We’ve all read that article (or two) warning of junk foods that are disguised as health foods (think low-carb protein bars and veggie “chips”). But what about the good-for-you foods that get an undeserved bad rap? There are a few foods out there that you may have banished from your fridge, but are actually nutritious enough to be included in your regular rotation. We’re here to set the record straight.
Repeat after us: preparation, preparation, preparation. Most potatoes on restaurant menus are fried or loaded with fatty toppings (think butter, cream, bacon, cheese). When prepared right, potatoes are one of the most nutritious foods around. They’re a good source of B6 and potassium and low in fat and sodium. And that’s just the white ones. The colorful varieties are worth exploring for their antioxidant and phytonutrient content, as well as for mixing things up flavorwise.If you’re trying to go plant-based, potatoes are your new best friend. A base of roasted potatoes tossed with wilted greens, an egg, and topped with salsa or chimichurri sauce is an easy crowd-pleasing dinner. Add potatoes to a broth with veggies and spices for a hearty seasonal soup.
You’ve seen the “healthy” menu at your local breakfast stop: full of egg white scrambles. And while we understand why the egg debate is so contentious (the low-fat, low-cholesterol craze of the 1980s made a scourge of eggs), we’re big fans of these little protein powerhouses. The cholesterol myth regarding eggs was debunked when researchers found that the levels of cholesterol in the blood are influenced more by the types and amount of fat that you eat, less so the amount of cholesterol you eat. A single large egg has around 70 calories and provides a balance of fat and protein. Adding one hard-boiled egg to a salad or a poached egg atop a bed of sauteed veggies is a quick and calorie-controlled way to round out a meal.
The most crave-worthy food of all has enough health benefits to make it OK to indulge...in moderation. Research has shown that regular dark chocolate eaters have lower blood pressure, lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, and reduced risk of heart disease. The darker the chocolate, the higher the percentage of cacao (look for over 60 percent), the more flavonoids (which are antioxidants). This isn’t a hall pass to a king-sized Kit Kat; rather, a square or two of very dark chocolate or a couple of dark chocolate-covered almonds. It’s still a high-calorie, high-fat food, so be mindful of your portion size.
4. Whole Milk
Milk lovers unite. Whether you use milk daily in tea, for cooking, or even enjoy a large, cold glass now and then, you’re not alone. But what you may not know is that not all milk is created equal. Whole milk contains about 3.25 percent fat, which translates to a few grams more than 2 percent. What’s more, the body requires fat in order to absorb vitamin D (which is found in milk). So, if you can tolerate milk, and if your body is flexible with the amount of fats that you consume, whole milk may be a good dairy choice.-Sarah Bossenbroek
We married our passion for food with science of you to bring you the world's most complete personalized nutrition solution. As the antidote to the one-size-fits-all diet world, Habit helps you discover how to eat right for your own biology. We're here to help you feed the best version of you.