just a treat, it can be a quite healthy too.
Of course peanut butter is high in calories, so you can’t just add half a jar of peanut butter to your regular diet and think that’s healthy. Obviously you also can’t expect that a highly processed PB that’s full of sugar will do much good for you. But I consider Avenue21 readers capable of common sense, they can read a label and pick the right one, or buy organic (as long as it’s tasty).
Drinking cup after cup of coffee and and staying hopped up on caffeine all day isn’t good for you. But that doesn’t mean that coffee can’t be beneficial in moderation. Over the years some 20,000 studies have investigated the health benefits of coffee, and the overall outcome is very positive. For instance, even though too much caffeine isn’t good for you, in moderation it can boost your metabolism and help you burn fat. More importantly, coffee is full of nutrients, like vitamin B2 and B5, potassium, niacin, manganese. And it’s actually one of the richest sources of antioxidants in the average person’s diet.
Of course, adding cream, syrups, sugar or or even whipped cream doesn’t help, but again that’s all common sense. And of course if you like some sweet in your coffee, there are alternatives. Sweeteners have been getting a bad rep over the last few years, so they’re dubious. While honey and cane sugar are better than the refined white variety, they’re still sugar. So my favorite alternative is stevia, it’s healthy and sweetens well. Its natural sweetness has a somewhat bitter aftertaste, but that’s not a problem in combination with coffee.
To start with, I love pineapple. It’s one of the tastiest, juiciest fruits around. And its health benefits are impressive. Pineapples are rich in fibers, vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium, manganese, etc. The spiky fruit also packs bromelain, an enzyme that stimulates your digestive track and keeps it healthy. And because pineapples are so full of anti-oxidants, they boost your immunity, while reducing the risk of free radical damage, like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, loss of vision though macular degeneration, etc, etc. You gotta love pineapple…
All this juicy sweetness means that pineapples contain 10% sugar, which is almost as high as in Coca Cola. Of course these are fruit sugars, not Coke’s refined variety, but keep it in mind. Still, a little sugar doesn’t hurt, we actually need it, just not too much. So I think that today I will enjoy pineapple with cereal in the morning, and maybe again as desert with cottage cheese…