You’ll hear all the time that you should eat certain foods. At one time, fat was the demon of all food groups, and then the focus turned to carbs. Now the focus is on how sugar is making us fat. There are low-sugar, low-carb, low-fat, high-protein, high-fiber, and many other types of diets. It’s often hard to stay on track with the food that you should and shouldn’t be eating, right?
You can decide to follow your own beliefs on food. You’ll do your research, but you still come up with the idea that certain foods are bad for you. The peanut butter and jam aisles are completely avoided, and you walk past the cereals with caution. After all, you don’t want to do your health any damage with your food choices.
What you may not realize is certain foods that come across as being bad are full of goodness for your body. You can do yourself more harm by completely avoiding them! You need to add in food in moderation to make sure you put your health first. Anything you consume should be done in moderation to create a healthy and balanced diet.
Why Do We Struggle with “Bad” and “Good” Food?
Back in the 70s, your parents and grandparents would have eaten anything they wanted. They had a variety of ingredients at their disposal and would have found creative ways to use them. Meat and two veg was still a focal point, but pastries, pasta, potatoes, and many other foods that are now considered bad for you were eaten.
Then came the research. Scientists learned that eggs were full of cholesterol and that fat clogged up the arteries. After that, researchers learned about the eggs and fats in more detail. They learned that some could be good, and others would be bad. They learned that not every calorie was made the same.
Suddenly finding your way around what to eat became a minefield. Which piece of research did you believe?
It’s still a problem. There are now views that all fat isn’t bad. In fact, some saturated fat can be okay in the diet. It’s all about sugar and refined carbs.
Now you need to delve into the details of the food. Some of those ingredients you gave up can be added back to the diet. They are food for you. Here’s a look at five that you need to add back in, because while they initially seem bad, they are very good for the body.
Don’t Skip All Pasta and Rice
Let’s start with the carbs. You’ve likely heard of the Atkins and south beach diets. They push people into giving up carbs, in favor of protein and fiber in their diets. The view is that carbs increase the blood sugar levels and affect the metabolism.
There are certainly concerns about some carbs. Refined and processed foods are best left off the menu. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up all carbs. Carbohydrates are essential in the body. They offer the instant energy that the body needs to use. When you’re feeling a slump in energy, carbs can help offer a pick-me-up. If you’ve had a hard workout in the gym, the carbs can help to replenish those levels instantly.
But you want to get the right types of carbs.
Too many people give up rice and pasta, both white and whole wheat. It’s time to stop! You want to add them to your diet.
White rice is extremely healthy. There’s a reason the people of Japan eat it and live if they do. Research shows that those who eat rice are less likely to struggle with obesity.
Isn’t rice high on the glycaemic index scale? Well, yes, but this is only a major problem if you eat rice on its own. How often do you make a bowl of rice just to eat? It’s usually a base or a side dish for other meals. When you bulk your rice with vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and other nutrients, you won’t have the issue of the high GI.
There’s more good news. Rice that you get in the U.S. and most other Western countries are enriched with other nutrients. These nutrients are the ones that are lost during processing, so you end up getting more nutrients than you would if you opted for brown or even wide rice. In fact, brown rice has higher levels of arsenic than its white sister.
As for pasta, there are similar reasons to eat it. Again, it’s one of those that you want to eat with other foods, which certainly isn’t a problem. It’s in the middle on the glycaemic index scale, which means it breaks down slower than initially believed. You’re left feeling fuller for longer, which means you consume fewer calories throughout the day and find it easier to stick to a healthy and balanced diet.
You don’t need a lot of rice or pasta to fill out your meal. Just half a cup of cooked pasta and a cup of cooked rice is enough for your portion sizes. You’ll likely be served more than this in a restaurant, so keep that in mind when ordering a pasta dish. It’s usually the sauces that are worse for you, so look out for tomato-based sauces for the best measure.
Add Eggs to Your Meals
Eggs were once the food of the devil. People blamed them for health issues like heart disease and blocked arteries, due to the levels of cholesterol within them.
There are two types of cholesterol: good and bad. The bad stuff will block the arteries, causing friction and clogs. However, the good type will layer the arteries in a smooth, protective layer. It helps to keep the blood flowing smoothly. Getting high amounts of good cholesterol will help to get rid of the bad.
But at one point in time, eggs were full of bad cholesterol. In fact, all cholesterol was considered bad. Then that moved to egg whites being safe but the egg yolks to be the part to avoid. Now it’s safe to eat all eggs. In fact, it’s recommended unless you have an egg allergy.
Eggs aren’t just packed with the healthy cholesterol. They’re also full of protein without relying on meat products. This is excellent for vegetarians who struggle to get protein in the body.
Protein is essential for building muscle, tissues, and other parts of the body. Animal forms of protein usually have saturated fats too, whereas eggs don’t. Studies have shown that those who consume eggs for breakfast rather than cold cereal will find it easier to stick to a balanced diet. They’re left feeling full for longer because the protein breaks down much slower in the body.
At the same time, egg yolks have vitamin D. This is a nutrient that many people overlook but is essential for absorbing calcium and building strong bones. If you’re in a country with little sun, you want to get more eggs!
There are many other nutrients, including selenium, choline, and phosphorus. All the nutrients work together to keep the body healthy.
Stock Up on Your Avocados and Other Healthy Fats
Like carbs, fats have been considered bad for the body. It’s now clear that there are two main types of fats: healthy and unhealthy. These facts are broken down further, but it’s important to remember that the body needs fats.
When you eat fat, it’s passed to the liver. The body can then create ketones, which will help with the energy levels. If you have a low carb diet, you want to consume more fats. They will add more immediate levels of energy to the body rather than the proteins and fibers.
Avocados have been considered bad for a long time. They’re extremely healthy for the body, and not just for the healthy fats. Avocados are packed with multiple vitamins, including C, D, and E, potassium, fiber, and much more. They’re full of antioxidants that keep the health of the cells, include carotenoids to help protect against macular degeneration, and have plenty of monounsaturated fats to protect the health of the heart.
Avocados can be added to your diet in a multitude of ways. You can mash and spread your toast or use avocado oil in your cooking. It’s also possible to blend into a smoothie.
Likewise, add other healthy fats to your diet. Olive oil, coconut oil, and almond oil make excellent alternatives to vegetable and corn oils.
Don’t Overlook the Goodness of Nuts
Have you cut nuts out of your diet? Many people have due to the fat content. They’re considered high in calories and bad for weight loss, but they couldn’t be more opposite. In fact, nuts in a balanced diet can help you stick to a weight loss plan and encourage more weight loss. It’s just a case of in moderation.
Nuts are full of healthy fats, and we’ve already looked at that with the avocados. More than that, they’re full of selenium. This is a nutrient that’s often under-consumed, leaving us struggling with energy levels. We think of low iron as the problem, but it is more likely your selenium. You can get your full day’s recommended amount with just one Brazil nut!
Nuts are also packed with protein. You’ll help to support the growth and strength of muscles and connective tissues. You’ll also help to support your nerve tissue growth.
And we can’t overlook the benefits for the brain. Nuts have anti-inflammatory properties. They will help to improve the cognitive health, pushing off dementia and other age-related diseases.
It’s not just nuts specifically, but nut butter that is also good for you. In moderation, you can control your hunger levels and cravings through some peanut or almond butter. The fats and proteins will make you feel fuller. Some of the butter has a slightly sweet taste, helping to curb your sweet cravings as you trick your body. When you feel fuller, you eat less throughout the day.
Those who eat peanut butter or nuts are almost 25% less likely to be overweight or obese! You only need a serving or two throughout the week, and you’ll reap the benefits.
Stock Up on Your Fruit
Out of all fruit, bananas have had a bad reputation for years. They’ve been considered high in sugar and bad for dieting. They certainly aren’t! In fact, all fruits, in general, are necessary for the body’s health.
The problem for some people is the natural fruits. There’s a view that they are bad for your sugar levels, but the fiber within the fruit helps to balance this out. When added to a healthy and balanced diet, fruit is one of the best sources of nutrients.
You’ll get all your vitamins, plenty of potassium, numerous antioxidants, and more from every serving of fruit. You can eat them whole or blend them into a smoothie; either way, you gain the benefits. Do make sure you blend the whole fruit. Avoid juicing as this gets rid of the fiber and means you end up with just the natural sugars, and this is bad.
The fiber is something to concentrate on. With enough fiber, you’ll keep your digestive system in full working order. Your body can support the passing of stools and keep your bowel movements regular. You’ll also find you have fewer stomach discomforts throughout the day.
Are You Ready to Add Foods Back to Your Diet?
It’s time to stop listening to the lies. There are certain foods that look bad for you, but they’re exceptionally good. In fact, they’re necessary for your health. Add the five foods above back into your diet for full support. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel on a day to day basis!